Thursday, May 12

Mama Kat Thursday: Remembering 7th Grade

For me, 7th grade was 47 years ago.
So, I had to dust off some really old memory files! 

I started 7th grade in the fall of 1969. Vietnam was on-going, but it was apparently a forbidden topic at school. Talking about current events wasn't a thing we did back then.
I was sewing my own clothes at the time, so I've included some period sewing patterns, so you can see what was trending in 1969-1970 fashion.
Pants fashion was just beginning to transition from flared bell to being wide-legged from top to bottom.
My school, which was public, didn't allow anyone to wear blue jeans and didn't let girls wear pants at all in 1969. I remember wearing skirts and jumpers with old-fashioned thigh-high nylons held up by girdle-garters. Not the most comfy thing in the world. Panty hose weren't in widespread use yet, though L'eggs had just been invented.


I recall the school bus was still carrying all grades in one trip, stopping first at the Hall Grade School, then proceeding to Monrovia Junior-Senior High.
At the High School I had the new experience of changing classes every period rather then staying in a single room all day. I also now had a wall locker with a combination lock.
The school had two floors lined on both sides with narrow, tan built-in wall lockers. 7th, 8th and 9th grade lockers were located on the 2nd floor and the other grades enjoyed the privilege of being on the 1st floor.
I had precisely 5 minutes between classes to rush to my locker, if needed, and then get to my next class. The hallways always were a sea of people during these class changes.
I had 7 class periods a day.  5 were courses and 2 were study halls. 
We had a whole hour for lunch.

The most notable teacher I recall from 7th grade was my English teacher, Mr. Schneider. He was a quiet, youngish man of about 32, who always wore a suit and trendy print wide ties. He had short-cut brown curly hair and gold-rimmed glasses. A suit he often wore that I particularly remember was sort of a brownish-gold tweed.
It wasn't like he wore a classic blue or black suit. It was the 70's. Suits had more character then. His were bell-bottomed.
We used a very nice literature book that was a collection of short stories and poetry.
One of poems we studied was an old thing called "The Jabberwocky," by Lewis Carroll from his"Through the Looking Glass, " book, which was the sequel to Alice in Wonderland.
I hadn't read either of the Alice In Wonderland books at that time, but later I did as a result of reading this classic poem, which I've included here for your enjoyment:

The Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogroves
and the mome raths outgabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand: 
Long time the manxome foe he sought--
So rested he by the Tumtum tree, 
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arm, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves, 
And the mome raths outgrabe 


Music hits for the era I remember include:
Sugar, Sugar by the Archies; Age of Aquarius by the Fifth Dimension; Hawaii 5-0  by The Ventures; Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond;  It's Your Thing by The Isley Brothers and numerous other pop classics.
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Also, while looking at vintage patterns, I found this one.
I used to have this Simplicity pattern and I actually made that blue pant-suit outfit with the scarf, though my fabric was creme with a brown line pattern and I made a long orange scarf to wear with it. In  1971 sometime, the school changed their dress code allowing girls to wear nice looking pant-suits,w which were all the rage.
My Mother and I have often remembered and talked about that particularly memorable outfit and I thought she'd enjoy seeing the pattern again.
****
As point of interest: my school didn't allow the wearing of blue jeans to school until about 1973 and we all "chortled with joy" on that momentous day the dress code forever changed!
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What was your most memorable year of Middle or High School?


Thanks for Visiting!

6 comments:

Diana Davis said...

'69 was a watershed year for me at school, also though I was in 3rd grade. We had a terrible winter and I had to wait at the top of our driveway for the school bus. My mother chose for me to wear a completely coordinated pantsuit to school because of how cold it was. School wanted to suspend me for wearing pants. My mother fought back....not sure her strategy. But, she won and pants became okay on bad weather days after that. By 7th grade, we didn't wear anything else but pants- jeans, corduroys, 'dress' pants. Preppy was coming in so straight legs were 'in' at my schools.

Mama Kat said...

What great memories! I can't believe you had started making your own clothes in 7th grade! My how times have changed.

Emily Cullen, http://www.mamasick.com said...

Ah, I loved your memories! I was born in '69 but enjoy reading and seeing pictures from years gone by. Did you ever hear of a magazine called Reminisce? It's full of readers' memories and pictures I love it!

Kimberly said...

I love this. I remember the prints because my mom kept hers! She used to sew too. I would pick out the outfits I liked best and would ask her to make them for me and she would laugh saying that they were "out of style". I never got what that meant. I actually think she still has them stashed in her house.
Teachers nowadays - well I can't say all and I can't speak for all schools - don't dress like they used to. My son's teachers all dress very casually. One teacher wears tank tops and cargo pants! Kind of unprofessional if you ask me. But if you're a good teacher...I don't know. It's a different time I guess.

Christy said...

I'm a few years younger than you. By the time I got to 7th grade we were wearing blue jeans. My mom made my 6th grade graduation skirt and blouse. I was in home ec and made a butterfly blouse (I think that's what they were called, or maybe angel wings, can't remember now). And I did sew several of my own clothes. My parents had divorced by 7th grade, so my memories are not as pleasant as they were before 7th grade. We were listening to disco by the time I made 7th grade...ahhhhh those were the days, lol I'm popping over from mamakats place.

Emily Cullen, http://www.mamasick.com said...

I love it! Thanks for sharing another memory!

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