Saturday, May 17, 2014
TRANSITIONS: Part 4--First Year of High School
As difficult as my intermediate school period was, my sophomore year at President William McKinley High School was not much better. The campus itself was named after our 25th president in 1907 after he was assassinated in office in 1901.
In my days, McKinley was called Tokyo High because there were so many Japanese students. Not sure what percentage, but certainly greater than 50%. Today, with four grades (we had three), the school has a much lower enrollment and has less than 10% of Japanese ethnicity.
This was now high school for me, so we had to wear shoes. However, for some reason, while in the 7-9 grades we did not walk to school together, in our sophomore year of high school, our gang walked as a group. Essentially, the person furthest away picked up the next, and the 8-10 of us eventually found our way to McKinley High School, about half a mile away, if not further.
The problem with this system is that we frequently were tardy. If you did not report to your homeroom on time, you had to return for an hour of penitence. We spent a lot of time after school.
There were probably 300 students in our sophomore class. Each English-Social Studies class had, perhaps, 30 students, so there were 10 groups, sorted by some combination of intelligence and past success. I'm guessing, but I was probably in class #3, with #1 comprised of the smartest students.
Around this time, the Kakaako area was being re-developed, so during my sophomore year my family moved to Kalihi. I thus had to catch a bus to school, and never again was tardy to school. Tomorrow I report in some detail on how this transition changed my whole life.