Saturday, May 15, 2010

Class of 1990 the last week of school


I had earned enough extra credit from yearbook that I had points to spare. I tried selling them to the highest bidder. Jaci and Peggy were both interested but Mrs. Kappel said no.

I started working on creating an inventory database for the science room.

Sarah was back from her weekend in Minot with Bob and his folks. She picked me up from school and told me stories on the way home about his folks' “yapping dog.”


Terry found an article about the class’s kindergarten graduation that he was going to give to somebody to use in their speech. He then looks at me and says, “You didn’t go to kindergarten here. That means you’re not really part of the class.”

At lunch Peter, Kevin, Peggy, Margo, Jaci, and I skipped the chili being served at school and headed out to find some lunch. First we were going to Jaci’s but then we changed our minds and headed for Kevin’s house. Halfway there Peggy’s dad picked us up and drove us. I think we had frozen pizza. After we ate, we walked back to school side by side spanning the witdth of Main Street.

In girls Phy-Ed we talked Mrs. Barker into letting us play mat ball. It’s a form of kickball that has a few odd twists. One, the ball is set, not rolled to the kicker. Two the bases are large tumbling mats that can hold multiple runners. You run 1st to 3rd base twice before heading home. The only time you have to run after you get to 1st is when the last kicker is up. You can only go through the kicking order once. It was a game none of us had played since the 6th grade and we had to go down to the 4th grade room to get the mats. It was a lot of fun and for the first and only time in my gym class life I caught a fly ball.

At home I finally finished my bookshelves.


I spent most of the day putting the science room’s inventory into an Apple Works Data Base for Miss Kassian. The junior honor students called “gray gowns,” though they didn’t wear gowns at graduation, but rather got gray ropes to wear, served as ushers at graduation. They got to pin flowers on parents of the graduates, hand out bulletins, and before graduation they had to put the senior class motto up on the gym wall next to the stage. Our class colors were green and silver so they had to cut out the letters and put tin foil cut outs behind them. Jr. Stephanie didn’t like our motto because it was too long. The juniors were working on the letters in the library and some of my class was supervising when Mrs. Barker came in and scolded us for sitting on the tables. She just noticed that I was one of them sitting on the tables when the bell rang. Wednesday it was official, my marks were good enough that I was exempt from my finals.


I went to school just long enough to practice our song for graduation. Sarah and I went to Grafton so I could shop for a gift for my LYF friend Linda. We also stopped at the school in Grafton and filled out forms to work for the Migrant School in the summer. I would be working in the 3 year old room. At home I finished making cards for all my classmates and Mrs. Hollis showed up so my mom could help her sew a quilt for a wedding. I finally got to working on my speech and went to bed about 2:00 am.


I got to school too late to practice our song for graduation. I went to the library and finished writing my speech and then went to the computer room to type it out. After that it was off to graduation practice.

Part of the object of graduation in St. Thomas, North Dakota is to make it last at least one hour. It’s a town event and people want to feel like they traveled to see something. With only 8 students this took some practice. We got to walk in two at a time but we had to walk very slowly. I was paired with Peggy since we would split up at the stage and come in at opposite sides, and we needed to be in alphabetical order once we were up on stage. As I noted in my journal: “If I walked any slower I’d be standing still.” We ran through our speeches. I was last and Mr. Dick made no corrections to my volume and speed. Even though he had imposed minimum lengths (A rule invention that I credit to my sister Sarah who was the sole honor student at her graduation and gave a speech of less than two minutes) he didn’t seem to mind that mine was a bit short of the five minute minimum. Another time consumer was that when we received our diplomas we had to walk the entire stage. The moving line started from the podium and we had to again practice walking slowly across the stage to the table with the deplomas. When Mr. Hanson called my name I corrected the pronunciation of my last name. He yelled at me. “You’re family has been here 10 years and nobody ever told me I was saying your name wrong?!” Rebecca later told me that she had tried several times to correct him when she was a freshman, but gave up after a while.

At home I wrapped my classmate’s gifts in Winnipeg Free Press comic pages from 1980—the year I moved to North Dakota. I don’t think anyone got the connection. Dad started bugging me about my warped book case side and felt I should make a hook to hold the shelf tight to the side. I finally told him, “If you want to make a hook, go ahead.” And he did.

That night mom drove me to Niagara to attend Linda’s graduation. We spent a little time at her open house before heading home.


I watched Loony Toons,.cleaned my room, trimmed the grass, watered the flowers, retyped my speech, and took a long walk. Aunty Norma and my cousin Colleen came and we all sat up and talked until past midnight. Mom was busy getting food ready for the open house after my graduation. She had borrowed these fancy coffee pots and I thought they looked stupid.


lhg edited and approved

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