CindyFrench-stranger than fiction stories

about facing life with hope and confidence, no matter the diagnosis

Oh, Those High School Years!

Posted by Cindy H French on 09/07/2009

Being in high school is supposed to be “the best years of your life”. It wasn’t for me-for a lot of reasons.

My sophomore years was spent in Texas. Our high school had over 3000 kids! It was also supposed to be one of the top schools in the country then and one of the hardest-for me in math anyway!

By this time in my life I knew I wanted to study nursing as a career. ( a little too much Cherry Ames influence) so I had to take math and science courses, but Dad, the physicist, wanted me to take physics and trigonometry as well! Oh, we butted heads over my schedule. Our school was set up so that each day of the week, you had a test in a diferent subject-like english on Mondays, science on Tuesdays, history on Wednesdays, and so forth. This prevented supposedly getting hit with major quizes all in one day, but there certainly wasn’t a rule about pop quizes! I did well in all my courses except for geometry. I just couldn’t get it. I got a D my first 6 wks-the first in my life, so my Dad tried to help me. That was a disaster. I got an F my second 6 wks, also a first. Finally I got a tutor. If I didn’t get at least a C on the 6 wks grade and a C on the final, I would have to repeat it all. It didn’t help that I had a teacher who never explained or taught anything-just assigned homework and gave tests. But a miracle did occur and I got those C’s. Somehow, I got through algebra-but I know I couldn’t do a problem to save my life these days!! Still, I did learn good study habits and seemed to be reasonably intelligent enough to get great grades in all my other courses.

Being a sophomore can be fun, challenging, scary, thought provoking, etc. For the first time, I was more in control of me and what I wanted-at least I thought so! But looking back, remembering the tears with boyfriend break ups, fights with my Dad over my dancing or my belly button showing, I realize now that most of those years-it’s about me, me, me-not so much other people or their needs.

I wasn’t allowed to go steady. Most kids didn’t at my school or church anyway. I loved going out-but eventually every girl wonders-it is me, the person that a boy is out with or what she looks like, dances like, kisses like? I dated some great guys in Houston. Had some great male friends. Who knows what my life might have like if we had stayed there? Not that I would trade my life with my precious Dennis!

My dad got a new job in Atlanta, Ga. He was starting there July 1, 1968, but they hadn’t sold the house, so my dad, brother and I left for Georgia with a travel trailor. I was to cook and clean for them. I guess Tim was also to be company for me during the day. It wasn’t long before Dad found us a house to rent for the summer, so I played the housekeeper/cook role and loved it! I enjoyed finding new recipes to cook, taking care of the house, the laundry-weird!

We found a church Dad was comfortable with pretty quickly. I got involved right away with all the teen stuff. To my amazement, everyone went to different high schools. It wasn’t neighborhood church/ neighborhood school in Atlanta.

My mom came up just before school started with the rest of the family. She took my sister and me shopping-a yearly event-for new clothes. Now my mom was an interior designer and up on all the latest things. She always dressed us to the hilt. So on the first of school-my new school, where I was now a junior and my sister a freshman-we showed up in mini skirts and penny loafers with button down shirts, whereas the rest of the girls had on boxpleated knee length skirts with bobby socks and saddleoxfords. That didn’t go over so well!

I wanted to fit in, but be me and different at the same time. I didn’t realize how much more important girlfriends are than boyfriends-took me a whole year to learn that lesson! Needless to say, it was one of the most painful years of my life. It’s one of the reasons that I won’t transfer a candidate in my practice who has teenage children. My husband and I made that same promise to our girls-that we wouldn’t move-as it had been done to both of us.

My parents moved their church membership at the end of that year and over the summer I again got involved with that youth group.  Just as school was starting up, I met a new guy at church. He was a freshman at Georgia Tech and I was starting my senior year of high school. Very soon, he was my only regular date and the next thing, by Christmas we were engaged! A very different world from now.

I graduated from high school one week and 2 weeks later, after my 18th birthday, we married in a big church wedding. We lived in married student housing at Tech and I started school at Ga. State in nursing.


4 Responses to “Oh, Those High School Years!”

  1. Deborah Adornato said

    I showed up in November freshman year from Cross Keyes High in Dekalb County at NS wearing fishnet hose short skirts and black leather jackets. Not well taken.Television and internet had not managed to mush us yet into a tribe, AS much as I loved the people I met at NS most of the adults wanted us bland and impressionable.. and controllable.too hard to decipher foes just turned 15 yo . My Mom still put my clothes on Layaway at penneys at Buford Plaza, I had a pair of shoes for school and one for Sunday. All were in the same boat in my neighborhood and it was normal. going to rich land High school was a shock. I never had a concept that we Had more or less than any
    other family. I had an education in stuff I should really want. To this day I am unstylish and contrary,never could figure out the grooming routines . Doomed to be a dont in the 60″s

  2. Cindy all I can remember about you was how cute you were …a very nice girl…….warm and friendly…I remember you having a party? it must have been Fall because there was bobing for apples?

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