Back to School Memories

Every once in awhile when I take Sarge for his morning walk, there is something I smell in the air which reminds me of one thing: Going back to school.

It’s a combination of August morning dew, humidity, and the scent of Juniper berries with that sometimes overwhelming pungent smell of clover from freshly mowed grass. Yep – time to go back to school.

As a little girl, I would walk 8 miles to school in the snow with no shoes on…..and no coat. Leaving little trails of breadcrumbs so I could find my way back home in time to smooth out my curly locks and scrub the wood floors…Oh wait…wrong story, er, stories.

I have enjoyed watching my son grow up and going to the same high school as I did. And, NO. I will not devulge how long ago that was, but if you are a friend of mine reading this, you can easily do the math.

High school memories are what I recall most growing up probably because those years were the most fun I had as a young woman. Pep assemblies, bonfires, (before they were banned), sleepovers, homecoming football games, dances, house parties and Lancettes (our high school’s version of a pom-pom squad).

In comparing these things between when I was growing up way back when and compare it to today, there are certainly alot of changes. Let me give you some examples:  

1. When I was a Lancette, we wore heavy blue and white wool sweaters with wool pleated skirts. This was particularly comfortable during the beginning of the football season when the temperatures were still in the high 80’s. I kept asking for a sweat band to wear around my head, and got the evil eye from our coach, who by the way, knew nothing about dance. Our required shoes were white Keds and only white socks. That’s it. Today’s Lancettes have about a dozen costume changes with special dance shoes. Girls all have matching bows in their hair and something painted on their face to show school spirit. Their coach has been trained in dance most of her life and probably has a degree to prove it.

2. Cheerleaders are alot different too. Along with shorter skirts and a wardrobe change at times, these girls wear these HUGE, and I mean HUGE bows in their hair. I’m still trying to figure out why someone would think this was a good choice. Especially for a girl with thin hair, and even thinner waistline, that poor girl’s head would be pulled down by the weight of that fricking bow on the top of her head.

3. We used to build homecoming floats, and were allowed during homecoming week to leave school early to build them. This was one of the fondest memories I have! I don’t even remember what each float evolved into because I was busy having too much fun socializing with all my friends. Although the high school does have a parade (recently put back into circulation after years of being banned), I do not think there are any floats. Someone please correct me if I’m mistaken.

4. The Pep Assemblies are now called Pep Rallys and held at West Campus rather than East Campus. I have to admit the Pep Rallys now are far better than when I was growing up. The kids seem more into school spirit and there is more student participation with alot of fun competition among the upper and lower classmen. When we had Pep Rallys, it was the band playing the school song, followed by cheerleaders and Lancettes and finally the Homecoming Court. They still have a Homecoming Court and I can’t even believe that these girls are 16 and 17 years old. They look like they’re in their 20’s. Did “we” look like that? I just looked at my high school yearbook and can say with 99% certainty and we did NOT.

Yes, times have changed.

I took some pictures at last years Pep Rally, and how the football team got everyone fired up for the “big game”. As an alumni, you can’t help but get caught up in the nostalgia of it all. Every time I hear our school song, it takes all of my willpower to NOT stand up and dance the Lancette routine that accompanies it.  Believe it or not, some things you NEVER forget. And, I know I’m not crazy or nuts to think this because people reading this will know exactly what I’m talking about. Admit it, and embrace 17 again if only for a a few seconds.

Pretty soon, we’ll witness fall color foliage and the smell of burning leaves. Football will be in full swing and every Friday night, I’ll be there cheering the Lancers on to another winning game. But, these days my cheering is done from the stands, yelling out my kid’s name as he mows down the offensive line.

And, I may see an old high school friend or two, but as I explained to an old friend the other day, that when I see these old high school friends, I don’t really realize who they are until I’ve passed them up, gotten into my car and am almost pulled into my driveway.

The concept of time and the aging process sometimes makes it hard to ascertain who is who from your high school days, and you forget what people look like. However, one thing I will never forget is the memories that I have as a young woman during my high school years.

My son will be a senior this year at my old alma mater, so needless to say, reliving my old high school days on a weekly basis will come to a halt after this year is over. But, I may attend a game or two here and there. That is what Homecoming is about, isn’t it?


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