Saturday, March 20, 2010

Class of 1990 Week 29

Of all the weeks of my high school career I probably enjoyed this one the most. It was the week of the triennial school science trip to Florida and I was one of the few who stayed behind. Only Peter and I remained in the senior class.

My reasons for not going were two fold. On the one had there was my dislike of traveling in general and class trips in particular. On the other hand was the price. Most of the fundraising for the trip took the form of half time bingo at basketball games and calendar raffles. Since my parents are morally opposed to all forms of gambling these revenue generators were cut off to me. That left me with only the Taco feeds, about two a year that generated about $16/student going on the trip. Most of the cost of the trip would end up coming out of my own funds. Since I was planning on going to a private college out of state (an education that I’m still paying for) I was remiss to spend money on such a trip.

For a lot of classes I hung out in the library creating signs in calligraphy for Mr. Hanson. Mrs. Hollis had us creating our own newsletter on the computer. Mine was called the NonInformer and I sent it to Rebecca in Hong Kong. (Later I revived the title in college as part of an elaborate scheme to catch a man—it worked) Most of the classes ended up being combined. There were only eight of us sophomores-seniors that stayed behind. Much of the week was dedicated to the yearbook. Mrs. Kappel would have the Home Ec. class cook something and then we would all assemble in the Home Ec. room and eat and work on the yearbook. Some days four hours were dedicated to yearbook work. I also managed to get to the shop classroom and got my project to the point where I could take it home to stain and varnish it. I had copied a collapsible bookcase that Rebecca had bought from Target. In the end, mine ended up costing me twice as much as the original and one side was warped.

Some periods I spent shelf reading the library and going through the reference collection. I made a few changes. We had World Book encyclopedia sets from ‘74 through ‘79. None of the sets were complete and I reasoned that aside from going for the current set students didn’t really care about the year as much as they cared about the letter so I took all the back sets and arranged them by letter then year. We had like three As, four Bs, two Cs. There were also these books on the states that were arranged by the author’s last name but I alphabetized them by state. I didn’t ask Mrs. Barker if it was OK to do these things but I reasoned that if it made more sense to me it would make more sense everyone else. Three years later when I came back in college to do a practicum at the school my changes were still in place.

By the end of the week we had completed about 12 yearbook pages, I finished my signs for Mr. Hanson and made an extra one for Mrs. Hollis that said, “Work now, Procrastinate later.” It was a paraphrase of something my mother had recently told me.

I spent time at home planning my birthday party. I made invitations out of large index cards that had a folded crane inside. I was inviting my class over to my house for sukiyaki dinner on my birthday. When I told Peter about it he let out a yell. “I was going to get you a present.” He said, “When I was in the twin cities I found the perfect gift. It was Brad’s fault! I never got back to the store to get it.” He told me he planned to get me the sound track to the movie the Princess Bride. I was blown away. For me this is still the perfect example of “It’s the thought that counts.”

Saturday we had a Lutheran Youth Fellowship Zone Rally in Cavalier at the curling club. I didn’t curl but enjoyed hanging out and even got some of the other non-players to engage in a game of Ker-Plunk.

Sunday Dad traded pulpits with Pastor Watkins from Wittenberg chapel in Grand Forks. I stayed home. Typical of my high school experience, with music contests just over a week away I started to get a sore throat.

During the week, I wrote many times in my journal how much I was enjoying the week and how much I was dreading things going back to normal on Monday.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Class of 1990 Week 28

It was a short week with spring break starting on Wednesday. Spring break was always set to coincide with the North Dakota State Class B boy’s basketball tournament. Many people went to the games regardless of one's own school's participation in the tournament. Having these days off was almost sacred to the point that if school was cancelled for too many snow days it was preferable to go to school on Good Friday to make up a day than to give up the travel day to the tournament.

Monday I had a wonderful day. It was in the upper 40s, grey and foggy out. That type of weather has always put me in a good mood. Peter, on one of those many occasions that my class was left alone, something I thought was normal until my freshman year in college when a Foundations of Education instructor admonished us many times to never, under any circumstances, leave a class unattended.—but I digress. Anyway, Peter entertained us with his impersonations of some of the teachers. His Mr. Torgeson was very good.

Monday was also a first for me. I finished my draft of my Institute of Children’s Literature assignment and it was too short. My writing had gotten so tight that I needed to add substance instead of trimming word fat to fall within the word count. In college my tight writing style meant that I almost never reached the page minimum required/recommended by professors, yet in five years I only had one professor dock my grade for not writing enough pages. Most seemed to appreciate the way I got to the point. –The paper I got my grade docked on was a five pager—I handed in four—for Theology of the Lutheran Confessions. This of course was just at the beginning of laser and ink jet printing that made it possible to manipulate paper lengths with font size. My word processor/typewriter still limited me to pica and elite. Anyway, back to the subject at hand:

Tuesday was mostly useless, as are most days before a long break. I spent the rest of the week, reading, doing jigsaw puzzles, watching TV, and filling out financial aid and other college forms. I generally enjoyed my days off.

On Thursday I went to Cavalier and opened a checking account so I could send off a check to Concordia University Wisconsin with my application. The place looked like a Halloween Ghost town. Cavalier, whose school colors were orange and black, had made it to the state tournament and most of the town had gone to the tournament. So as empty as the streets were there were orange and black and banners and steamers hanging all over town. Before I went home I treated myself to a cream cheese croissant and a cabbage pocket from Burke’s Bakery.

Saturday we got snow. I wrote Rebecca a long letter; in it I waxed on about how someday I would write a book. Sunday the wind picked up. The weather was not bad enough to cancel church, but bad enough to keep most people away.


lhg edited and approved

Monday, March 8, 2010

Class of 1990 Week 27

Monday my class had a class meeting with Mr. Dick to discuss the senior breakfast that was scheduled for that Thursday. This was the tradition where the senior class cooked and served breakfast for all the teachers in the school as a thank you for putting up with us over the years. Even the grade school teachers came for this. It was always done in the Home Ec. room. Mr. Dick had definite ideas about what should be served and how it should be prepared.
"OK are you going to buy the cheap frozen OK that nobody likes or are you going to get the good stuff in the carton?"
"Who is going to boil the potatoes the night before so you can make the hash browns?"

I had never made hash browns but others in the class had and boiling the potatoes ahead of time didn't make sense to them. There was quite an argument about it that ended with him simply declaring, "Look, this is the way it should be done and this is how you are going to do it. So who is going to boil the potatoes ahead of time?"

Terry formally quit as Yearbook editor and Mrs. Kappel declared me to be the third editor. We had a meeting after school. Between class time and the meeting after we managed to finish copy for 3 ½ pages in one day. Margo helped me take down the volleyball posters in the gym.
Mrs. Barker sent me home with the play Feathertop so I could look it over and see if the presence of a witch in Hawthorn's play was going to cause any problems. When Rebecca was in high school they did Dracula and my parents did not let her have any part of it.

Mom and Dad spent Dad's day off by going to Winnipeg and spending it with Grandma. That night they came back and I leaned that Dad finally made his decision about the call. As I wrote it then, "We are (Praise the Lord) not going!"

Tuesday was spent working on the yearbook and trying to finish "The Time Machine" by Wells that I finally settled on for my book report that I thought was due Friday. Turns out Mrs. Kappel pushed it off till the following Tuesday.

Wednesday I reminded Mrs. Hollis about playing for church and she made herself a little sign that said "LENT church" that she carried around all day so she wouldn't forget. After the service Dad announced to the congregation that he was staying. Well, to the 17 people that showed up. The reaction was mostly positive.

Thursday we all showed up early at school to make the breakfast. I was the only one who served the tables. Mrs. Hollis came late so she sat and ate with us at the end of it. We got out of first hour so we could clean up. We finished early and those of us in Physics used the time to cram for a test we were taking that day. After the test Miss Kassian declared that she wasn't going to teach us anything new until the she gets back from Florida after the Science trip. In Business Law Mr. Hanson used the period to share with us his thoughts on the baseball strike.

I spent my study halls in the library as a "student librarian" I'd put papers on poles, check in the periodicals, shelve books and do check out if any grade school classes came in that hour. The study hall that hour only had two or three people and since the social studies classroom was cold, Mr. Torgeson often just brought the group to the library where it was ten to fifteen degrees warmer. Terry was also there and was trying to get Mr. Torgeson to tell him anything he knew about the book Robinson Crusoe. Terry was trying to read it for his book report and found it cumbersome to get through. When Mr. Torgeson didn't offer any assistance he asked me. I said I didn't know anything about the book but I pulled out a grade school version of it. 145 pages with larger print vs. the 350 page book he was struggling through. Terry took the book and Mr. Torgeson and I had a bit of a discussion about whether it was ethical for me to give him the abridged dumbed down copy. I reasoned that at least this way he would actually read something.

I was getting frustrated again with choir. I wrote about the quartet I was in, stating, "Except for not knowing the words, missing a few notes and not breathing in the right places, "He's Gone Away" is ready for state.

Saturday it was wonderful out: 37 degrees. The moon was full and you could see for miles. I took a walk by myself on the road. Sunday was even better, 45 degrees, muggy, windy and grey. I thought it was beautiful. I finished a roll of film taking pictures of the sludge in the ditches, snert, and various other early signs of spring. In the evening the wind died down and it was so quiet outside you could hear your own heart beat. I caught up on all my homework and even got some work done on my next Institute of Children's Literature assignment. Mom and I both agreed that it seemed like God's purpose in sending my Dad that call was to make us very happy about being North Dakota.


lhg edited and approved.