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SENIOR HIGH
OMG! I bet you thought I was never going to get my diploma! Where the hell was I? Aaaah, yes, moving from Belgium to Germany! Back when we moved to Germany, there were US military bases everywhere, all over the freaking country. Berlin still had its wall, after all. There were so many other DoDDS (Department of Defense Dependents Schools) that our sports teams didn't even have to play against any German schools, ever. My dad was stationed at Ramstein AFB, but we lived in Landstuhl which was where the military hospital and Army post were, and we went to school in Vogelweh at Kaiserslautern American High School, otherwise known as K-Town. The K-Town military community is the largest one outside the U.S. and we were surrounded by Americans everywhere we turned. It was really different from living on the economy, off-base, in Belgium.

The military housing that we lived in on Landstuhl hill was one of three 12-story high-rise buildings. They were "segregated" —our building had officers, the other 2 had enlisted families, but we all went to the same schools and hung out together. We lived on the top floor in a big 4-bedroom apartment with a balcony. I don't think I mentioned that for the entire 6 years we lived in Europe, we had no television, so we had a great conversation opener for making friends—everyone felt sorry for us and invited us over to watch the 1 English-speaking (military) channel that showed Dallas and Saturday Night Live and other bad programming from the States. I made friends with the oldest daughter (and the youngest) of a family on the 8th floor and their apartment quickly became my second home, and her parents my second set. I'm still in touch with a great many of my high school friends and was thrilled to see them at our 20-year reunion.

10th gradeAAAA! The horror continues. I promise, it gets better. Gods only know what happened to me on THAT school photo day—I look like something the cat dragged in. A velvet vest, a lace butterfly brooch and holy 80s, a cravat! A cravat, of all things. HEE! I liked my school, I had friends in every clique: cheerleaders, popular kids, stoners, nerds, whatever. I sang in the school choir AND in an inter-denominational church choir on base. I was such a good girl and was very into religion at this point: Bible youth groups, the works. Funny, when I look back on it now, because my views of organized religion are so colored by this period of my life and even though I have ultimately moved on, I had a GREAT time these 3 years.

11th gradeBy 11th grade I had had my fill of short hair forever. I went shoulder-length and never went back. I still obviously had curling iron issues that wouldn't resolve themselves for another couple of years, but I was starting to settle into my self. The stickpin cracks me up! Anyone else have a stickpin? I probably still have it somewhere. I don't think I was dating anyone at this point, though I had dated a long-haired rocker boy for 7 months at some point during 10th or 11th grade. I was still pretty much a goody-two-shoes though. I was already planning to major in art for university and was concentrating on art and English classes. My favorite classes were Humanities, Social Studies and Art. I learned how to do calligraphy and had started writing poetry. And was still a reading fiend, of course.

12th gradeFinally, senior year! It's funny—I think this one harks back to my 1st & 2nd grade pics somehow. I was a total social butterfly, busy all the time. In addition to all the choir concerts, tours and competitions, I was the manager for the dance drill team, had a singing bit part in our school production of South Pacific and in the yearbook Senior Hall of Fame, I was voted Most Talkative AND Class Clown. (!) In the spring I finally hooked up with a boy I had liked for a long time and we dated intensely until graduation, double-dating to Prom with one of my best friends. My dad tried to find another posting so that our family could stay in Europe but alas, bases were closing and military families were getting shipped home. We moved back to the States in the summer of '82, and I went on to college at Michigan State.

WHEW! I can't believe I made it through all 12 years of school photos. I can't believe YOU did, either! Especially after 8th, 9th and 10th grade! Hope you enjoyed the ride through these memories, bad hair days, Little House comparisons and all. Har!

Previously: Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Junior High
 nostalgic
mood: nostalgic
music: Huntunes—Bed of Coals


Comments

You're absolutely SMASHING in the last photo!

Pshaw! Thank you :)

What was all the drama about? I think you look very cute on the last two pictures, dare I say "attractive" in the 11th grade? I almost get a hint of Carola Häggkvist from the last one, and I believe you're only one or two years older than her.

(Anonymous)
loved it all!!

and it is so funny how despite the ocean between us and different countries and all that-- my school photos match you year-to-year for the hairstyles-- uncanny!

bisous, bp

Re: loved it all!!

I suppose double-dog=daring you to do your own series won't work, will it?

short hair definitely did not work well for you..hehe
i enjoyed reading all these!

(Anonymous)

Funny...you didn't comment on your apparel for the graduation photo- when that jewelry was the most unusual! Probably because you couldn't bring yourself to mention that you were wearing something of your MOTHER'S!! HORROR! those beads are handmade from the area of Machu Pichu. Love, Lizardmom

You're right! I didn't comment on my clothing! Actually, this photos always makes me re-think my certainty that I don't look good in neutrals.

Quite pretty, in my opinion! (well, apart from the late 70's early 80's hairstyles..)

I was rocking those hairdos!

senior liz must have had TONS of shy boys (and girls) secretely yearning for her. every bit as stunning as current liz!

What a babe! You look great, I especially like the last two.

aw, thanks :)

I had a huge collection of stick pins. I wore them in the lapels of my blazers. I also wore those huge fluffy stock ties- the ones you tied in a fluffy bow around the neck of your collared blouse. I was chic!

We were so awesome in the 70s and 80s! The mind boggles.

In the last photograph you look very much like a girl I once fell in love with, then she broke my heart.

I think it's fixed now though.

I'm glad to hear it's fixed!

I leave this in wonderment at just how young we are when we finish highschool. Do we know anything at that point? Lawd! So young.

(Anonymous)

Love that last picture, and the outfit too!

And I think I had the identical pink striped shirt when I was in high school. I thought it made me look all pulled together, even when I wore it with cut off shorts ;-).

julia@kolo

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

Don't miss out on the rest of them, then (further back) :D

I think you were quite lovely, and for the times the hair-dos rocked. So now I guess I'll probably slowly catch up backwards back down into your elementary days over the next couple of days. This is fun Liz. Good thing I don't have a scanner, not to mention that I'm not sure where all my school photos are, although they are around somewhere.

I think you should totally hunt up those photos! :)

There is always the "Someday" list, but what about a scanner dear?

I can't say much for the first picture (hehe), but I agree with everyone else -- those last two photos are absolutely beautiful! Nothing to cringe about there. Besides being lovely, you look so self-possessed and confident in that last photo. I wish I could say that about my senior year photos!

I don't cringe about my senior portrait, at least but all of junior high and that undead look for 10th grade...*shudder*

And I wish I HAD been as self-possessed and confident as you think I looked! :)

I also had a stick-pin or two. And I don't know why you were saying this last group was going to be the worst, these were nice, especially the senior year portrait. Now, the junior high years...

No, it was definitely junior high that was the worst (with the addition of 10th grade: EEK). :)

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