When I was going into first grade my mother put my name on the “waiting list” for the all-girls high school on the other side of town. In seventh grade I started the local junior high (as it was commonly called back then), and that same year this all-girls school added their own middle school (their terminology was cutting edge even way back then). Having been told all my life I would start there in ninth grade, I was expecting (and dreading) that. Their addition of these new grade levels added caused me to begin a year earlier in eighth grade.
I was not happy.
The school was challenging academically and had an entirely new set of expectations that I had to get used to. I had always done well in school without too much effort, and now I really had to work. I knew only two girls in the whole school. They all dressed differently from me. I had to ride thirty plus minutes each morning and afternoon to get there. Tennis was played by everyone in every season.
I had never played tennis before.
What I learned there and how it changed me is fodder for another post – or even a short story or small book. I absorbed so much and gained an understanding of things I hadn’t even known existed. Suffice it to say here that it was the best thing that ever happened to me, although it took me quite a few years to realize that, and even longer to admit it to my mother.
But Mama knew it all along.
I am thankful, and proud, and humbled that I was educated at the Harpeth Hall School in Nashville. Their tradition goes back to two schools, Ward Seminary and Ward Belmont, so that the history dates back 150 years. The school’s academic reputation is sterling, but their real emphasis is helping each girl to reach her potential. And to guide each girl to know she can do anything she sets her mind to do.
I am who I am today because of my time at this wonderful school.
Here is the 150th Anniversary video: https://vimeo.com/139403253