Thursday, June 8, 2017

Throwback Thursday - The Notebooks

To clear up some confusion, the Notebook passages posted on Throwback Thursday were written by my father and found by me after he passed away. They were his attempt to tell the family history. He was in his late 80s or early 90s when he wrote them. Today's chapter:

As we progressed forward the end of the year it was examination time. The tests were made up by the school board, they were citywide. Lavonia kept me after school one day for some breach which I can't remember and she said that I would with my marks in French I was failing and I probably wold do the same on the French test and make her look like a bad teacher.

So I spoke up and said I'll do this if I pass the French test will you give me an A in French. She said yes. That it was a safe thing for her as she was sure I would fail it.

All students took all the test and there was still time to wait before they came back with the marks. Because our next step was high school. And those marks would be important as it would determine in part to what high school you asked to go and would be accepted. My father said I would not be allowed to go to East Boston High School. I had to go to Boston English High for boys. One of the oldest high schools in the nation. With Boston Latin its foe.

Of course, when I made my choice for Boston English, the teachers' eyebrows moved up.

The marks came back and Miss Lavonia said that she was surprised that I had gotten a C+ in French. She went on to say that evidently, I was able to absorb enough French for the little time I spent in her class.

I did well in my other subjects and was accepted at Boston English.

This made my father happy. I would be in an all boys school and would not be distracted. I was happy at the fact that I would be going to Boston English. But as the year progressed I sort of lost interest. I was 15 years old when I started at English High [ed: 1934] and 16 years old when I got after March. [ed: When Dad turned 16 years old in March, he dropped out of high school.] I was out of my economic class. My mother found it hard to see that I got my carfare back and forth. Lunch was another problem. There was nothing else for me. I could not participate in extra after school activities.

I wanted to try out for baseball which I loved but it meant travelling by streetcar to get to the field. And this would mean more money that my father would have to shell out, we were just getting by.

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing these stories. Warm greetings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by to read them.

      Delete
  2. The family history is so interesting. I am really curious to find out how your dad ended up a lawyer. I guess I will have to wait a few chapters 😉

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure he wrote about that. Not in this notebook anyway. There is one more notebook to go through.

      Delete
  3. Its interesting how schools haven't really changed that much, but then times have changed and in many ways schools are different. The fact that the teacher was more worried how bad she would look surprised me a little, but maybe that was her ploy to motivate your Dad. Happy another summery gorgeous day. hugs-Erika

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Miss Lavonia worrying how she would be judged as a teacher if Dad failed the end of year exams was a big concern. I don't think that has changed much. Seems when students fail, teachers are blamed instead of looking to see if the student should be held accountable because he didn't bother studying, doing homework, asking for help if he was struggling.

      Delete
  4. I'm wondering too, if your father dropped out of HS, how did he go on to become a lawyer? I bet that's an interesting story!

    ReplyDelete
  5. CJ...I'm guessing dad dropped out because of economic reasons? I ask as my grandfather's brother did; he had to help the family out by getting odd jobs and such. at age... 72... he earned his GED !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the reason he dropped would be a good lead-in for the next chapter.

      Remarkable that you great-uncle went back to complete his education later in life.

      Delete
  6. I find reading these stories so interesting! Sometimes, I wish I had something like this to read about my family!

    ReplyDelete