School Days Almost Over

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, April 17, 1913:  Our exams are now entirely over. I think I passed. No more examinations at school to bother me.

Pile of hundred-year-old textbooks waiting for me to return them to the library

Hundred-year-old textbooks ready to be returned to the library

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Yeah!—Grandma, it’s awesome that you’ve completed the final hurdle before graduation. You’re awesome!

But I’m feeling a little sad. I enjoyed reliving your high school years with you—the drama, the joys and the defeats. It was fun imagining you walking to school each morning; and I loved skimming hundred-year-old textbooks in search of perfect quotes to illustrate diary entries—but those days are now behind me.

I’m looking forward to learning more about your life after graduation, but I’ll miss your school days!

42 Responses

  1. I’ll miss your grandmother’s school days as well. I am looking forward to the next chapter in her life.

    • I’m looking forward to it, too–and starting to try to do some research on what life was like a hundred years ago for young women.

  2. I remember having great hopes of keeping in touch with people but it didn’t turn out that way. But it’s liberating finding a first job, I guess we’ll see what transpires.

    • I’ve also lost touch with many people over the years. I think that it’s easier for young people today to maintain close friendships across long distances with Facebook, texting, etc.

      • I absolutely agree Sheryl. I’ve actually RE-Connected with friends thru social media. Plus, I think kids live at home much longer and have a lot more time to socialize. I almost always worked two jobs. I wanted an apartment AND a car…LOL

  3. Oh that wonderful feeling when the last of the high school exams were over; and I was very very tired too. How exciting that you had access to such old textbooks.

  4. You seem to be feeling the way that many people do when leaving an area of their lives that has held so much significance through their lives Sheryl, on behalf of your grandma. I’m looking forward to hearing about Helena’s new adventures as she begins this next stage of her life. :)

    • Prior to starting this blog, I read all the way through the diary–but as I work on posting it, I don’t look very far ahead. I’m constantly amazed at how much information I’d missed (or forgotten) on the original quick go through. So I’m also looking forward to learning about her new adventures.

  5. I must admit I’ll miss your Grandma’s school days, too, but I look forward to whatever comes next. Thank you again for sharing this special journey with us.

    • And, thank you for regularly taking a few moments to read and comment on this blog. I enjoy doing it–and it’s wonderful to hear when others enjoy reading it.

      • I really do enjoy it. It’s a wonderful window into another era and another country for me. I know how special a Grandma is to a Granddaughter and so I feel honoured to have an insight into your relationship with your Grandma and the love and affection you so obviously have for her, through this blog.
        Thank you.

  6. It was always such a relief to finish exams! I look forward to continuing Grandma’s “journey” with her! Guess I may be “spoling” things to ask, but how many years do her diaries that you have cover?

    • She kept the diary from 1911 though 1914. The last entry is in December 1914–so I’ve now posted a little more than half the diary.

  7. Whoooo Hoooo! I was so glad to leave my high school years behind. I hope your Grandma is too.

  8. Looking forward to the next chapter of her life. I wonder if she looked back over her life and thought of those school days as “the good ole days.”

  9. I hope the journal continues.

  10. So will I – I have come to know and love Helena in a special way. It was awesome to “visit” her. I am making plans on going this spring too. Thank you for sharing her with us. I am looking forward to reading how life after school might have beenfor her. I am sure you will do a great job with old family stories and research.

  11. I will miss the school days also… So fascinating… thank you for sharing her diary with us. Enjoying it so much. :)

  12. It still gives me shivers, what you embarked on with this, and the relationship between you and your grandmother that has been further forged with this document you are sharing with us. I should go back to the beginning to see how it all started–how you found it, etc. I am sure it’s a major creative expression for you, with all the research you do to accompany Helena’s words.

    • Click on the “About” tab to learn more about this diary, and why I decided to post it.

      Thank you for the kind words. I really enjoy working on this blog and it’s wonderful to hear when others enjoy it.

  13. What a treasure you have, Sheryl.

  14. Congratulations to your grandmother :)!

  15. I am so looking forward to your grandma’s post-high school adventures Sheryl. Her diary tied to your comments is a truly special thing. :)

  16. Sheryl, my son and I are wondering about the pronunciation of your grandmother’s name. I say it one way, and he tells me it might be another. How is it pronounced?

    • When she was older she went by the name of Helen, so I’m not positive how she pronounced Helena. I pronounce it with a long e in the second syllable.

  17. I cant wait to see what she gets herself busy with!! boys??

  18. I’m feeling a bit sad too, haha. Learning about what my life would’ve been like if I were a hundred years older…but I am excited to see what adult life has in store for Helena.

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