I really shouldn't be suprised, now that I'm approaching 50, but a couple of icons from my junior highschool days (or "middle school", as we privledged private school students called it) have died.
Secondly, I see in today's paper that my middle school art teacher, Dorothy Gennaccaro died at age 85. If you want some indication of what it was like at Shady Side Academy's middle school in the 1970's, all you have to do is look at the yearbook pictures from that era. The kids in the junior school are all smiling, happy faces. The senior school pictures also depict typical teenagers, doing teenage things, and seem happy, although in a private school setting. The middle school pictures? Not a smile to be seen. The class photos depict sullen, grim, beaten down children terrified by a system that handed out demerits for the slightest infractions (I've always wondered why schools that use a demerit system for discipline never have a way to earn "merits." Perhaps it existed, if it did, I was never made aware of it). There were but three respites: lunch, recess, and Mrs. G's art classes. I am not artistically inclined, but there was never a harsh word from Mrs. G, only instruction, encouragement, and enjoyment. I should also note that its my understanding that the middle school today is not the rigid disciplinary hellhole it was back during my time there, so things do change.
The sad thing is that as an adult, I really hadn't thought much about either Bradbury or Mrs. G until I read their obituaries today, but reading those obits brought back a lot of memories.