I'm flashing back to high school today. High school in general was pretty awesome. I entered it kinda shy and quiet and left four years later as an outspoken class clown. I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing this awesome turnabout of my personality was the product of a single-sex education. We didn't have to worry about what we looked like since our uniforms were all straight fug. If we wore our maroon tights with runs in them two days in a row and they started to smell a bit funky, no one cared. We perfected "the knot" hair-do because we had no boys to impress with blow-dried hair. We just threw it up in a scrunchie right out of the shower and knotted it on top of our heads. We could focus on what type of personality we wanted to be that month without having to impress some boy we had a crush on. We could sit around the cafeteria scarfing fries and rice krispie treats without some d-bag high school boys making comments. We could literally, just be us. I mean, sure there was an all boys school sitting 10 feet away on our campus and every now and then we'd share some classes but they were on our turf. We ran the place and if we wanted to walk around wearing men's boxer shorts hanging out from under our jumpers, then we'd do it.
Unfortch, it seems that this freedom won't be realized by girls in my old 'hood much longer. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has determined that due to their shit-tastic running of their schools, several of our area high schools and grade schools will be closed. My high school is on that list, Archbishop Prendergast High School aka Prendie. They blame underenrollment. They don't blame the shit show they've created behind closed doors of the Archdiocese. This news is huge around here. Around here, when you ask someone where they are from, they respond with their parish...St. Phils, St. Joe's and the like. It's an identity for so many of us growing up here. And when they close those schools, so goes that identity. When they close the only accessible single sex education institution in the area, so goes that freedom to just be yourself.
A lot of people are on the SAVE PRENDIE!!!!! bandwagon, filling out surveys pledging alumni donations, plastering their Facebook walls with pleas to keep the place open, updating their statuses (stati?) daily with the school's fight song or wondering if they'd just let them walk through one more time. Not I though. Gathering in a peaceful protest on the school grounds will not move the Archdiocese. They are not moveable. So while I'm forever grateful for the opportunity to have gone to an all girl catholic high school, I won't mourn the loss of the school itself. I've got my best friends, I've got my memories and I've got my personality to show for it.
super talented writer friend wrote about this sitch much more eloquently. She's one of my favorite fellow alums.