Tuesday, February 3, 2009

70's, slave auctions, student union buildings and streaking

Today I was transported back in time while listening to the "classic rock" station. I love the music of the 1970's. Love it...

Both my high school and college years were in the 70's and yet, completely different experiences.

High school was a very small, private, all girls, Catholic school. The "academy" was in another town in Massachusetts up a long and winding driveway past beautiful landscaping and tennis courts. We were picked up each morning by Roy the busdriver, a permanent fixture of my entire high school career. Like clockwork Roy pulled up to the front of the house at 7:02 a.m. and made the trek from Lowell to Tyngsboro, only to drop us off at Notre Dame Academy. The nuns took up residence on the third floor of the building. So, um, YES, it was a convent. (I really went to school in a convent.) Some of those Notre Dame nuns were quite young, often referred to as "novices", and others quite, um, elderly. One sister even made her way through the "parlors" and various offices in an electric wheelchair. In the early 70's that was a little bit of a novelty. Only Ironside had that wheelchair, and if you got that reference, you are old. Sorry.


Bottom line, I was the recipient of a terrific education there. Outstanding. Perhaps a little unprepared for the real world because, after all, if a boy drove up that driveway the police were summoned and they were escorted off the private property. No joke.

Fast forward. University of Massachusetts. College campus, state school, lot of freedom. My first introduction to the "real world" was the annual "day before Thanksgiving" slave auction. To think about how politically incorrect this seems in 2009 is a little shocking . . . but I remember the day without confusion. There was a lot of beer and I saw a student eat a crushed up light bulb (don't those things go hand-in-hand?). Who forgets that? (Yes, it was a boy.) And, yes, maybe there are other reasons I can't forget the day . . . the fact that I saw my first live streaker on the roof of the Student Union Building . . .and that roof was glass . . . that might have something to do with it.

Unprepared. Notre Dame Academy did not prepare me for that.

But I can still conjugate a verb in Latin.

You tell me what's more important.

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Gramps said...

Worth every penny.

Melissa said...

I totally believe your dad when he says it was worth any penny. I dreamed of going to parochial schools when I was a kid... although I don't know if it was just because I have a fondness for pleats and plaids (separate, or together!).

It's fun to hear the details from you...