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Auld Lang Syne 1969

by Eva Pasco

Auld Lang Syne 1969 

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?  Not 1969…the year which closed the lid on the Sixties without smothering its cultural revolution. 1969 rose to prominence as the year I graduated high school during a time students were tracked as college prep, business, or "generally lost."  The caption beneath my photo inside the Conspectus '69 yearbook indicates my ambition to become an English teacher...more on that later.   


1969 was a pivotal year for Lincoln Senior High as its curriculum offered an advanced class of Chem Study for a select bunch of six. We orbited around electron configuration and atomic mass/ number   This high wire act not only balanced equations with the greatest of ease, but consorted with metalloids, alkalines, halogens, and other heavies making up the Periodic Table of the Elements. Why, I may not be able to get a soufflé to rise, but to this day  can rattle off Avogardro's Number in scientific notation.  B is for Boron boring... 


That year Miss N organized a short holiday field trip for the National Honor Society to a nursing home.  Our own version of Bob Hope's entertaining the troops, we were to sing and mingle with the seniors to boost morale.  I made it through the fa la la's but after only one "one on one," ducked around the corner to cry.  Miss N admonished me not to let them see me crying because they'd feel bad, and to get back out there, but I wouldn't budge.   


1969 was the year I penned a Romance novella entitled Stoker.  Typed on a Smith-Corona electric, my literary work consisted of a cover pasted with magazine cutouts and a sheath of orange paper held together by fasteners.  Nevertheless, the librarian made this shallow reservoir available for signing out. The enthusiasm in which this jalopy copy was received by my peers stoked my ego.  


Somewhere inside the conspectus of 1969 I organized a group of friends to audition for the Senior Variety Show. Such stiff competition!  No small wonder our karaoke skit to "Harper Valley PTA" didn't make the grade. 


Though I never considered myself a rabble rouser, I defied authority and convention in my own quiet manner that senior year.  As teachers urged their college bounds to apply to at least three colleges, I applied to one --  Rhode Island College , accredited as one of the top three teaching institutes in the country.  Since I ranked 5 out of 200 in academic standing, I developed a chip on my shoulder. As if that wasn't going out on a limb quite enough, one of my teachers took me aside, telling me in no uncertain terms my college choice was not up to par with my potential.  She insisted I apply to Colgate. I resisted and desisted. 


My graduation ceremony took place on a sunlit evening across the school's front lawn decked with folding chairs. My best friend Elaine was valedictorian. The theme of her convocation, "masks," counseled a future generation of 18 year olds to be true to ourselves and stand firm in our beliefs.  


Lest old friends be forgotten...Elaine attended the University of Rhode Island . I was accepted at Rhode Island College , and during the course of my studies, decided to pursue elementary education.  Four years later, and one sixth grade elementary position available in Lincoln  for hundreds of candidates to vie for, Elaine and I were the top two contenders equally qualified.  The straw to break the camel's back granting a decision in my favor was my letter of application.


After turning my tassel at the conclusion of the graduation ceremony, I never turned back once I walked off the grass, heading for greener pastures of the future. Not one to revisit the past, I've never attended one of my high school reunions.  For auld lang syne, I've preserved memories worth keeping.  I assure you they are intact as Avogadro's number.


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Underlying Notes by Eva Pasco  An E. Quiche by Eva Pasco



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