Wednesday, March 08, 2006
They must have made a mistake
I remember being called by Frankford High after graduation and told to report to the office. Being paranoid I thought for sure they were going to find some reason why I didn't qualify for graduation and take back the diploma. But it was just to tell me that I should report to Holy Family College the next day.
The next Day? What does this college start in June? My mother said it might be for an interview, since I had never actually set foot on the campus. Yes, I sent in an application, and did some phone calls about my application and funding etc. but I never WENT to take a tour of the place. Hell, I didnt' even know WHERE it was exactly, although I had some vague idea by the address. I had been told "take the 66 trackless trolly to City Line, you can't miss it."
Well, City Line was beyond the college, and even if I did miss the huge sign on the corner of Grant Ave. at Frankford Ave. I would have been able to walk the 4 or 5 blocks back to campus. My mother thought I should "dress" for the interview, so I wore my Easter clothes. A yellow suit and black patent leather pointed toe shoes (that were quite uncomfortable) as I recall. I even took my white gloves and clutch bag. How was I to know what to expect? I just wanted to make a good impression.
Being nervous I left home early, and naturally arrived early because I didnt' want to get lost "on campus".
Well, campus was not quite what you would expect a college to be. Holy Family was a rather new school (I graduated in the 13th graduating class) so campus was only 1 building, Holy Family Hall. It housed everything, classrooms, labs, administration offices, faculty offices, cafeteria, lockers, library AND a chapel (Catholic school, remember?) All administration was on the second floor. I was supposed to go to the registrar's office and that was easy to find in the one long corridor.
I went in to see the Registrar; Sister Immaculata and another nun whose "old name" I can't recall, but who later was known as Sr. Florianne. They spoke to me briefly, from behind the counter of the business office and then handed me a paper grocery bag. What was in it? My "academic regalia. In those days every "assembly" we were to attend meant we wore our academic black gown, and motar board, black pumps and white gloves. The nuns knew I didn't have the extra money to pay for it, so they gave me someone else's. Someone who graducated donated it to me.
That's all they really wanted. I didn't have to answer any questions or explain myself. They just spent 10 minuted with me and off I went to home again. When I realized that college was going to be such a formal place I began to wonder. Did I make a mistake, or did they?