February 21, 2010

Sharing Memories (Week 13): More School Memories (Gr. 7 & 8)

We are on Week 13 of our 52 weeks of Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey Journal. I hope everyone will join me this week to talk about more memories! Imagine how excited your grandchildren or great grandchildren would be to read your stories in the future.

Not everyone will have had the same school experiences that I did. I went to a different school between Grades 6 and 9, so that is what I want to talk about this week - memories of Intermediate Grades 7 & 8.

St. Andrews when it was first switched from a munitions factory to a school

In our little town of Ajax where I grew up, St Andrews was a school that only held 2 grades - 7 & 8. It was meant to combine the Grade 6 class from the "old" area of the town and the Grade 6 class from the "new" area. As the saying goes, I grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. Literally. The railroad tracks and a super highway (then called McDonald-Cartier Freeway, now known as Highway 401) divided our town.

The "new" area consisted of suburb type homes. The "old" area was wartime housing built for the women who worked in the munitions factory there in World War 2. There was definitely a class structure in place! New area kids did not usually mix with old area ones. We were the poor side of town, presumably not fit to enter the homes or play with those kids from the new side.

St. Andrews by the time I went to school there in Grades 7 & 8

So Grade 7 was somewhat traumatic! We old area kids knew we were going into a school where we were outnumbered by the snobby new area kids. It was a suprise to me that I actually mingled fairly well and made some good friends over the course of the next two years. So heading off to High School for Grade 9 was not as bad as I'd expected.

In Grades 7/8 I learned I was a decent enough singer to be chosen for Triple Trios. Anyone else remember those? And participating in the Provincial Wide Music Festivals? We did really well in one year, winning the Provincial title! But the only reason I did okay was that my best friend since Grade 3 was a very strong and good singer, and I always got to stand beside her! Without her, I'd have been wavering all over the alto part, unsure of how to stay in tune.

I managed to hang onto Janie's coattails all through our school lives, singing in choirs while her voice kept me on tune, playing French Horn (again sitting beside her) and having her French horn guide me to playing at the right time! Lots of fun and really good memories which I hope my children, grandchildren and other descendants will enjoy.


hummer said...

I bet you sung better than you thought but great that you had such a wonderful friend. I can't believe you played the french horn. I started the instrument in JR High too. To me that was the best time in school. Music.

JoAnne said...

After reading your mail I got the album out. I was there from 1955-56 & yes we did win the Durham County competition 2 yrs in a row. Mr, Pickering was the principle then. My homeroom teacher was Mr. Clarke. We all loved the the tiny,old singing teacher. She was always nice to the ton-deaf & let them sing,too. Only at the competion they had to mouth the words. We lived the farthest away from the right side of the tracks & only moved to the other side when I started at Ajax High-My brother just sold this house last week. I played the clarinet.We walked everywhere in those days & if you were lucky you had a bike.

Genealogy Blogger said...

@JoAnne - what memories! I cannot remember the names of any of my Gr 7/8 teachers or principal. I do have my report cards (I think!) and should dig them out to see what names are there. I loved that music teacher - do you remember her name?? She was so sweet.

I got anxious though when she would come around to your desk and put her ear to your mouth when everyone was singing! She wrote in one report card that I had a "pleasing alto voice" Hah! That changed big time :-)