After battling through the junior high years, high school was actually tolerable. I had struggled with shyness so much during my elementary and junior high years. When I was a sophomore, I finally decided I had to overcome that shyness and start getting involved and meeting and working with others.
I got involved in some activities which made high school quite fun. I sang in several musicals, I was FBLA president my senior year and a member of FBLA and FHA three other years, I was a Tall Flag Team Member my junior and senior years (an officer my senior year), I was in acapella choir and I was Business Sterling Scholar. These involvements helped to make things much more enjoyable.
One of the greatest things about high school was I figured out that I didn't have to be friends with only those of my own grade. I found fabulous new friends, older and younger, who added dimension to my high school years. The only regret I have about that is the reunions we have don't include other grades. I must look into what it would take to change that policy.
I still rode the bus to school most of my high school years. Only during Marching Band in the fall did I get a ride into school because it was an early-morning activity. We had some fun times, did some great shows, and made good friends in the marching band. I enjoyed the competition season when we would travel to Salt Lake, Provo, and Cedar City to compete with other bands in the state. A tradition was to stop at Trolley Square when we attended the U of U competition. Everyone would eat dinner and spend a little time shopping before catching the bus on up to the university. My junior year, we left two girls who didn't make it to the bus in time. We were going to be late for our check-in and inspection if we waited any longer, so Mr. Holt made the decision we would leave the girls and make the deadline. How much more simple this situation would have been if we had cell phones like every kid does now.
A major memory I have of riding the bus during high school was when I was a senior and my little brother, Mark, was riding the same bus going to first grade at Delta Elementary School. Hinckley Elementary had closed by then so all the Hinckley kids, K through 12 rode the same bus. Mr. Taylor took a dislike to Mark within the first week of school that year. I truly don't know how anyone couldn't love Mark. He was so cute, he was really small for his age, and he had a sweet, little innocent face. He did; however, have a very big voice for such a small child. So maybe because of the noise he made, Mr. Talbot assigned Mark a seat on the front row. He wasn't allowed to sit anywhere else on the bus. My other brother, Jim, was also a passenger on this bus each day during this time. Usually, both of them would be off the bus and walking home by the time I disembarked. One day when I got off the bus, Mark was standing there crying, with two long, red welts across his face. I was immediately furious and started questioning him. He told me about an older boy who had whipped him with a coat as he got on the bus and walked past Mark in his front-row seat. Mr. Taylor sitting right there in the driver's seat had not said anything, though I'm sure he would have seen it happen.
I immediately looked around for the kid because this was his bus stop too. I saw him about a half a block down the road. I started yelling his name and running towards him, when he turned around and saw me coming towards him, he started running. I chased him for about a block before I caught him. I spun him around, grabbed him by the collar, got in his face and asked him why he hit my little brother. He gave me a smart-mouthed answer so without thinking, I slapped his face. I gave him a shake and told him if he ever touched Mark again he would have to deal with me. Then I threw him to the ground and ran back to Mark.
As we walked home, the guilt started flowing. I knew this other kid's parents and I was sure his Mom was going to be angry at me for grabbing, slapping and throwing down her fourth grader. By the time we reached the house, I was in agony over my impetuous actions. I confessed to my Mom what I had done and she said perhaps I should call Mrs. Talbot and apologize for roughing up her son. I got on the phone and told her who was calling, expecting an immediate angry outburst, when she didn't say anything I started telling her about the situation. I first told her about her son hurting Mark and then what I had done in retaliation. As expected, she exploded. She screamed at me to never touch her son again. I yelled back at her to tell her kid to never touch my brother again. After our little shouting match, I slammed down the phone and marched off to my room. I knew I had mis-handled the problem, but as a 17-year-old I wasn't equipped to deal with the situation.
Over the years of raising my own children, I've thought about that experience many times. I know I've had terrible 'Mother Bear' tendencies to protect my own at almost any expense. I hope that I've learned some discipline and restraint so that I don't enrage other mother bears in my quest to guard my own cubs.
I guess, like everyone else, I gained an education in high school. That education isn't just from books and teachers at school. I hope I can remember the lessons I learned riding buses, roughing up town kids, dealing with angry moms and loving little brothers.