Wednesday, March 19, 2014

52 Weeks of Sharing Memories - 7th & 8th Grades

This post is part of the 52 Weeks of Writing our Memories by Lorine McGinnis Schulze at Olive Tree Genealogy who has challenged us to write our memories for our future generations.

I went to Valdosta Junior High for 7th and 8th grades. The building has since been torn down and the Valdosta Middle School built in its place between Oak and Patterson streets and south of Northside Drive. (Click on the aerial below for a larger view.)

The location of the former Valdosta Junior High School. The oval shape below the arrow is the current track. The old track used to be where the northern wings of the current Valdosta Middle School are located. They've flip-flopped the school building and track. McKey Park and the tennis courts are across the street to the south

Seventh grade was the first time I changed classes during the day and had several teachers. The first day of school was overwhelming. Students everywhere, moving en masse to our classes when the bell rang. It was hard to push through the crowd. I had no idea where I was going, and it took me a few days to learn my way around. I used a fountain pen with blue ink to take notes. I loved that pen. I was always getting ink on my hands. I made myself stop biting my nails while in junior high.

My junior high hair-do. No more hair clip. I had braces (that I was trying to hide when my dad snapped this photo) and my "lovely" glasses. This was taken Christmas 1966.

My yearbooks are in storage, so I can't look up the teachers to refresh my memory. I had Mr. Cleveland for science, Mrs. Kessler for English, and Mr. Sloan for Latin. I took Latin because I thought French would be too hard! What a joke. Learning Latin helped me learn French and Spanish, though, later on. I learned the word "debris" from Mr. Sloan. He was very particular about the cleanliness and orderliness of his classroom. I was no good in math. I disliked my math teacher (I don't remember if I had her in seventh or eight grade). I felt like she only paid attention to the popular boys. She should have been able to read my mind and "know" I needed help! I hated asking for help (still do). I did so poorly in her class that my parents went to see her. It embarrassed me to no end to be singled out like that!

I think eight grade was when I started dying my hair blonde, which I kept up into my 20s. (Or maybe it was seventh grade. My hair looks a little blonde in the photo above.) In fact, it was my dad of all people who got me started! He bought my first box if hair dye. He told me I was born a blonde and he wanted me to stay a blonde. My hair had progressively darkened over the years and was more brown than blonde. I also started letting my hair grow longer around this time. I was tired of having short hair (which is funny now that I have short hair again!). Finally, my parents let me have longer hair.

Once again, my memories of school have blended together. Some of what I remember may have been in ninth grade which was part of junior high back then. Tenth grade was the start of high school.

I let this post sit for a day in the hopes I'd remember more. Nope. Nothing except (again) flashes of random scenes--boys I had crushes on, the lunchroom (which as I've said, I hated school lunches---the smell!), crowds of students in the hallways, classmates, teachers, feeling like a fish out of water (this has never changed), etc.



  1. 7th & 8th grade has always been a hard time for kids hasn't it? But I think it's so cool your dad bought your first box of hair color! I love it!!

  2. Yes, such an awkward age! I mentioned to my mom the other day about Dad buying my 1st box of hair color. Her reaction was, "Really?!" She'd forgotten. Of course, I remember it distinctly :)