Wednesday

7 02 2008

With no classes Wednesday afternoons, the entire school took to the fields, the athletes playing starring roles, the duffers, well, duffing. With so few girls enrolled at that time, we all made the team no matter our skill or interest. I even swam for a season on the boys’ JV, to the disgust of blue-blood rivals. It was all a bit awkward those first years. Late-spring Wednesdays, though, allowed an illusion of rightness when after lacrosse, we would leap from the big stone bridge into the river, reaching down, even we girls, to the prep-school-perfect past of Phinneas and Gene.

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4 responses

7 02 2008
sehauser

Let me just say, I really enjoy reading stories about your experience at what was practically an all boys school.
I can’t explain my fascination or why I find it so riveting. If I could chat with you about it for hours I would.
A Separate Peace brings me back to my freshman year of high school and a lot of emotions and memories from when I read it, like a little trip back to the past.

8 02 2008
Cloe

Did you go to Exeter?

I love your last sentence. It does two things for me:
1. It feels like it could be spoken along with a dance piece. When I read it I have an image of girls jumping down, right arms out, about to touch the water (or, if on a stage, the ground).
2. When you connect your writing to the story of Phinneas and Gene, I imagine a female narrator speaking this line at the beginning of a movie—a movie that leads into another time in the past.

8 02 2008
Barbara

Yes, Cloe, I did go to Exeter. I actually grew up in its dorms as a faculty brat, my father a great great history teacher. (That’s a funny story, too, perhaps worthy of a 100-word prompt sometime, about how he HATED creative writing of any sort–said there was too much to find out about the world to waste it on fiction and poetry–heheheh).
Thanks for the reading of that last sentence–I was feeling that kind of metaphorical dive into history in a dreamy, movie sort of way when I wrote it.

bg

8 02 2008
bgexperiments

Shannon,

Growing up female in a boys’ boarding school does provide fertile ground for stories, that’s for sure! As for A Separate Peace, well, that book was the Exeter bible when I was growing up. My brother’s best friend played Phinneas in the movie, and my other brother was an extra and made so much money that he traveled through Europe the next summer on the proceeds. I watched it being filmed–no roles for young girls–many faculty (not my dad–he refused) played small roles, wearing their own suits as they had never shopped, it seemed, since the 40s.

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