Thursday, August 25, 2011

1942 and You're a Freshman

August 25, 2011

Now with a new school year underway (as of August17) it is interesting to look back to one alumna’s experience in her years at Notre Dame Academy. So what did the year 1942 hold for a little freshman? Quite a lot is revealed as we open Rose Mary Henneken O’Brien’s album of keepsakes.

The first piece we see: Freshman schedule. If you were a little Frosh in 1942 you were in homeroom A, B, or C on the third floor (of course) and your day was spent navigating between these three rooms with a possibility of Junior B on the second floor, in addition to the sewing room on the fourth floor. Naturally, or so it seems, if you were in Division A and had class at 1:15 in Junior B (Sr. M. Constance—Algebra) on the second floor, your last class at 2:00 was on the fourth floor—sewing room with Sr. M. Verda for Home-making. The rest of the Division A day went as follows: First period: Religion in homeroom; second period at 9:30—English with Sr. M. Josette in Fr. A; third period at 10;25—Latin with Sr. M. Cephas; fourth period at 11:10--History with Sr. M. Sheila (still living, by the way) followed by lunch and study hall period; the rest of the day as above starting on the second floor, then dashing (no, girls, we don’t dash. We walk up the steps in lady-like fashion, staying to the right) to the sewing room. Divisions B and C girls had variations of the above with a few differences. You may have had Sr. M. Josita for History or Sr. M. Jean for Latin or Sr. M. Joselind for Algebra, but you did not venture to the second floor. Your Religion teacher was no doubt your homeroom teacher. Study periods in the middle of the day apparently allowed time for “physical training,” dramatic art and library science.

The next feature of high school life revealed in the album is the Uniform Regulations sheet with a swatch of material to show the color you were to wear—navy blue. Briefly here are the specifics: any pattern with silk, wool, or crepe material; elbow length sleeves; white sharkskin collar and cuffs (purchased at the academy); optional belt of the same color as the dress. Since this was wartime the students did not have to purchase hose but could wear anklets, white or blue.

The photo shows a typical bookmark with then Bl. Julie Billiart (now Saint) you could slip onto the corner of a page, and the paper hearts from a mission-support effort, possibly in February. Courtesy of Rose Mary O’Brien.

In future postings in this blog, we will continue down the 40’s memory lane.