I know some people still have nightmares about High School, but I loved every second of it. To give you some background information I went to a Catholic girls only school, and I attended from 3rd grade all the way to 12th. High School in Argentina is 5 years, and in my school there were two classes. I took the Humanities emphasis, and my friends and I despised the girls in the Commercial track. We were so more cultured than them, you see. I sat next to the same girl for five years, just because on the first day of first year I had promised her I would, and boy did I ever regret a promise more! But I kept my word, and I have the funniest and most tender memories of that hippie girl who, I realize now, was such a wonderful friend to bear my tempers. I became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon Church) on my third year, and she was always very supportive of me and my decision. She was really the only one I could talk to without thinking I was trying to convert her to my new faith.
Contrary to what some people may believe, a school just for girls was a lot of fun! How we talked to the mother superior to turn in into a school for girls and boys, but she always said no. To my astonishment, when I went back to Argentina three years ago I found out they had finally admitted boys! Can you believe it? But I wouldn't have changed a thing. We didn't have mass every day, just for special occasions, but there was a prayer service before school started (we went in at 7:15) and a lot of the girls, myself included, went if only to find shelter from the cold in the winter. I found peace in the church, and even though I wasn't a believer, I loved going into the darkened chapel and just sitting on the hard wooden pews. My school was Franciscan, so the church was very simple, and I appreciated the opportunity to just go there and hear the muttering of prayers, and see the nuns doing their rituals.
Even though there were no boys in my school, there was a school very close to ours that had previously been a boys school and had recently accepted girls. The guys looked so handsome in their uniforms! And we were very happy we wore pretty plaid skirts, whereas the girls from the other school only wore boring gray. Gray pants were awesome for the boys, gray skirts awful for the girls!
I made lasting friendships, after all I seemed to spend more time with my friends than with my family; the school day seemed so long, and we met a lot after school too. We cared about each other, and yes, we gossiped too. Unbelievably, we were good girls. There was one who had a baby when we were fifteen, and we were so sad for her! Her baby was beautiful, but even then, we realized how different life would be for her. We could still be girls, and have fun.
I am so happy that through facebook I could find so many of the girls I had not heard anything from in about 13 years! Some still look the same, others have changed so much I barely recognize them. With my closest friends I kept in touch of these years, and having that line that connects me to Argentina, to my youth, has been invaluable to me.
I just wish I could have enjoyed those happy years more. Not that I'm not happy now, but I had the goal of coming to the States to go to BYU, and that required so much time, effort, study, sacrifice, and once in college it was more of that strife, and that burning desire to learn and do it all. It's only now that I can do what I love, sit and drink mate and read a book, and research about anything I want, and not have that stress. Only a different kind of stress.
I didn't go to my graduation dance because I was taking the SAT in Buenos Aires the next day, and I never regretted it because I got awesome marks, but deep down, I'm still sad about that.
Life really passes as a dream. Sometimes I dream I go to school wearing high heels instead of the black mary janes, and I wake up totally mortified. Jeff dreams he forgot to take a math test and he can't graduate!
But what fun times! What wonderful memories! There was a spice refinery close to my school, and even though I never liked coffee and of course I don't drink it now, the smell of coffee and the crispness of Fall always take me back to those days.
Before I know it, it will be time for my kids to go to High School, and even though theirs will be a completely different experience from mine, I'm already looking forward to their school sports, dances, and oh the dresses!!!!