Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Alaska: Even Better the Second Time Around, Part 2

I always loved school and was always involved in something.  Junior high was no exception.   I was a class officer, in the National Junior Honor Society, on the Yearbook staff, on the Pep Squad, and worked in the front office one hour a day. We had so much fun in junior high. I treasured the friends I made while in Alaska and loved just hanging out with them.  Lots of times we would just sit for hours and talk and listen to music.  I would love to know where the girls, in the picture below, are today.  It would be fun to be able to catch up on all the years that have passed since we last saw each other in 1973.  One of these friends moved to Missouri, at the same time we did, but we went to different schools so I very rarely saw her.

Me with some of my friends standing in
front of Orion Junior High School.
I was in Girl Scouts during this time. We had a lot of great times as a troop. We camped out, did projects and cut up. The leader's daughter and I would always get in trouble for talking too much. Can you believe that, me talk to much? One of my friends, Diana Smith, was in the troop with us.  We still maintain contact today.  Our troop went camping one weekend, in tents, and had quite an experience. We worked real hard making no-bake cookies and sometime during the night, a bear came into the camp and ate them. There were empty containers with big ole teeth marks in them. We also saw moose while out there. This camp was right on the base. Elmendorf had a Recreation Area along the backside that was like a big wilderness area, complete with animals and that is where we camped.

I also worked on the yearbook staff with Diana Smith, Laurie Snider (who I would run into in Missouri sometimes) and Rob McKinney.  We had a wonderful teacher by the name of Marian Driskell.  We had a great group of people working on the yearbook and we were able to produce a 80 page book for our Junior High School.  I remember Mrs. Driskell taking us to workshops on things that would help with the production of the book.  One time she took several of us to a restaurant, in Anchorage, at the top of one of the taller buildings.  I think it was the Captain Cook Hotel.  I thought it was so cool how we could see forever from up there.  I still remember that I had a beef au jus sandwich.  Strange that I would remember that but I don't think I had ever heard of such a sandwich before, much less eaten one.

I hated PE! But we had to take it.  In Junior High we had these little one piece things we had to wear during class.  They were navy shorts on the bottom and I think navy and white stripes on top. You would have very little time to get in, get changed, and get out into the gym before class started and then when class was over, you were hurrying to shower, get dressed and off to the next class.  I wasn't the most coordinated one in the class either.  We had the Presidential Physical Fitness Test, we had to do each year, in order to pass PE.  One of the things we had to complete was running a mile in a certain amount of time.  I finally did it at the end of the year, but just barely made it under the required time.  I tried out for the basketball team one year because my mom had been a star basketball player.  I didn't even come close to making the layup, which was one of the key criteria for making the team.  No basketball trophies in my future.

So I didn't like PE but I loved my health class.  I learned so much in that class.  And we had so much fun in there too.  We had this plastic body that had all the parts in it, (heart, kidney, etc.) and the teacher would take them all out and then would time us as we put "Oscar" back together again. We had races and I just loved seeing how fast I could do it.  Having fun while learning!  That worked well for me.

Now that we were in Junior High, we had lockers and changed classes, just like in High School. To this day I still have a recurring nightmare about not remembering the combination for my locker, needing something for class, and not being able to get in to get it.  You had to plan well to get to your locker between classes because of time and the halls were always crowded.  Sometimes it was just easier to carry a bunch of books around.  All the sixth graders from the previous year, came to this school which made it crowded so they put up what they called Relocatables, trailers that provided more classroom space.  They sat right outside the front door of the school.  I had several classes in these trailers.

A picture from my yearbook of the
 crowded halls were at Orion. (1)
Every junior high girl has a crush on one of their teachers and I was no exception. Most of the girls in my class fell in love the day that Mr. Valentine came to Orion. He was young, teaching Boys PE, and very good looking. Needless to say, we all got tongue tied around him too. He probably thought we all were just giggly girls but boy was he cute.  We would have "Mr. Valentine" sightings and everyone would stop and watch.  Teen age girls...what more can I say?  

Today's Terri's Tidbit:  There are so many things you can do on Facebook, even genealogy.  I recently joined the North Carolina Genealogy Facebook page, mainly just to see if there was anything there that would be helpful in my family history research.  I had been looking for genealogy information on my great, great grandmother, on my mom's side.  I had hit a major brick wall and thought, hey, why not throw this out on the NC Genealogy site and see what happens. Within half an hour I had several responses to my post and was able to bring down the brick wall. If you are doing your family history, don't forget to check to see if there is a genealogical society in your state or even the county.  You, too, might just get some information that will further your findings.


(1)  1973 Arctic Highlights Yearbook, Orion Jr. High School, Elmendorf AFB, pg. 52

1 comment:

sage said...

Cousin, you are one of a small select group of people I know who admits liking Jr. high! It was such an awkward time! I did have a crush on a teacher--Ms. Gooden, in the ninth grade--which I have written about in my blog.