Canaan Years - High School

As the end of 8th grade approached, (the highest grade of Canaan Christian School) my parents had many discussions as to where I would attend high school. The Harrimans attended Bangor Christian School - an hour drive twice/day, but I would have a ride and be with friends and Christian teaching. I wanted to go with them.

My father thought it best if I went to the public high school. He said it would make me stronger and give me chance to be a testimony for Christ. He said there were other Christian teens from the church in the public high school, and it would be good for them for me to be there with them.

I obeyed and was determined to make the best of it...besides, I liked one of the guys that was going to there. I visited one day in June and dressed in my new maxi dress...yes, it was 1972. From that first visit, I stood out as being different.

Each day, I caught a bus in front of my house that took me to the Canaan Elementary school. There I transferred to a bigger bus which carried me about ten miles to Skowhegan. Often the second bus was almost full, and I had to sit on the edge of the seat with my books and lunch and flute.

Although, the school allowed the girls to wear pants (only recently accepted), my parents wanted me to wear a dress, except on gym class days. My skirts were never shorter than 4" above my knee socks. If the other girls wore dresses, they were either maxis or minis (barely covering their panties.) I was only fashionable in my long skirts.

From the beginning, I decided to set my standards. I was known for NOT cheating, for doing my homework, not laughing at dirty jokes, etc. The other kids in our church were not in my classes and I was lonely. It felt like I was talking a different language. I didn't have any real friends, not really..except for one girl, Mary. She went to the Catholic church, but she had been reading the Bible. She understood me. We needed each other.

There were a few great times. I was in marching band that won 1st place in a parade. I learned to do a flip on the uneven parallel bars. I shook hands with Governor Longley and Senator Bill Cohen before they were elected. I loved French class...much better than Algebra!

But, I was often teased (even tripped in the hallways) because I was a pastor's kid. I was not invited to parties or dances - not that I would have gone, but it would have been nice to be invited.

Did it make me stronger? Yes, I'll have to admit that it did. I grew up.

I can't tell all my memories of my three years in that school. I'll have to continue this next week.

Be looking for a story on Friday
about one unforgettable day.


Anonymous said...

You were probably a good witness to those around you in public high school.

Marijo (Mary Jo) Phelps said...

Wow - thanks for posting these pieces. Enjoyed them much! I wasn't a Christian until after school age. Insightful.


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