OUR SCHOOL

by Margo Gangel Breen '48
From the Crows Nest
Class of 1948 Newsletter, February 1999

It's too bad, but I do acknowledge that it was not until I left Mepham that I truly appreciated it. Without a lot of sophistication, one tends to believe that one's peers have the same advantages, facilities, and experiences. It was a revelation to me that every high school student didn't have to write a composition a week, have gym a lot, have deficiency reports for insufficient work, have opportunities for boys and girls to earn varsity letters in other activities as well as sports, or have a beautiful building and campus with first class equipment.

What we took for granted was actually not common at all. As the years passed and I traveled around, I was astounded to find a rather cavalier attitude towards high school students' education. While obvious athletes are coached (hopefully toward scholarships), physical activities are frequently not a priority for the ordinary student. Music is similarly a sometime thing. The yearbook, newspaper, and school plays may be classes in the English department rather than extracurricular activities open to all, and curricula of classes probably depends on the textbooks currently in use. It was just 12 years ago that secondary schools here decided to award varsity letters to girls, and they are all limited to sports. The founders of Mepham were well ahead of their time.

Through the years, I've thought fondly of the building and campus, as I've observed schools with "street locker rooms" (a guaranteed trouble area), shared lockers, economical auditoriums with insufficient space and no comfort, shared activity fields requiring appointments, and undistinguished uninspired structures.

I think we were very lucky to attend Mepham and enjoy its advantages and inspiration. The founders did indeed encourage us to industry, opportunity, and achievement.