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May 30, 2013 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-05-30

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COMMUNITY

JEWFRO

A Stumble Down
Memory Lane

or anyone who hasn't been
keeping track of Bloomfield Hills
Schools' surprisingly colorful
politics and complex policies, after
multiple unsuccessful attempts to
compromise on a way to sustain
two high schools with increased or
shared resources, the demographics
of the district necessitated combin-
ing Andover and Lahser into Bloom-
field Hills High
School. During
construction of
the new school,
everyone will
be at Lahser —
except the
ninth-graders,
who, in true
Chutes-and-
Ladders
fashion, will all
be at Hickory
Grove Elemen-
tary School —
with all
ultimately populating the new
BHHS, on the site of the old Ando-
ver, in the fall of 2015, a year that
sounds wildly futuristic.
Their new mascot? The Black-
hawks. The bird, not the real-life
19th-century Indian chieftain who
fought U.S. troops in a gallant,
unsuccessful attempt to recover his
tribe's ancestral lands. Right up to
the moment that student leaders
announced the new mascot at a
press conference — yes, they had a
press conference to announce the
new mascot; yes, I attended said
press conference — I was rooting for
the Chargers.
Since a brief stint early in the new
century when they were the
Beavers, the schools' combined
hockey team has been the Chargers;
my nephew Sammy is better known
on (and, for that matter, off) the ice
as Charlie the Charger, their enter-
taining equine mascot. Arguably,
the role he was born to play.
Andover was built in 1955, and
the architecture, technology and
much of the lunch menu have
remained lovingly unchanged in
the decades since. The never-quite-
hallowed, not-yet-hollow halls of my
alma mater were open for alumni to
stroll recently, and I was powerless
to resist a stumble through my old
stomping grounds.
Some observations from my 13
years in Bloomfield Hills Schools (the
first being that 13 years is an entirely
standard duration of time necessary
to secure a high school diploma):

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RED THREAD

magazine

Conant Elementary School taught
me many healthy habits, with four
notable exceptions:
1) An apple is nature's toothbrush,
or so the paraprofessional in my
kindergarten class had me believe.
This nighttime"apple brushing"con-
tributed to eight cavities identified
in one memorable dentist appoint-
ment.
2)"Conant Kids Care,"as demon-
strated by binge eating at Burger
King on designated nights when our
illustrious faculty manned the fryers
and the school received a cut of the
proceeds.
3) Owing singularly to my inability
to sit and reach more than 31 centi-
meters, I would never be presiden-
tially fit in the eyes of George H.W.
Bush.
4) Hunting grotesque excesses
of buffalo and lesser game — more
than would fit on a state-of-the-art
wagon, let alone one with a precari-
ous axle — would not lead to an
increased incidence of dysentery en
route to Oregon.
Perhaps the key takeaway from
the hormonal haze of Bloomfield
Hills Middle School (neither that I
was talented enough to go on to
star in How to Succeed in Business
Without Really Trying nor lucky
enough to go on to succeed in busi-
ness without really trying) was that
I had a knack for writing and, more
importantly, a chance to succeed by
really trying.
At Andover — representing Ando-
ver on the Foresnsics team, rather
— I competed, alone and without
the aid of props or amplification,
against other lonely unamplified
propless souls, to tell the most
compelling 6- to 8-minute children's
story, replete with a cast of cartoon-
ish characters who learn a valuable
lesson. This remains possibly the
most valuable experience of my life,
said the Bionic Bunny upon defeat-
ing Professor Origami.
Residual angst notwithstanding,
attending Bloomfield Hills Schools,
for an entirely standard duration
of time necessary to secure a high
school diploma, was a privilege.
As motivated as I was to move on,
much of what I have gone on to do
has been informed by the tools and
values I developed there. Go Black-
hawks! The bird, not the Indian!

.7

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