Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What about the 8th graders you may want to know???

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Well I wasn't in time to talk about my experience graduating from the 8th grade as I was for my experience in talking about graduation from kindergarten (kgs) yesterday. Yesterday the 8th graders had their commencment and on this day kgs have theirs both Bennett & Shedd at Bennett's auditorium.

Strangely enough my folks didn't have many pictures of the ceremonies. There was a ribbon pinning ceremony where the parents would walk onto the stage to pin a ribbon on me. Then after that the actual graduation which took place just about the last week of June the year I graduated.

In any case one of the many tassles hanging on a pin in my room included one from my 8th Grade commencement. I still have a few artifacts from that time even though I'm closing in on almost two decades since that time. As part of my grad regalia in addition to a cap and gown with an unattached tassle, there was also a kente scarf and a medal.

Not sure where my actual cap and gown is but I still have the medal and it's not particularly fancy but something I still treasure enough to get the medal itself attached to the ribbon again. The ribbon is red, black, and green and most likely to emphasize our African roots. I couldn't possess my kentae scarf because my mom would appropriate it whenever possible.

Somewhere around the house are the tickets from the graduation. I also ran across a program and my certificate. Also I do have a class picture which is really just all the portraits of not only my graduating class, but also the teachers, counselors, and administration at Bennett School.

Unfortunately if I wanted to share that I would have a tough time. The class picture is a little too large to just put on my HP scanner at home. :(

Unfortunately we had to sing at our graduation and when I rehearsed the ceremony some teachers discouraged it. My 8th grade teacher since I didn't get the step right to his satifaction said I had to march by myself when others marched in pair. Unfortunately we also had to sing some knock off songs such as "Kiss 8th Grade Goodbye" based upon the song "What I did for love". That in addition Bennett's school song.

Anyway at some point I was glad it was over and off to bigger and better things. On some level however I'm excited in more ways than one of the current crop of 8th graders.

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's graduation season at Bennett-Shedd...

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Today Bennett's 8th graders had their commencement. Tommorrow - June 14th - there will be a ceremony for Bennet-Shedd's Kindergartners (KGs). It was announced at the last LSC meeting that they wanted to bring the KGs from Shedd so that they can also use Bennett's auditorium.

When I graduated from Shedd's KG program years ago, there was a ceremony held at the Shedd's auditorium/gymnasium. We used a stage or platform that could be pulled out for specially occasions such as awards ceremonies.

I unfortunately do not have many reminders of this ceremony except more than likely a cap & gown where the tassle was attached to the cap. Probably because young children tend to lose things. I have no certificate from back then and I no longer have my KG class pic. Also I recall finding a program from that day and didn't have the foresight to hold onto one of those.

There are pics that are in an album around the house with pictures of my and my family on the day of the KG ceremony. Around the time of my KG ceremony my bother graduated from Harlan High School. So there are some pictures in that album of him doing commencement at Third Baptist Church near 95th & Ashland.

Either way Shedd's auditorium/gymnasium also became the schools' lunchroom and computer lab before I moved onto Bennett School for 7th & 8th grade. For the purposes of a computer lab the school librarian - Mr. Hackenbrock - would roll the computers on trolleys in order for us to mainly play various computer games. Some of us would play a version of Prince of Persia but also Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, or even Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?

After many years of either allowing students to leave home to eat lunch or most students bringing a lunch to school with them, Shedd brought in the lunch program. Thus the gym also became a lunchroom and when there was gym classes usually on Thursdays classes would be held with folded lunchtables and platforms for assemblies off to the side. Rarely as obstacles but they were there.

Well this year KGs won't have the experience I had close to a quarter of a century ago. Can't believe it's been that long ago, but this post was allowed to go a little too long this evening. :P

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dr. Barbara J. Ellis Media Center

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Or the Bennett School library with a banner and a portrait of the late Principal Barbara Ellis. There was a dedication ceremony for the library last month as the library was closed for renovation in time for the May LSC meeting. This was taken before the June LSC meeting convened on Wednesday! In fact one issue they discussed was the Principal vacancy and how to conduct it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Class pictures of Bennett School back in the day...

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[VIDEO] This was posted at YouTube by RoselandTom just last year. He probably remembers the Roseland of years past. There is a community of such people who has good memories of the neighborhood. Technically Bennett School and even Shedd School is located in the Roseland community area on the south side of Chicago.

Anyway the pictures seen here with more recent shots of Bennett School features pictures of past students of the school going back to between 60+ to 50 years ago. Bennett is a very old school believe it or not.