Thursday, April 28, 2016

A to Z April Challenge: X is for Xtra-Curricular Activities

Genealogists and family historians get a lot of satisfaction from chasing their ancestors’ stories. Finding a diary, a message on a postcard, or a photo with a name attached is like the sun coming out after a storm. One day we will be somebody’s ancestor. We need to leave our descendants a little bit of sunshine too. So here is my story told alphabetically, not chronologically: Growing Up in Cradock.

is for Xtra curricular activities.

It was a well-known fact that to get into the right college, you needed to participate in the full life of school, not merely earn good grades. Membership in clubs and organizations would surely be signs of one’s leadership skills and social involvement that would impress college admissions offices. Therefore, I threw myself into many activities at Cradock High School, not just to pad my high school resume but also because I really enjoyed it.

Future Teachers of America

FTA Officers 1967-68
Moi standing 2nd from the right
I was a member three years and secretary for one year. Some of our projects included providing coffee and donuts for new teachers at the start of school, honoring teachers during American Education Week, remembering teachers on their birthdays, supporting a child at Christmas, and collecting gifts for a needy family at Christmas. During Teacher Career Month, junior and senior club members taught for one day in area schools; one year I was assigned a third grade class at James Hurst Elementary. Our club was also active on the District and State levels sending delegates to conventions.


Kappa
Kappa was one of the service clubs open to girls only. I wrote about Kappa on “K” day, but while looking at the yearbook for some pictures, I was reminded of some of our service projects: sending personal supplies to the soldiers in Viet Nam, visiting Naval Hospital patients, holding parties for the children at St. Mary’s Infants Home and Westhaven Boys Home, painting the bus ramp pillars and parking lot lines, hosting honor roll parties, sponsoring children at Christmas, awarding
savings bonds to selected college-bound seniors, collecting newspapers for Union Mission, making tray favors for hospital patients, polishing the Victory Bell and polishing trophies in the trophy case, and making crossword puzzle books for senior citizens. We always entered a float in the homecoming parade and supported our teams with spirit posters on game day. I was the Vice-President of the club my senior year.
Just a few of the members 1967-68
Moi back row 2nd from right

National Honor Society
Juniors and Seniors with a 3.0 average were inducted into this organization that recognized academic achievement. This was not a particularly busy group. Our main fundraiser was a SLAVE Auction, of all things. Members were auctioned to the highest bidder to perform such duties as carrying their textbooks and lunch tray. I guess we were not as sensitive to that term back then, but we raised enough money to award a small scholarship each year.

Shipmate
Shipmate staff 1966-67
Moi back row 2nd from right
(I was sitting on the file cabinet.)
During my sophomore and junior years, I took Journalism I and II as electives, so I was automatically part of the newspaper staff. During my senior year, I was co-editor along with my friend Judy, so we sat in the journalism classroom as our study hall since there was no Journalism III. Our advisor Mrs. Glazer gave us plenty of freedom to plan each issue which came out every six weeks or so. Many days some of the staff just roamed the halls under the pretense of searching for stories; sometimes we could be found down at the Shop wing checking out all the good-looking guys. In our more serious moments the staff cranked out stories that earned our paper top honors at the Southern Interscholastic Press Association conventions. We also produced a special Senior edition that contained seniors’ baby pictures, the class history, class prophecy, Last Will & Testament, class poem, class song, and future plans after graduation. Working on the newspaper was one of my favorite activities and surely the highlight of my high school days.

Quill & Scroll
Quill & Scroll 1968-69
I'm in the 3rd row from the back, 2nd from the right
Quill & Scroll was our local chapter of the International Honor Society for High School Journalism. This club was open to students who worked on the school newspaper, literary magazine, or yearbook. While this club was also not very active like a social club, we supported each other’s efforts to promote our publications. Some years we sponsored literary contests. I was secretary of the
organization during my Junior year.

Over the years there were many committees that I served on as well including prom committees, homecoming committees, and Senior Banquet committee for which I was chairman.


At every assembly, the Senior class took a minute to recognize a senior for outstanding service. I was very proud to be the first one in my class to receive the Service Award during the first assembly of our Senior year. Lots of people worked hard and made significant contributions, but not everyone received this award, so it was indeed an honor.

Membership Pins
Top: Future Teachers of America and National Honor Society
Bottom: Senior Service Award, Quill & Scroll, Kappa


If you’re caught between a xenolith and xylols, or even if you suffer from xenophobia, you should make your way to the A to Z April Challenge where you will be met with xenodochial xenagogues whose xenophilia will convince you there are no xanthippes among us.

© 2016, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.

21 comments:

  1. These were not the extracurricular activities that I had in mind!

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    1. HA HA now Bob, I'm not that kind of girl.

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  2. I imagine you were quite busy in high school! Lots of great clubs!

    Betty

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  3. I used to hate extra-curricular activities as a schoolgirl. I just wanted to get home and do my own thing. And as a teacher, I didn't really enjoy running the activities either. I was too tired and often grumpy. But the kids had fun and that's what mattered in the end. Nice post.

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    1. As much as I enjoyed it in high school, I did nothing in college that resembled a club. As a teacher, I didn't like the way my school handled club activities. Once a month, we rearranged the school day to hold all club meetings in the morning. When I was yearbook adviser, I had a room full of kids who were there just to be some place but who had no interest in being on the staff. That made me grumpy!

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  4. Nice use of the X!!! I have to laugh that you are always 2nd from the right - did you plan that?

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    1. I thought it was funny too, but I didn't think anyone would even notice. I started to say "Third from the left" in that Quill & Scroll photo, but what the heck - stick with the pattern!

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  5. I'm always amazed at how similar our interests are/were. I was a member of all of the same groups, except Kappa and we didn't have that at our school.

    Good job on figuring out an x entry. I was wondering what you would do for that.

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  6. Extra curricula activities in my schooldays meant the Stamp Club(stamp collecting), the Debating Club and the usual sports groups. So your post threw a fascinating light on American education. I must admit I have never come to grips with the sororities etc. I loved seeing the fashions and hairstyles in your photographs - brought back my own memories of the 1960's.

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    1. Kappa was not a REAL sorority because it had no national affiliation. It was just a service club. Our school had a debate team too, but that was too scary for me.

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  7. Oh my goodness Wendy. You were so busy! I'm with Sue..it's really interesting to see how different American education is from my own. At my school (which I hasten to add was not necessarily like others in Australia) - extra curricular activities was on a Friday afternoon. Each term you chose what you wanted to do. One term I did sailing, another I did golf..sometimes you could do carrer focussed type things. I think in the first term I didn't have my act together or something or maybe didn't get my first choice...somehow I ended up in a health centre or something...soooo not me....I couldn't wait to get out of there. I must confess that by and large I have an appalling memory and am very impressed with how much you can remember. Most of it is just a blur to me.

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    1. You had some enrichment opportunities that we didn't have.

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  8. I'm with Alex and Sue...you've given us foreigners an insight to the American school system. I guess there were students who were involved in a few clubs but not to this extent...maybe it's the lack of pins that was a disincentive?

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    1. Yes, the pins were a big draw ;-)

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  9. PS. That senior magazine with the baby photos etc would be fun!! In our senior year we had a snapshot of the prefects and their interests...rather tongue in cheek. Cricket seems to have been my obsession or was it the cricketers?

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    1. Everyone looked forward to the Senior edition, even the lower classes.

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  10. Boy you sure were busy!! I am a joiner and would have loved groups like that, but we didn't have things like that where we lived. Like Sue, we had things like the Photography Club, Chess Club, Debate Club, sports - nothing I was into. I did help out with the Red Cross when I could, and I was in Guiding for years.
    Good X word!

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    1. I was in Girl Scouts but dropped out by the time I entered high school.

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