Saturday, August 28, 2021

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Your Junior High School (or Middle School) Memories

It's time to think of school days for this week's challenge on Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun!

Here is your assignment, if you choose to play along (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music):

(1) Do you have memories of your junior high school (or mddle school) years?  Please share several of them.

(2) Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or on Facebook.  Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your blog post on this post.

Okay, here's mine!

Junior high school holds a special place in my heart because it was the first time I stayed in the same school start to finish.  I attended all three complete years — 7th, 8th, and 9th grades, 1973–1976 — at C. W. Ruckel Junior High School in Niceville, Florida.

I rode the bus to school most of the time.  It was a 10-mile trip from Villa Tasso to Niceville.  Sometimes during the winter it was too cold (dipping below freezing) or too flooded from rain (washing out the "streets") for my brother and me to walk to the bus stop.  Then my mother would drive us in, or we would go in with a neighbor if the water levels were too high for my mother's Corvair.  Water coming up through the floorboards was never a good sign.

I took advanced classes all through junior high school.  For my first year, my 6th-grade teacher registered me for them, leaving one class period for me to choose my own elective, and I continued with them for the following two years.  The advanced classes were math, English, science, history, and probably something else.  I think I took chorus all three years.  I started Spanish classes in junior high school, with Mrs. Lourdes Adams.  Mrs. Arpke was my English teacher.  (Wow, I dragged those names out of my memory!)  I did well in all of my classes.  I probably still have most of my report cards, although they're buried in storage.

I didn't socialize much, partly because of living 10 miles out of town and partly because I wasn't in any of the social cliques.  I was tall, skinny, gangly, unattractive, too smart, and still pretty new to the area.  My only friends were other students in the advanced classes.  My best friend was Eileen.  We met in 8th grade and have stayed friends since, even with each of our moves to various parts of the United States and around the world.  I just visited her last week.

I did not particiate in extracurricular school activities.  My mother often picked us up after school because she was usually in town by that point.  We might run errands with her before heading home and doing homework.

I helped my brother with sorting baseball cards every time he got a new (to him) bunch of cards.  I practiced piano at home and sewed clothing for my dolls.  I don't remember hobbies beyond that.

I participated in Girl Scouts, as a Junior Girl Scout.  At the end of 9th grade, we had a big trip to Atlanta.  The chaperone who drove the car I was in got lost in the city and freaked out because we ended up in the black section of town.  I was the only one who could read a  map, and I got us to the hotel.  We visited Underground Atlanta and Stone Mountain.  I'm sure we visited more sites than that, but those are the ones I remember.

As my 9th grade graduation present, I spent several weeks, maybe a month?, with my grandparents in southern Florida.  They lived in a retirement community, so there weren't kids of my age around.  I hung out in the sun and got sunburnt but had a great time visiting with them.  It was the first time I flew by myself.


  1. Wow, to go to school 10 miles away! And it would be freezing in Florida? Can't image that, so I had to look to see where Niceville was located. Okay, I believe now about freezing. Must have been nice to remain in one school for that long. And to have a life-long friend, too.

    1. Hmm, do I sense some sarcasm in your tone? :) Yes, it was 10 miles away, along an open highway that was mostly uninhabited, way out in the country in the sticks. And yes, it regularly goes below freezing in the Panhandle. No, it isn't nearly as bad as living back east, but it did cause problems. But after so many years of moving, moving, moving, always being the new kid in class, it was wonderful to be able to stay in not only one, but two schools and keep the same location, teachers, and classmates.

  2. You have lots of fun memories of junior high. I wasn't happy about moving once. I can't imagine what it was like to constantly be changing schools.

    1. One benefit of moving so much did not become clear until I was older. I am now very adaptable. But it was so nice to stay in one place for a while.


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