Camille asks: High School? You're kidding, right?
Who thought this topic was a good idea? Probably one of the LadyKillers was Prom King. Or Head Cheerleader. Not me. but there were some good things about my time at RHS in Revere Mass.
1. Miss Wiley. A math teacher who singled me out, with 7 or 8 boys, for a special after school class in solid geometry. No one even bothers with that anymore; freshmen are too busy learning calculus already. But at the time, a century ago, solid geometry was considered "advanced math." I often think of Miss Wiley, who must have had her own math education in the 1940s, without much feminine company. No wonder she decided to include a girl in the group. Lucky me.
2. Miss Mafera. Our Italian teacher who stayed with us for 4 years, guiding us through L'Inferno of La Commedia in our senior year. We were oblivious to the fact that not every 16-year-old in a public school in a poor neighborhood read Dante in the original. Later, in college, I had to read a translation. What? Miss Mafera, who died a few years ago at 99, told us she took a class every summer in something she knew little or nothing about, so she'd know what her students would be going through in the fall.
3. Uncool Kids. Can you say CLIQUES? At the time, I thought I wasn't in one—the Cool Kids didn't talk to me, let alone invite to join them for lunch. Later, I realized I was simply in another clique—the Uncool Kids Clique. There were enough of us, so I can't say I was sorry being left out of the beer parties on the beach. (We went bowling. How Uncool can you get?)
I'm still amazed at the quality of education I got in a school populated at least 50% by first generation Americans. Science labs, extra classes after hours, a great Shakespeare teacher with a PhD (or else he was a retired physician, moonlighting, still using his title), and all the teacher attention you could stand, no matter which end of the academic spectrum you were on.
I wish the same for every kid.