Thursday, January 5, 2012

52 Weeks of Personal Genalogy & History High School

High School: Describe your middle and/or high school. Was it a large or small student body? Is the school still in existence today? How has it changed since you went there?

I had the unique experience of going to a brand new school.  The school was so new the day it opened the roofs were still not on the two buildings present on campus.  I just noticed on the website that it is celebrating 50 years.  1961 – 2011.  Quote from the website: “CGHS opened its doors to 176 freshmen and sophomores on a sand-strewn campus with two partially completed buildings.”  I was a freshman, and the first graduating class to attend all four years at Cardinal Gibbons but the second class to graduate.  The area was so underdeveloped that there was a rattlesnake on campus one day.  Luckily no one was bitten and I think animal control was called.  Such are the adventures of attending a new school.  New buildings were added while I attended.   
The school was co-institutional when I attended.  The boys were in one building and the girls in another building.  The girls were taught by the nuns and the boys by priest except some of the priest taught chemistry and physic to both the girls & boys.  We could mingle during lunch and we called the area were me mingled, “Check Point Charlie”. 

My path was college prep but the principle was very concerned that I would never graduate from high school.  She called my parents in for a conference. She is the one who told me I was too stupid to be a nurse.  So at my 10 year reunion I mentioned to her I was a semester away from having my BSN and had been a licensed RN for many years.  She stood there in front of me and said, “I knew you could do it you just had to do it your way.”  Well I who have never hit a person in my life felt my right arm and fist curl back for a swing. I was so furious, not an encouraging word the whole time I was in high school, but now that I had fought and slaved to make it, it was like yeah I knew it all long.   Lucky for both of us I just walked away.   Now I think of it this experience has made me who I am today and so it was worthwhile. 
Mary on campus 1965 a Senior

I didn’t like high school; I didn’t like the girl - boys stuff, the competition, and the clicks.  The only years I felt like I was successful were the years they split the class by grades.  So the excelling students were in one group and they who had to study very hard students were in the other group.   I became the top of class in my group, the ones who had to study hard and that felt good not to have to compete with the brainiacs. 
It was also a difficult time at home as during those four years of high school my Mom was fighting cancer and finally lost the battle when I was a senior.   I wanted to go to the public high school but my Mom was a firm believer that a Parochial school education was better. I did get a very good education. 

My high school is still there and now boasts 10 buildings on campus.  I attended Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

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