06 December 2012

Bangor Junior High School-Those Places Thursday

It was the fall of 1978 and my senior year at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan.  As an education student, it was time to make a decision on where I would do my student teaching.  I wanted a new experience and decided not to stay in the Kalamazoo area to do it.  My first choice was High School Home Economics in Frankenmuth, Michigan, but when I got my assignment I was assigned to Bangor Junior High School in Bangor Township, Michigan, near Bay City, Michigan.  I did get Home Economics, so that was good.

I didn't realize what a big move that would be at the time.  I had to find temporary housing in a short (two months) time, move, and be ready to student teach by January.  Luckily, the school district had a list of places to rent for student teachers.  I made a few calls, set up appointments, and headed to Bay City to check them out.  I found a women who had a bedroom to rent in a two bedroom apartment within walking distance to the school.  I liked the apartment and felt it was a good fit, so I signed up for that.

During Christmas vacation, I moved to Bay City, Michigan eager to start my student teaching.  The first three days that I was suppose to report started as snow days.  It was during these three days that I realized I may have made a mistake with a roommate.  I discovered she was an alcoholic who lied when people would call me.  She said I didn't live there and even told me school was closed, when it wasn't.  It only took me until the weekend to realize I needed to move.  My parents had friends in the area and I moved in with them while I looked for another place.  It only took a couple of days.  The school removed the first landlords name from their list due to this.

I found a wonderful older woman to live with.  Her husband had recently died and she decided to offer her extra rooms to others.  There were two other young women who lived with her.  She was a sweet, caring lady.  She redecorated the room for me, it was bright and fresh.  I loved it.  She cooked our meals for us, it was like living with a grandmother.

My time at Bangor Junior High School was wonderful and my living arrangements contributed to that.  I learned how to be a teacher.  I learned to love junior high school students and preferred teaching junior high years later.

I don't have any pictures from this time, but the memories are still there.  I only lived in Bay City for four months, but I grew as a person and a teacher during those short four months.

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