Old Grudges Never Die
My old diary has a few more entries we'll be getting to, but I will also mine another source of nostalgia: a big green scrapbook with crumbling brownish pages. Here is an episode that was painful at the time:
I always loved doing clerical work. I'm an excellent worker bee! On the Kuder Preference Test in 9th grade, I scored highest in the Clerical and Computational categories (not surprisingly, jobs involving the outdoors or mechanical skills came in very low). I loved working in the junior high library, putting books in order, filing cards, making lists and that sort of thing.
So when I entered senior high I was eager to be a member of Girls' Service Club North. This group, and its brother organization Key Club, ran the school - working in the offices, selling refreshments, arranging the letters in the announcements board, etc. To join this selective club, you had to apply and be recommended by current members. As a lowly sophomore, I knew few upperclassmen. I got senior members Kathie and Cathy from my biology class to put in a good word for me (I was really smart in biology), but that wasn't enough.
My scrapbook contains the following mimeographed form letter, folded and addressed to me in Homeroom 9:
"We regret that your application to Girls' Service Club has not been accepted at this time. There was an unusual number of applicants, and our membership is limited. Our conclusions were based on:
1. Evaluation by present club members
2. Evaluation by the faculty
3. Evaluation by the executive board
4. Qualifications which seem most suitable to a service organization
We thank you for your interest.
Sigh. Kathie and Cathy were very apologetic when they heard, and I went on with my life. I was able to work in the library 2 periods a week even though I was not in GSCN, excelled in school, helped edit the newspaper, was on the Math team (though not first string), twirled in the Majorettes, and was in several school clubs.
Apparently word of this seeped through to the powers that be at GSCN, for my scrapbook contains another folded slip of paper addressed to me in Homeroom 9 (we kept the same homeroom through all of senior high) dated February 6, 1968 (junior year), written in beautiful calligraphy: "Because of the interest you had in Girls' Service Club North last year, the present officers would appreciate your attending a short meeting this afternoon at 2:50 in room 219. Joyce Jaffe, Secretary."
There was only one problem. I had a math meet that afternoon and had to be on a bus heading out to another Long Island school at the time of the meeting. (I remember the team sitting on the bus and yelling to another bus carrying a sports team, "Brain over brawn! Brain over brawn!") I don't remember how or if I got word to them that I couldn't make it, but I think (or hope!) I did. I heard later they were astonished that anyone would not show up when summoned.
The scrapbook next contains a Student Hall Permit from 2 days later, filled out for me with a time of 2:38, with "Report to Room 219 IMMEDIATELY after school for Girls' Service Club business" written on back in the same beautiful handwriting. I went, and was interviewed by officers Debbie Rubin and Risa Rosenthal. I don't remember the session exactly, but I think it was cordial as I tried to impress them with my dedication to work and service, and apologized for having to be at the math meet previously.
Whatever I did wasn't enough. The scrapbook has no further written evidence (though it might be around somewhere), but I was rejected from GSCN yet a second time. Humph, their loss! Looking at the club's picture in my senior year yearbook, by then I knew plenty of members (including my college roommate J). But I wasn't among them.
I worked in the library all through school. Shortly before graduation, I was given a rare privilege. The old school building had a distinctive tower, but access was locked. I had no idea what was up there. One day the librarians asked me to help them bring books up to... the tower. Wow! It was a storeroom. As we worked in the musty room with the midday sun streaming in through old, clouded windows, I felt truly part of the school and its traditions. Even though Girls' Service Club didn't want me.http://www.greatneck.k12.ny.us/GNPS/NHS/
From the school's web page, it appears that GSCN is no more and has been absorbed into the presumably co-ed Key Service Club.
(illustrations now at http://ennienyc.livejournal.com/290817.html