My Junior and Senior years of high school I attended boarding school. I was delighted when my parents finally agreed to send me to Concordia High School in Seward,NE. My sister, Paula, had attended there for four years. She started at Concordia when we lived in a small town in Illinois that did not have a very good high school. But, when I was in seventh grade, we moved from that small town to Grand Island, NE .
The education circumstances had changed for the better. The schools in Grand Island were good schools. But I had visited my sister in Seward, and had fallen in love with campus life. I wanted to go to there, too. We were not wealthy, so it was difficult to come up with the nesessary money for tuition. Miraculously, my junior year, my parents figured out a way to make my dream come true. I was going to Concordia!
Once that was obstacle was overcome, the next issue that came up was that my sister, Paula, planned to attend Concordia Junior College in Austin, Texas. My parents had promised to drive her there to check her in. That meant they would be gone when school started for me.
No problem. They simply dropped me and my possessions off in Seward a week before school started. I stayed with friends of theirs until the academic year began. On the first day of school I dragged a trunk full of my stuff a couple of blocks to the dorm and checked myself in.
What seemed a perfectly logical arraingement to me at the time seems quite odd in retrospect. Now, as I observe "hover" moms and dads taking their kids to school, and checking with them daily through twitter and texts, I find it amazing that my experience of living this big adventure, sans parents, appeared normal at the time. In fact, I thank my parents for granting me independence at such an early age. In my mind it meant that they believed in my ability to manage my life effectively, and it was a measure of their trust. I loved it.
I passed on what I considered that gift to many of my children. We took some of them to college, but, since all of them attended colleges "in state", many of them checked into their dorms with the help of their brothers and sisters, or their friends. (I went with them to check out the colleges, etc., but I liked to encourage their independence when they actually left home.)
Anyway, I loved Concordia. My classmates became family. We literally grew up together.
All of my sisters eventually went to Concordia High School, three of us for two years, two of us for all four. One of my sisters, when she was going back for her 25th reunion unconsciously refered to it as her "family reunion" more than once. That's exactly how close we became.
So, I hereby salute my classmates and schoolmates . Once again, as we say in Minnesota, "I love you guys."