Heading into the Hallowed High School Halls

On Amaze-ing Words Wednesdays, I share my love of all things language. On Deep-Fried Fridays, I share whatever topic seems tasty to me at the moment. However, when you come to this site, neither of those tell you what genre I write.

As I’m putting the polish on a young adult novel and gearing up to edit a middle grade novel, I thought I’d shine the spotlight on those teenage years. So for the next several Fridays, I’ll be heading into the hallowed high school halls, sharing some tales from my own teenage years, interviewing others, and taking some glimpses at the teen species of today.

High School Then

Let’s start with a preview of Julie Glover’s teenage years–long before I became wise, famous, and all that. Though I was born in West Texas, I grew up in Corpus Christi–on the Southern Gulf Coast of the Lone Star State. I went to schools in two different school districts: Tuloso-Midway and Calallen, moving between the two after my 7th grade. I attended Calallen High School from 1982 through 1986–also known as the “old days” by my children.

In the year that I entered high school:

  • Ronald Reagan was president.
  • David Letterman began hosting his Late Night show.
  • Prince William was born to Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
  • Survivor released their number one hit “Eye of the Tiger,” the theme song for Rocky III.
  • NFL football players chose to strike in mid-season for a total of 57 days (over money, of course).
  • Epcot Center opened at Disney World;
  • Michael Jackson’s Thriller album was released;
use of photo covered under Fair Use
  • And I looked like this:

My Freshman schedule included History, Algebra I, Biology, Band, and Honors English. What other classes I took, I have no idea. That year in English, we read The Odyssey (which I hated) and Romeo and Juliet (which I thought had a stupid ending but a funny scene about thumb-biting).

Since there were only about 250 people in my class, it was fairly easy to know most of them. I was not popular, but I was reasonably well-known and liked. My best friend was Diana, and she spoke both English and Spanish–introducing me to sonrisa (smile), buenas suerte (good luck), and tu eres guapo (you are handsome–a phrase that a 9th grade girl might want to know). I did encounter the usual teasing at the get-go of my Freshmen year, but it was mild and didn’t include any hazing.

Overall, the start of my high school years was pretty good.

High School Now

My son is starting his freshman year in a couple of weeks. He has FISH Camp next week, which includes orientation information and a tour of the large campus. (That would have come in very handy at my school since all of us Freshmen looked totally lost on the first day.)

When I look around at the school, things have changed in numerous ways: There are computer labs filled with Macs, a natatorium for the swimming program, a Subway and a Pizza Hut in the school cafeteria, and I definitely do not remember the 14-year-old girls looking like that (but maybe that’s my mama perspective talking). But the main features of high school remain: Core courses, extra-curricular activities, stadiums and band halls, cafeteria seating, school spirit, a trophy case filled with mementos, a herd feeling when the crowds gather, and the challenge of figuring out where you fit and how you stand out.

What do you remember most about high school? What was your school like? Have you had a chance to be in a high school in recent years? What were the differences and the similarities?

I’ll be back next week to take a closer look inside the hallowed halls of high school.

Sources: EightiesClub.com; LikeTotally80s.com