Today's Paper Obits Sports Coronavirus Updates Time Tour Artist Loft Classifieds Jobs HER Crime Puzzles Contact us Newsletters

School days gone by

OPINION by Harry Porter | February 14, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.

Do you still have your high school class ring? I, unfortunately, do not. I gave it to a young woman who I was convinced was the one for me. Shockingly, the teenage relationship did not work out and my ring was the palimony I paid for the three weeks we dated. If that happened today, I am sure there would be lawyers and lawsuits involved.

Life is different for high school kids today. Things we considered normal and pretty standard stuff would not fly today.

Remember when older kids were appointed library and/or hall monitors? Seniors were deemed responsible enough to supervise the actions of the younger children. It all worked well right up until a senior boy hall monitor was caught smooching a sophomore girl in the janitor's closet. The girl was supposed to be on her way to the restroom when she and the hall monitor were, shall we say, overcome by the ambience of the mop bucket. The girl was sent back to class and the boy was removed from his monitor job. But that was it. We did not have a school board meeting or internal investigation.

Art class is another area that has changed over the years. In my 10th-grade art class, we made ceramic ashtrays as our project. I think everyone in the class had a parent or close relative that smoked, so it made sense to make ashtrays. Heck, I think a significant number of the students smoked, too. Could not make an ashtray in today's classes. It is sort of a shame because my mom, who smoked, used the ashtray I made her for years. Of course, it probably contributed to her bronchitis and constant coughing, so it had its downside.

In my school, only boys could take shop class and only girls could take home economics. Boys learned welding and drafting while girls learned sewing and cooking. I remember a couple of boys and a few girls tried to buck the system and take the other gender's classes but it never worked. School officials would chalk it up to overactive hormones and kept the status quo in place. Who knows? The world may have missed out on a great male chef and female aerospace engineer.

Things change, and largely I believe most of the time change is for the better. Schools have dramatically improved and I for one cannot thank our educators enough for all they do.

Nonetheless, I still feel a twinge of nostalgia for the times of clapping erasers and bringing my Swiss army knife to school to show my friends.

What do I know? I am an old dinosaur and as Mr. Kotter would say, "Up my nose with a rubber hose!"


Sponsor Content