Ilion High School

1912 Senior Class History

As reported in the "1912 Senior Annual"

How our hearts thumped as we stood before the door of the wonderful I. H. S. on that January morning in 1908! How often had we looked forward to this glorious moment of entering into that realm of mystery, the I. H. S. ! How scornfully we had looked upon the inmates of the grammar room as straight tip a flight of stairs we had marched to pause before that door. Who would enter first? . The dash was made. But alas! the humiliation of that moment! A loud roar of laughter greeted our appearance. Never had pride gone before such a fall. Nor can we ever forget the agony of the first morning exercises when we sat bolt upright not daring to move and fearful of that awe-inspiring presence at the desk. For about two weeks we remained in that condition. Then we learned how to conduct ourselves in matters such as skillfully passing notes, whispering, neglecting, duties, and we the frightened lambs of two weeks ago became the little terrors of I. H. S.


About that time came our annex sleighride, that most enjoyable of all sleighrides, the like of which can never happen again. We had two chaperones for one sleighload and thirty of us went. But the ride was fun. Then we came back to Jane Hakes' home to supper. Thence we departed at the late (?) hour of ten o'clock. However we had enjoyed ourselves as only 1912 knows how. For the remainder of the term we wrote notes, passed and flunked five week tests and were initiated into the dark mysteries of whispering papers. The faculty deserve crowns for the trials they, endured from the class of 1912. In fact Miss Douglas was heard to say she had never seen such a daring and troublesome class.


Back we came in September, 1908, full of the delights of our first year and there met the second half of our class. Some of us indeed had to submit to the humiliation of another year in the annex as the high school was so crowded. The faculty had changed. Many we had grown fond of had gone and strange teachers filled their places. We continued in our misbehavior, as we had not yet learned the code of high school honor. The faculty were persevering also and by the time commencement came we were completely "squelched."


As self-confident sophomores, who are termed in Greek wise fools, we came back in September, 1909. The first of the term sped quickly in adjusting ourselves to the old grind. Winter was upon us before we realized it and Hallowe'en was soon a thing of the past. During that year we lost many of our classtmates and sorry were we to see them drop by the way. But the class as a whole advanced steadily in character, strength and knowledge of high school traditions. By this time we had grown to love our Alma Mater and to look forward to the regular and enthusiastic flag salutes on Friday morning. We were taking an interest in our relation to 1911 and we began to realize they were our future rivals. So much had we been impressed by this that we intensely watched their movements. How queerly we looked at one another when they boasted of their first junior sleighride. How that look broadened into a grin at their president's remark, "What do they do on sleighrides?" slowly reached our ears. Would 1912 ever ask that? Never, we determined, and our hearts jumped as we longed for our junior year. Swiftly commencement drew near. At last the night that 1910 faced the world and joined the ranks of the alumni we realized that at last we were juniors. We looked with trembling uncertainty to the year said by all to be the best. We reviewed with dark foreboding the trials we were to endure; shivered in common accord over recitals; argued with useless ferocity about class colors and at last separated agreed on one point at least; we as juniors were to do our best to make 1912 the greatest class in the roll of I. H. S.


"Juniors!" The word sounded sweet to us as 1912 buoyantly, joyously took its place among the upperclassmen of the school. Class plans filled every mind and class meetings were anxiously awaited. Then 1912 held its first meeting and oh! the ecstacy of it! Were we broken up because of our noise in trying to agree? No, 1912 transacted all its business, appointed its committees, elected its officers and voluntarily adjourned. Soon came our banner of light blue and gold. The faculty declared it the most beautiful ever seen and to the juniors it was dearest and best. When the Seniors saw our banner their mortification and shame could not be hidden by sarcastic remarks. Indeed they were so ashamed and their own was so far in the shade that it was remodeled in a vain attempt to equal the beauty of ours.


Then came our pins, dainty and modest in character and design. Proudly we pinned on the symbols that were to bind us together.


By this time, names had been posted for the junior recital. Pieces were learned and Mr. Batzell was busily engaged in preparing the speakers. About a week before our recital the purple and gold bunting of the Seniors was reported missing. The natural course of affairs led the Seniors to blame it on the juniors. Many were the sorrows, trials and tribulations the juniors endured when Mr. Warren announced that decorations were hereafter to be abandoned. All that long week we waited in eager interest to hear the verdict of the eleventh hour. The hour arrived and the juniors were happy. The bunting had been returned. We were to be permitted to decorate. But the humiliation of the Seniors when the announcement finally reached them. How we worked to beautify the rostrum as it had never been before!


The season was Hallowe'en and the decorations were in keeping with the season. A Jack-o'-Lantern beamed forth all of 1912's good nature. The plants seemed to have blossomed out in gold and blue. The room in gold and blue was eloquent of 1912. Supported by such a background and standing before our banner could our representatives fail to do their best? No, indeed, and many were the compliments given to the participants in that noted recital.


Next came the Senior recital who taking the hint from the Wise also decorated according to the season, Evergreens! Was there any hidden meaning in those seemingly innocent decorations?


For Seniors the participants did quite well, but if compared with superior genius their recital would lose, so we refrain.


Many of us plunged into the next recital and again 1912 outdid herself in decorations and rhetorical ability. May we here speak of the Senior brilliancy in stealthily removing the nails from our decorations that they might fall? It was wonderful but they reckoned without their host. They were dealing with 1912. At the departure of these Seniors, our president calmly nailed back the hangings. We will omit the study of expressions on the faces of 1911 as they waited in vain that evening for the downfall of the gold and blue. Will they never learn 1912 does not fall?


Then a class meeting was called for our semiannual election of officers but a choice was hard to make for 1912, though she has but few boys, is true to the rule "Quality not Quantity."


At the same meeting the sleighride was planned and a few weeks later 1912 realized the anticipation of their sophomore year and held their sleighride. We knew exactly "what you did" on sleighrides and further how you did it. Our sleighride was conspicuous for its lack of rowdyism, its good behavior and delightful time. Our destination was Miller's Grove and though it rained all day, in accordance with our usual good luck it ceased sufficiently to give the juniors a good time. Early in the morning we came back voting it the best conducted and jolliest sleighride ever had.


But the gayety of our year was dampened by the announcement of Professor's Warren's resignation. Who among us did not try to throw aside that sadness and do our best to make his last days with its days of pleasure and good feeling? So we held a joint meeting, the junior lion and the Senior lamb lay down together. In this meeting the Seniors talked and the juniors acted in the midst of the uproar. Another instance where actions speak louder than words. So the juniors assisted by the Seniors -gave a reception to Superintendent Warren. We worked well, and the reception was said to be not only the most enjoyable of the year, but of many years.


And so from the little savages of the annex, from the foolish, insignificant freshmen, from the headstrong confident sophomores developed the glorious class of the gold and blue. As water will find its level so has 1912. "It is a glorious class, loyal, enthusiastic, bright but not brilliant, bold but not too bold. Calm in its strength and devotion one to the other and its love for Alma Mater, it stands on the threshold of the Senior Year.


This is no great production. We realize its faults in diction and expression. We have merely collected the dear memories of 1908, 1909, 1910, and with those of 1911 still fresh in our minds we have endeavored to do justice to our beloved class of 1912.




Definition of 1912-A circumlocutory and plenastic cycle of oratorical sonorosity circumscribing an atom of idealty lost in a verbal profundity, or, in other words, the airiest approach to nothing, set in the midst of naught.



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Created and maintained by Aileen Carney Sweeney - Class of 1974

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First Published October 4, 1997 - Modified Sept 21, 2014