15 May 2008

Happy Days

My children attended the same high school I did (one is still there) and our experiences there couldn't be much different. I attended Berkeley High (yes, Berkeley) in the late '60's and early '70's. The yearbook was wafer thin, the prom was attended by a handful (no one I knew), there were no rally days or Spirit Week. 

You see, we had demonstrations to attend. We had tear gas (some from helicopters),  the Blue Meanies (tac squad) the National Guard and all manner of police. We had flower power and long talks about whether violent or non violent protest was more effective. The world was changing and high school traditions were of another era. Anything and everything was possible. The Civil Rights movement had stirred us and we were going to stop the war, the draft, and oppression of all peoples.

Not incidentally we also had drugs. Not just weed, psychedelics. This was a veritable must for altering one's consciousness and contemplating the deeper meanings of life. Drugs were NOT just strictly recreational. Today there's no pretense about it:girls and boys just wanna have fun.

Who had the better high school experience? Well I wouldn't trade mine for anything but I've spent much of my adult life regretting missing out on the "typical" high school experience most Americans enjoy/endure.

As Sly & the Family Stone sang back in my day, "Different strokes for different folks."

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