When I finished my 8th grade at the one room Butcher School and started my 9th grade at University School, close to the IU campus in Bloomington, Indiana, it was a whole new ball game. Up until now, every day at school I spent the whole time in 1 room with 1 teacher. One teacher taught all the subjects. Now, I would be in one room with a teacher teaching 1 subject for about 1 hour, then I would rush around trying to find the next room to spend 1 hour with another teacher teaching a different subject. Sometimes, I was as lost as a goose. In between you had to try to work the combination on your locker to get it open. My 2 favorites were gym class and shop class. During my 4 years in high school, being a country kid going to a city school, I never felt like I ever fit in. One class we were required to take was biology. To me, this class was as boring as watching paint dry. I spent a lot of time daydreaming. I wasn’t interested in naming different parts of a plant, or collecting bugs to stick on pins and put in a cigar box. How I got though all this, I have no idea. One time we studied how to identify trees that grew in our area. For the final test, the teacher took us on a field trip in some woods on campus to identify trees. The teacher would go to a tree, and we would walk to him, one at a time, and whisper to him what kind of tree it was. We looked at a lot of trees. When it was over I was the only one that got them all right. The teacher may have thought he had finally taught me something. I didn’t tell anyone, but everything I knew about trees, I learned from my dad. This day was important for a couple of reasons. In 4 years of high school I finally got a 100% on a test, and was at the top of my class for for while. The main reason I wanted to graduate high school was, that’s what my mom wanted. In 1956, I walked across that stage in the IU Auditorium wearing that silly looking cap and gown and got my paper saying I graduated high school, the look on my mom’s face told me I had done good.Yes, it was worth it.
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