Saturday, March 05, 2005

1200 girls in one building!

In the post below, "Ten Things I Did You Probably Didn't," #10 is nuttiness I engaged in my senior year of high school. I did get three detentions, by the way: one for cutting religion class, and the other two for facetious reasons, singing badly and smoking, I think. I served them all in one hour and the jug teacher congratulated me. Boy, I got lucky.

What strikes me in review is that, if I had gone to a co-ed high school, I wouldn't have dreamed of pulling off that stunt because the boys might have seen me. In the bosom of the all-girl "family," even though life wasn't perfect (girls at Catholic schools can be total b****es, too) I had my own identity and felt reasonably safe to be me, within the limits of teenage angst, and me found in me that day an insane impulse to entertain.

More Catholic high schools are co-ed now, and I'm not sure that's a good thing. Am I being a grumpy-old, or are teens among their own sex freer to try new things, to take a chance, or is that merely the line they fed us when I was in high school in the '70's? Are there other outlets to try out and express your personality, equal to or superior to school life?

I flourished academically and personally in that atmosphere. But I had to adjust in college, and was quite maidenly in my reaction to men; I wasn't sure they thought like I did. I related best to them if I thought of them as brothers OR boyfriends, one extreme or the other; it took a long time before I could study with them or talk to them as friends.

I do not regret my all-girl high school experience, the benefits were measurable and lasting. But do you? Do your children?




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