Wednesday, October 14, 2020


          For me , going to high school was a complete surprise. Most rural kids in my generation dropped out of school. The main  reason was a lack of transportation to get to highschool and another reason that kids were used as farm labor . It was a challenge for parents and students to make highschool happen. 

        For me, economics and technology were changing  quickly and it allowed me to go to highschool. Our rural roads had improved and snow clearing machinery became available. This meant that a student could get to school and back home each day. I did have a place to stay in case a storm came up and roads were not passable.

     So in September of 1954 I began high school. Each day I would drive  5 miles into town with another family to attend high school. Today 5 miles would be nothing. At that time it was a challenge. Today in that area children ride the bus for two hours to get to school. There are very few people living in the area.

    So what was my high school?  There were 26 students from gr 10 to 12 and one teacher. That's right. One teacher taught all the grades and all high school subjects. Sound possible? Well, it happened. 

     Prairie boy's gr. 10 photo. 

    So you remember that I was the only one in my class from Gr 3 to  9? Now there were ten of us in the gr 10 class. It was quite a change I was not that confident or sure of myself in that situation. 

     I also look back and see that I was not that well prepared for high school. Learning on your own meant that you missed many things. However, I guess I was prepared as well as the others. 

     Again in many situations we worked in groups on assignments. 

    The years from 14 to 17 mean that you are learning many other things outside of school. We spent more time with other teenagers. We spent time with other people who we didn't know. I learned that there were different ways to do things and different ideas and opinions. Being raised in a very small rural community meant that you were not exposed to many different ideas. 

    People helped me and I was able to overcome the things I was missing. Anybody remember how to factor trinomials? I remember somebody showing me this concept and I found out that it was very simple. This opened many doors in math for me.

    I still worked for my Dad in the spring and fall . Teacher's comments on my report card always referred to the issue of me missing school. I improved as I went through gr 10 to 12. I became more confident and finished high school. Many students did not complete their high school even though they put in lots of effort. One teacher even, a very , very good one just wasn't enough so that many students could succeed.

    I got to know the kids in highschool very well. I even got to ride a school bus for the last two years of highschool. We couldn't even think about school busses when I started high school. 

    So like many other things in my life high school wasn't planned but it happened and turned out to be successful. 

     Gr. 12 graduation. Prairie boy is in the back row first on the left.