Being a part of the “Baby-Boomer Generation” has always had its benefits, except when it came to attending school. I’m not sure why, but it seems that the school systems across the country just weren’t very well prepared for the masses of children that hit their schools in the early 1950s. All of sudden, the classrooms weren’t large enough and they were short on teachers and books.
Even after I had gone through our neighborhood elementary school, which was from grades 1-8, and then went to high school, there were still problems. The school bus I rode to high school was filled beyond capacity. We sat 3 kids to a row of seats until all the seats were taken and then the rest of the students had to stand in the aisle. We were packed in like sardines! It was impossible to fall due to the high volume of human bodies packed so tightly together.
The school cafeteria line was another problem. There were so many of us lined up for lunch that we waited in line for most of the allotted lunch time. Once we got our food and then actually found a place to sit down, it was time to move on to the next class. I learned how to quickly inhale my food and run to class.
I remember sharing text books with a classmate as well. That was sometimes very difficult because we had to remember to give the book to the other person in order for them to complete their assignments. One time I forgot to give the book to the boy I was sharing with in Health Class. He went to class without his book and then was sent back to get the book from me. The teacher told me I had to write 100 sentences saying, “I will not forget to give David the Health text book.” I was, by that time, somewhat of an “independent thinker” and felt like he should have come to me for the book before going to class. So I did not write the sentences. The next day the teacher asked if I had written them, and I replied “no”. He told me to write 200 sentences for the next day. I did not write the sentences and the teacher never asked me for them again. Whew!
In high school, we were assigned lockers which was something new for me. We had only 5 minutes between classes and our high school was on a campus with 4 different buildings. We had to go outside and across campus to many of our classes all within that 5 minute span of time. Because the school was filled to capacity, the stairways were filled with students packed as tightly together as we had been on the school bus. Just before the start of school each year, I always dreamed about going to my locker and finding nothing but a hole in the wall where the locker should be! Sometimes the locker was there but the combination didn’t work. I was always afraid of being late to class it seems.
I now look back over those days and they still bring a smile to my face. It was difficult for sure, but it was always interesting. By today’s standards, I feel like an “old timer” and I guess I am. I am just reminiscing about my own back-to-school days and before long, today’s students will be doing the same.
Source: Me – A Baby Boomer!