Roadrunners, Lockers and an Anti-war March

I recently spent a week visiting family in Eugene, Oregon, where I grew up.

One afternoon, after catching up with my best friend from high school, I began thinking about all of the schools I went to, from Kindergarten through high school.

Here’s a snapshot of what I remember about each school.

School # 1: Howard Elementary School

howardphoto by Eugene School District

Grades: K-5

Mascot: The Roadrunners

What I remember: Getting in trouble for being too chatty. Collecting fuzzy caterpillars during recess. Jumping out of swings. Choir. Riding a big orange school bus. Refusing to wear anything but dresses during 2nd grade.

School # 2: Colin Kelly Middle School

kellyphoto by Eugene School District

Grades: 6 & 7

Mascot: The Bombers

What I remember: Choir. Walking to school. Dances. Lockers. Playing soccer (not well). Embarrassment.

School #3: Monroe Middle School

monroephoto by Eugene School District

Grade: 8

Mascot: The Mustangs

What I remember: Writing articles for the school newspaper. Hearing my favorite band for the first time (the Cure). Mom driving me across town to school every day.

School #4: Sheldon High School

sheldon photo by Eugene School District

Grades: half of 9th

Mascot: The Fighting Irish

What I remember: Eating bread and chocolate in French class. Carrying all of my books in a big tote bag instead of storing them in my locker. Being jealous of the guy who spent a semester as an exchange student in Japan. Getting tired of Mom driving me across town to school every day.

School #5: North Eugene High School

northphoto by Eugene School District

Grades: 9, 10, 11

Mascot: The Highlanders

What I remember: Football and basketball games. Dance team. Eating lunch at my locker if I didn’t leave campus. Walking to school. Mr. Jeffcott, Mrs. Vaughn, Mr. Hodges.

School #6: Helene-Lange Gymnasium (Hamburg, Germany)

helene-lange-gymnasiumphoto by Jakob S.

Grades: 11th (I was an exchange student during my U.S. 12th grade year)

Mascot: Hmmm…I don’t remember. I don’t think they had one.

What I remember: Taking nearly all of my classes with the same 18 kids. Writing with a fountain pen. The day the school let us join the anti-war march that walked by our school. Checking the board every day to see if any classes were canceled (they didn’t use substitute teachers for the older grades). Going for coffee when classes were canceled. And when they weren’t canceled.

How many schools did you attend while growing up? What do you remember?

About the Author: Cate Brubaker

Dr. Cate Brubaker is a re-entry/repatriation coach, consultant, and author of the Re-Entry Roadmap creative workbook and the Study Abroad Re-entry Toolkit. Cate has lived in Germany, worked and traveled in 36 countries on four continents, and has helped all kinds of globetrotters successfully navigate global transitions for over 20 years.

3 thoughts on “Roadrunners, Lockers and an Anti-war March

  1. I was in five different school districts during my K-12 years, though I changed back to one I’d already been in (Delton, Hastings, Delton, Cedar Creek, Gull Lake, Culver). When you add in changing between elementary and middle school or middle school and high school within the same district, I guess I went to seven or eight different schools. Even when I stayed in the same school for several years, I always seemed to be on the opposite side of the county (I lived in the country) from my friends, so I usually had to entertain myself outside of school.

    Fourth grade was one of the best years because I learned about how cool Switzerland was (cheese, chocolate, mountains, and a wonderful tree replanting program). We had something called Kid Town where we physically set up different businesses to learn about economics and being entrepreneurs, but it just seemed fun to me because some kids sold food, books, bumper stickers, and buttons, or you could play mini-golf at a single-hole course someone had made.

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