Friday, August 28, 2009

Class of 1990

Twenty years ago today I started my senior year at St. Thomas Public High School, St. Thomas, ND. In those days I was quite the writer and I pretty much have a journal entry for everyday of that year. My plan is that on Fridays I’ll sum up some of what I did that week of my senior year.

For those who don’t know my background that well, here are a few points to remember. Our class had 8 people: Peggy, Margo, Jaci, Kevin, Jason, Terry, Peter, & Ruth. I came in the 3rd grade and thus was the “new” kid. One thing our class was known for was that we could work well together and make decisions pretty easily. Later in college I took a class in group dynamics wherein I learned that the ideal size group for problem solving has between 5 and 8 people. Any less, everyone runs with their own agenda; any more, you don’t have full participation. So our harmony as a class may not have been a matter so much of personalities as it was of size.

Also, being a small school, the teachers were pretty much one person subject departments, many reaching below the high school level into the junior high. So for six years I had the same math teacher. For five years the same social studies teacher. For all my years in St. Thomas starting in the 3rd grade I had the same music teacher, who also taught all the instruments and directed the grade school and high school bands. Others taught diverse subjects and levels which led to some interesting interpersonal dynamics. The school librarian had to put up with me for six years in Phy-ed, and was tasked with the near impossible duty of trying to teach me to spell for two years. Since this blog is public I will make reference to this after my first mention of each teacher's name.

The class of 1990 blog posts are about memories. In writing this I have no desire to bring up old grievances or embarrass anyone. The past is made up of only two things: memories and regrets. It’s the present that lets you know which one is which. After 20 years I can say that my days at STHS are made up almost entirely of memories. For those who were there, feel free to add your memories and make comments, I only ask that you be charitable.

Week 1

The first day of school we spent a lot of time listening to Mr. Hanson (principal, business teacher- 3 levels, 5-8th grade boys basketball coach, HS girls basketball coach, HS baseball coach, school athletic director) explain school policy. I did have some fun that day hanging out in the library and talking to Mrs. Barker (7&8th grade Language Arts, 7&8th grade boys and girls Phy-ed, HS girls Phy-ed, student council advisor, cheerleader advisor, HS play director and librarian—library served K-12) .

My big debate was if I was going to take Shop or fork out some of my own money to take a correspondence course. The year before I had taken both Basic Drawing and Calligraphy by correspondence as a way to avoid both Shop and Book Keeping and have enough credits. If I took shop I planned to make a bookcase that I could take to college. I was considering taking German if I did the correspondence class, or as I put it in my journal , “I need to choose between a set of shelves or a shelf of knowledge.” I chose the set of shelves. Wednesday of that week all the seniors spent a day out of the school to go soliciting for year book ads. Peter and I went to Cavalier. I was driving, but didn’t want to be. My mom made cookies for the car. It rained and we gave up going to grain elevators after two turned us down. Mrs. Kappel (HS English, Home-Ec 2 levels, yearbook and newspaper adviser, sophomore class advisor, volleyball coach) had a “few” questions for us about that. On Thursday it was finally a normal school day. In PDP (Present Day Problems) we had to write an essay in class describing St. Thomas. After that we started reading Lutefisk Ghetto. In shop we endured safety film strips.

At home, Mom and I went shopping in Grafton for clothes that I could wear for my Senior pictures. I had a quiet weekend that involved reading, mowing the lawn, watching TV and Church & playing cards with Mom. There was a note stating I was already feeling like I had been in school for a month not just one week.


  1. St. Thomas Public High School?

    That seems odd.

  2. Re-reading this post, I note the name of the city the school was in.

    ...So... umm... just ignore my inane comment.

  3. According to a book on the history of North Dakota town names that I glanced at in the county museum in Cavalier ND, town was named after St. Thomas Ontario which was named after St. Thomas Aquinas. Though when I tell people where I grew up and forget to mention the state, a much warmer climate comes to their mind.