Can you believe they have benches?
This year I had the privilege of presenting our family scholarship (Proffitt Family Scholarship) at the Russell High School senior awards ceremony. This was the first time in years I have had the opportunity to roam the hallowed halls of my alma mater.
Sure, I had been back in the school for graduations and athletic events, but this was pretty much the first time I had been able to walk down Senior Hall since I graduated.
Walking down the hall with one of my classmates, who also happened to be presenting a scholarship, I mentioned that I couldn’t believe they got benches on Senior Hall — beautiful blue benches extending its entire length. For those of you who do not know where Senior Hall is, it is the hallway connecting the office with the gymnasium where senior lockers were located.
When I was in high school seniors, and only seniors, sat in the window sills or leaned against the heaters lining the hall across from their lockers.
Even if you had been dating your senior boyfriend for five years, if you were not a senior your backside had better not be perched in a senior spot.
My classmate laughed and said, “benches?”
I was remembering when one of our classmates got crosswise with an upperclassman and shoved into that locker. Of course she didn’t mean bumped into the locker, she meant door open, freshman in, door closed.
Because, yes folks, there was “class warfare.”
And we’re not talking just boys here; there was definitely equal opportunity.
Last fall during Great Bend’s freshman parents’ orientation meeting there was a mother that piped up during the questions portion and asked what was going to done about upperclassmen intimidating freshman by cutting in front of them in the lunch line.
Of course the administration assured the mother there was staff monitoring student lunches and if her child experienced this it should be reported to a teacher or administrator.
Cutting in the lunch line?
I remember freshman penny races down Senior Hall — or around the toilet rim. And that was with your nose, not your foot.
I remember swirlies and wedgies and smacks to the back of the head with a class ring.
Cutting in line?
We were happy to let the seniors walk in front of us so we could keep a better eye on them.
And you know what?
Although plenty of kids drove their trucks to school with their gun rack fully loaded, I don’t remember anyone threatening to shoot up the school or committing suicide.
Because, let’s face it, you obviously can’t take being a freshman personal.
Besides, we’d get to be seniors someday too.
Although today’s students have new kinds of challenges, high school students lived through a lot back in the ‘80s. I don’t know if we were tougher then, or just more tolerant.
We dealt with bomb threats (can’t remember what about, probably someone just didn’t get their homework done for Miss Lane), and embarrassment (love devotionals spray painted in ten foot high red letters on the side of the school) and sit-ins (peacefully protesting school program cuts due to budget shortfalls).
We worked hard but always made certain to take a little time to drag Main.
Maybe we were a little tougher then; posting on Facebook doesn’t take nearly as much guts as walking down Senior Hall.
After all we did have to walk five miles to school, uphill both ways, whenever there was a blizzard.
(Mary Hoisington is the publisher of the Great Bend Tribune. Her e-mail address is email@example.com.)