Friday, May 21, 2010

Flashback Friday - Senioritis!

Tell about your senior year in high school. Were there any special traditions such as getting a senior ring? Were there lots of activities and parties as you neared graduation? Were you in any extra-curricular activities that had traditional "rites of passage" or "passing the baton" too the next class? Were awards given out - either serious or fun? Did you send out graduation announcements? Did your school have a Baccalaureate Service in addition to the graduation ceremony? If you attended church, did your church recognize/honor Seniors in any way? Did you keep your tassel - did you hang it from the mirror of your car or do something else special with it? What sorts of things did you get for graduation gifts? Was it a tradition to display the gifts in your home?

I loved my Senior year in high school. Well, except for my English teacher because she was dull as dishwater, and it was even worse because I had such a stellar teacher the year before!

Class rings were a big deal. We actually received them our junior year. You had to wear it with the school's name facing you until you graduated, and then you could turn it around so others could read it. And getting the ring was fun too. You had to have people "turn it" - rotate it 360 degrees on your finger - until you'd reached the number of your graduation year. So since I graduated in 1979, 79 people had to turn my ring. And the last person kissed you after giving your ring that final turn! I don't think they do anything like that now. I don't even see many kids today with a senior ring. My boy wanted one for a keepsake, not to wear, and it sits on his desk.

We had lots of parties toward the end of the year. Since I was in a church with a big youth group, that made it really fun. I remember a swim party, a party with a luau theme (see above picture. No, my folks didn't miss my date's head; I cropped it but left the rest of him so you could see how well his shirt blended in with our gold drapes!), and a couple of others. There weren't any awards unless you were in a club or something that did that. I was in journalism, and they had the Flak awards. I got the Lizzie Borden award - for wielding such a wicked axe when proofing stories as a copy editor!

I think we had a Baccalaureate but I don't remember much about it. I think my pastor was the one who led it.

The church had a Senior Recognition the Sunday before we graduated. We all wore our caps and gowns. During the service as our name was called, we walked up, received a book from the church (I can't believe I remember the name of it; it was called After the Tassel is Moved), and then told the congregation where we were going to college and what we would major in (or if not college, what job was planned).

The actual graduation ceremony was rather anticlimactic after all the fun activities we had. I do remember how much fun it was walking in to the music of Pomp and Circumstance! I've always loved that song. We didn't get our diplomas then, just a blank paper rolled up with a ribbon. When we went to turn in our gown, we exchanged it for the diploma. I didn't have a car, so my tassel hung on the corner of my bulletin board in my room for years.

Graduation gifts were a fun part of the whole experience! I remember getting practical things like toiletry kits, a tote bag, pen & pencil set. My favorite gift was a crocheted afghan from a friend's mom and also his grandmother, whom I adored. The mom was the woman I've mentioned several times - yes, the one who insisted we wear our caps straight and whom I worked for during the summers and who became a widow just a few years later at 46. I dated her oldest son off & on, and the other son was one of my best friends; he was like a brother to me. That family was such a special part of my life. Anyway, the afghan was a tradition that she & her mom made for all of the nieces/granddaughters when they graduated. I was the first non-family member to receive one, and the most special part was her telling me that they started making it during one of the "off" times when her son and I weren't dating. They wanted me to know they loved me independently of whether I dated the boy. I can still see myself sitting on the couch in their den with it in my lap, being amazed to receive it, and I treasure that afghan still today. I haven't been in touch with her in several years, and I need to write her a note. Here's the picture of my afghan and other gifts. Ignore the fan in the corner, but be sure to notice the puke green shag carpet and drapes. It was the 1970s, after all!

So that's a look back 31 years ago - gulp! It's funny how something can just consume your life at the time, and then years later you realize what a small piece of your life it really was. And knowing that my whole life will seem like just a blip in eternity!

Enough nostalgia and ruminating for me! I look forward to reading your memories. And I thought that this Flashback would hit a pretty broad spectrum of folks, but alas, the blogging youngster Cae hasn't graduated yet!

Sigh. I am feeling a whole 'nother kind of senioritis today!

Link up your memories here!


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Skoots1moM said...

you also have a 'steel trap' for a the heck did you remember all that? I need to call my mother and see if she remembers better than I do...
i'll be hugely busy 2morrow so I may not get to post again until after our BIG day of open house...have a great weekend!

Lauri said...

It was great reading your memories. I have mine typed up, but I want to add some pics before posting. It may be later tonight before I link up. Have a great weekend.

Admin said...

Wow, you have a great memory!

Dawn said...

Ha :) I loved your memories!! I have to say, I have always dreamed of graduating from my old home town high school, but that since changed. I won't get a diploma I'll get my GED, SAT, and PSAT instead. Maybe I'll write a flashback of what I want my graduation to be :p Your graduation sounded fun!

Cae ♥

Barbara H. said...

I had never heard of all those ring traditions, but I like them. And it is funny how everything about being a senior is SO big then, and now, though it makes for fun memories, it is just a blip on the radar.

And I am with you on feeling the other kind of senioritis these days!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Somewhere I have heard of that ring tradition, but it's not a Hoosier one, for sure. I add my kudos for the steel-trap memory, as well. Your post was so sweet it almost choked me up. You reminded me about how I still love to hear Pomp and Circumstance, but it makes me tear up for the parents' sakes. Thanks for sharing.

Susan said...

I never heard of the ring traditions, either! Finding 83 (the year I graduated) people to twist it around my finger would have been difficult, I think! ;) It is amazing how something so big at the time can fade from our memories so much. I can barely remember much at all about my senior year.

Cathy said...

Great memories Linda! Sounds like a very special time in your life. I love that afghan.

bp said...

Great memories!! I smiled at the turning the ring thing and and I remember you were supposed to wear it with the school name facing you. I don't know if I did either. I agree with your comment at the end about what a small part of life it really is.

have a great weekend.

quilly said...

The afghan is special. You really need to send that note.

I remember thinking at graduation that the best part of my life was over. ::shakes head:: Odd since now the only thing I miss about that time (besides my figure) is my optimism.

Lauri said...

Love the added pics. Is that a flower in your hair. :)