Friday, December 17, 2010

Foreign Friday

Annex of Robert D. Edgren High School
August 1979

Robert Edgren High School was a jumble of buildings in 1979 - 80. The main building was an old hospital with a classroom addition. It was like a rabbit warren with many hallways and twists and turns. My classroom was located in one of three adjacent buildings, which were old barracks. These buildings were shaped like an "H" and my classroom was the lower right leg of the "H" in this photo. The school nurse's office was in the upper right leg; another English teacher, the lower left leg; an office and storage, the upper left leg. The connecting section was where the bathrooms were located, complete with showers. It was definitely a unique classroom.

The ceiling was so low in the classroom, I could touch it without stretching.

The other end of the room housed my desk and a work area. I was blessed to have a telephone, but it was restricted to base calls. On Thanksgiving (Mountain Time), my family called me on this phone. It was early, Friday morning in Japan, but I did not mind waking up early. We did not talk long because overseas calls were very expensive 30 years ago. That year, most of my family celebrated the holiday at my sister's house in Denver, so I think I spoke to everyone but my brothers.

The walkway from the main building to these outer buildings always steamed in the winter, but I never found out why. Students walked through the billowing mist to and from class. The building was either too hot or too cold - never a happy medium.

The next year, my classroom was moved into the newer section of the main school building. This wing was more modern, had much better lighting, a wall of windows, and heat that could be regulated.

My area was actually two rooms in one. Another teacher used my room during my planning period, so the folding doors were closed during that time.

A entire new school was built several years after I left Misawa Air Force Base.


  1. I enjoyed this tour of your school in Japan.

  2. Looks just the DoDDS schools I went to LOL. Our school in Neubrucke was also an old hospital and we would make up stories about ghosts in the all and such. Too fun.

  3. Amazing how so many of our good memories are wrapped around school and classrooms. I enjoyed reading about yours.

  4. Reminds me of the "good" old days. When I was a kid I lived in Nova Scotia, and in those days, the schools were so ancient and dilapidated.


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