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The Best Years

by Jenny Treadway and Hillary Wootton, Class of 1985

“These are the best years of your lives,”
Say the parents of 1985.
That’s what they tell us high school should be,
But was it really that way for you and for me?
Parents think it’s all football and cheerleading,
Instead of writing essays and lots of book reading.
We read Shakespeare and Salinger and Orwell too,
And had hard mathematics courses—not just 2+2

As sophomores we cowered under the dominating seniors,
And now that we’re there, we deserve our tenures.
As juniors we survived the inevitable term papers,
And listened to tales of Democrew capers.

There was some fun in the midst of it all,
The many activities through spring, winter and fall.
There were rallies, dress-up days, and dances to attend,
And through it all, we reached Nirvana in the end.

Today we are seniors, the last day we’ll be,
For most it’s not the last school campus we’ll see.
After this we’ll go to Berkeley or Stanford or UCJC,
“To prepare for the future,” whatever it may be.

High school’s role in the “college experience”
Is to coach the student in lecture endurance,
Through hours of psychology, chemistry and physics,
We can’t list them all—those periods one through six.

Finally we graduate and we’re glad it’s hap’ning,
But, like the koan of one hand clapping,
We’re also sad it’s time to go, we hate to leave,
But, of course, no one will grieve.

The juniors will be seniors,
And the sophomores—juniors.
It’s an endless cycle, this changing of classes,
As long as the teachers continue to pass us.

So unto life we go as prepared as can be,
To do our best and be all that we can be.
Most of us will work for the rest of our lives,
Some will become husbands, some will become wives.

Soon come the children who whine, cry and drool,
Then in five long years, we send them to school.
Through years of orthodondists, dermatologists and much, much more
They enter high school as a lowly sophomore.

Soon we’ll say, “These are the best years of your lives, enjoy it as it is.”
“You have it easy,” we’ll remind, and give them all that biz.
We’ll say, “We had to walk ten miles barefoot each day—
It was terrible, walking up hill, both ways.”

Then we’ll remember the fun that we had,
And all the things that we did in those years before grad.
We’ll remember the times that we shared with our friends,
And all the things we wished we could do again.

So, maybe in spite of all the hard work we’ve done,
These three years of high school have been fun.
So, in twenty years we’ll think back and sigh,
Maybe they were the best years of our lives.

Class of 1985 Yearbook

©2017 Santa Rosa High School Foundation