Rea is starting seventh grade tomorrow; I’ve spent a good bit of the morning thinking about my seventh grade year. It was a time of many changes for my small family.
We had moved out to the county during my third grade year and although it was a fifteen minute drive into town each way, my parents refused to allow me to attend the elementary school that all of the kids that lived nearby attended. Oh, how I wanted to ride that big, yellow school bus that spit out my cousins and the neighbor kids each afternoon. But, my parents felt that the buildings were in poor condition (and they were) and that the quality of the education was inferior.
But by August of 1974, the county had begun a consolidation of its elementary schools; construction of three state-of-the-art schools was underway and the current schools would become obsolete.
The arrival of my brother was also imminent…so it just didn’t seem feasible anymore to make that drive twice a day with a tiny a baby.
As the beginning of the school year rolled around, it became apparent that the new schools weren’t going to be ready and that school would have to start in their old locations.
So, I was going to get my wish. I was going to spend the first six weeks of my seventh grade year at Lynn Grove Elementary, the school that both my parents had attended for twelve years.
So, on a blazing hot August day I found myself standing in the doorway of a classroom of that old school. I knew a handful of students – some were childhood friends – and that helped tremendously, but this group of kids had been together since first grade, they had never been separated and I was truly worried about fitting in and how they would accept me.
Let me just say that kids today could learn a thing or two from those seventh graders in that dilapidated building, receiving their “inferior” education.
I was openly welcomed by those kids.
After seven years, they were a family…there’s no other way to put it. They played together, ate together, fought together and were friends together – I’m still friends with many of them today.
They were the best six weeks my entire school career.