part 1 
I did not.want.to.go.to. Brown County.
I wanted to go to Little Miami Junior high with my friends and classmates, who included boys.  My family lived outside Blanchester, in Warren County, and I had done the visit and 6th grade dance events at Little Miami, where everyone I knew would be.  Plus I had a crush on Toby Adams, brother of Suzanne Adams Cajacob (BCU ’75) with whom I had shared a first kiss, thanks to a spin-the-bottle game (I had decided that that counted) at our first boy-girl party  at the end of sixth grade.  How could I possibly go to an all-girls school even further out in the middle of nowhere than my own family’s home?
I remember clearly the dark plaid jumper, white blouse, and black flats that I wore on our first day, a Sunday. I was twelve years old and in seventh grade, class of 1971. The older girls in their heels and hose, standing around for sign-ins in the Playhall, looked so sophisticated.  I was clearly in trouble.
After our families left, we were ushered into the chapel for a benediction service.  My family was nominally — very nominally – Methodist.  I knew next to nothing about religion. No, make that less than nothing. So imagine:
  • All those women in long black dresses,  white head and neck coverings, beads (what were those?) dangling from their belts, crucifixes (what were those?)  jammed in their belts — it was a relief to discover that we were supposed to call them all “Sister,” since how would you ever tell them apart?
  • A container of water (what was that?) in the entryway to the chapel, and people crossing themselves (what was that?) and genuflecting (what was that)?  A priest in resplendent robes (why?) raising a huge silver monstrance (what was that?) above our heads.
  • And just to be sure that everything was clarified, all the words were in Latin!
Dad, what have you done to me?  I wondered.  I was seriously in trouble.
After church, we were introduced to the refectory.  I was assigned a seat across from one of my classmates — tall, imposing, and I think African-American/Puerto Rican.  Not someone you would encounter in Blanchester, Ohio.  “Hi!” I said in my friendliest voice.  I had been to summer camp and I knew that you cpuld make friends easily over the dinner table.  “My name is Robin!”  “WHO CARES?” she thundered back.
Yeah.  This school was definitely going to be a challenge.  I wondered how fast I could arrange my return to Little Miami.

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