April 23, 2009

Clements Hilda Family

Chapter 34.

I attribute a lot of who I am today to the people that I have been around over much of my youth. A lot of kids say they don't remember anything from junior high, maybe aside from the name of their home room teacher. But for whatever reason, I remember a ridiculous amount of stuff from those days. Even Mr Pechanec's S-Car Go! joke. In addition to my high familiarity with my times spent @ St Hilda junior high a mere decade ago, I gained a very good sense of the differences in student-products formed within Holy Trinity High's other 2 main junior high feeder schools: Holy Family & St Clements, through observation of and participation with many of these people through 3 years of high school.
Alternatively, if you were a millwoods "catholic" product but didn't end up going to 1 of these 3 feeder schools, chances are you were either too white or too rich for your own good. As a result, you probably ended up going to (most likely) AOB, Louis St Laurent, or some IB/academia school like Old Scona. This, no doubt, would likely reinforce your parents stereotypes and prejudices of what would be the ultimate way for you to succeed in life.
So let's try & wrap our heads around this. 3 feeder schools, each unique in its own way. Holy Family is recently credited with playing host to the teacher who composed the new HNIC theme song. Historically though, the school had been associated with a creepy-ish young male teacher who really liked teaching his students how to dance. Sketchy. But more importantly, the student-products that came out of this school probably had the largest impact of the person that I would become through high school and onwards. Disregarding the dozen or so total douchebags who thought they were god's saving grace with respect to their: humour, athletic skillz, or supreme intellect, this school produced well-rounded good (and not-so-good) Christians that would go on to have sound values and moderate temperaments. People like Mike, Gerad, Chris, Trevor, Tyler W, and Nick were some of the results of this specific school-machine. Each of them: pretty sound, simple people. Each of them: probably stopped me from being a big pot-head in high school, while still allowing us to all enjoy the dow of the hack. It's kinda a shame I don't have any of them as friends on facebook. In addition, this school also contributed some of the most sought-after women to our high school. Good genes, I suppose.

Next we'll head west and south (yes, demographics has a lot to do with geographics) to St Clement's: Jock School, or working-class suburban stereo-type school. Basically, if you had a dual income earning family and were enrolled in some form of community league sport for more than 3 years in a row, this was the school for you. Its products included the twin boblsed brothers/ NHL failures, the most popular girl from our highschool (~700 facebook friends) (although the Valedictorian was from Family), The Sons and Daughters of Teachers, annnnnd last but not least: The Crescent People. I think this was probably a little less "white" of a school than Family. It had some real issues with crime, including sexual predators after all.
Just Joking.
"Holy Shit! Who IS this guy?!"
The largest credit to this school would probably be The Father-Teacher, K. Whelan, who took the time to teach us kids chess and offered up Tuesday Night Ice Hockey @ the Millwoods Rec Center through July and August. Probably one of the most respected teachers out of the 3 main feeder schools. The crescent-people were a pretty tight church-faring community who all lived within 2 or 3 blocks of each other. They made a large component of the fundraising and parent council board. It was kind of weird, being non-religious going to a religion-based school, but I think for the most part, these families' hearts were in the right place - despite how much shame their sons and daughters would eventually bring to their god-fearing families. Nevertheless, Clements kids were pretty good. The hockey boys mike & paul and that little twerp matthew all had a pretty positive impact on me through my time in high school. "In This Duckpond, Leave Me Be!"

And so we come to the end. St Hilda Junior High School. What an effing gong-show. I had no regrets or sadnesses about my 3 years spent in this would-be green little cement box, although grade 8 was probably the toughest, as I had to start to re-align myself with a less judgemental, more bad-ass crew. This was the most multi-cultural school of the 3, with Tagalog becoming the unofficial 2nd language. Next to Cantonese. Just Kidding! However, in all seriousness, it was in my Grade 9 year that the Zeller's across the street finally closed its doors as it could not keep up with the thievery occurring thanks to 14 year old delinquents from across the street. Dom was even banned from the Mac's for life, but is now an engineer, so I guess he couldn't have been tooo bad a kid, hey? There were worse. This I know for sure. We have a pact and I will never say more than this. This school was lucky to have a cool young pro lacrosse captain (J. Bowen) who would teach phys. ed and sex. ed. This was probably important, cuz as far as I recall, we had some real sluts in that school too. (No names here.) We had fights. We had graffiti, theft, drug use, property damage. No sexual assault like @ Clements (as far as I know) - but we were otherwise a pretty unscrupulous bunch. No wonder I took refuge in the mild-mannered Family crew in high school. I could otherwise be in jail right now!

But right now, I'm bothered. Regardless of how well I might have turned out thanks to the decisions I have made over the past decade, I still have some pretty big issues with what's going on within Millwood's schools. Aside from curriculum even! Or extra-curriculum and the "demanding" life of teachers for that matter! Right now, a rat is running amuck. Someone is setting torch to millwoods schools. Most recently, St Elizabeth, which is adjacent to that school of mine, St Hilda, had one of its cubicles set alight. This is a year or so since the same thing happened to St Richards - my 1st school. And it pisses me off! Sure, I'm all about the anarchy & the rising up against the state! But I think a lot more ground could be made if letters were written alongside the arson attacks, detailing the many ways you are unhappy with the government's education system/curriculum. I mean, really - do we need more products like me (or any of the people that I have just finished writing about) "contributing" to society in the manner in which this "government" "educates" us to do so?! Personally, I think we can ask a lot more from our government. So I would at least like to understand the reasons behind the intentional destruction of all things (like hatred of the Alberta tories, for example), and whether this intention is even the least-bit founded or really not at all. And if it's not, then Just Freakin' Stop It Already!!! Us millwood's products are smarter at finding ways to "act out" than burning down buildings - schools included. Just be complacent, and go along with things for the time being, and when the revolution does finally come? Be ready for it.

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