Class of 98 for those of you who are interested.
Interesting footnote: I never lived in Crown Point as a student. I grew up in Cedar Lake. I did however live in CP after graduating from Purdue for a little over 3 years.
I spent the first 6 years of my life in Hanover Township. I went to Kindergarten at Jane Ball Elementary within the Hanover Community Schools district. Shortly before the start of 1st grade my parents moved to the west of Cline Avenue and into the Crown Point Community School Corporation.
First, we moved into an old house off Hilltop. We lived there for about a month before the previous tenants showed up one night and we had to find a new place to live. We then moved to a quad of town homes directly across from MacArthur Elementary School. After a few years there we moved one street over to another rental which may parents lived in until after I graduated college.
Douglas MacArthur Elementary School and the Cedar Lake Boys and Girls Club were where I spent most of my days during my elementary career. MacArthur although technically apart of the Crown Point School System is filled with kids only from Cedar Lake. Thank you to all the teachers and staff of that school especially Mrs. Curto, Mrs. Gray, Mrs. Becker, Mrs. Liggett, Mrs. Mullins, Principal Graper, and Mr. Bill.
You helped mold me.
Thanks.To the faculty and staff of Douglas MacArthur Elementary and the Cedar Lake Boys & Girls Club
I never knew that I was different until my first day at Taft Jr. High. I had been told many times by my friends then that people from Crown Point didn’t like people from Cedar Lake. I was always skeptical of that assertion. I heard them but I was bound to not allow that to be a self fulfilling prophecy.
In truth it wasn’t that people from Crown Point didn’t like people from Cedar Lake. It was just that we were unfamiliar with each other. Kids from Crown Point played Crown Point Youth Sports. Kids from Cedar Lake played in Cedar Lake Youth Sports and so on and so forth. Until 7th grade when all 6 elementary schools were mixed up.
Seeing a school full of strangers is intimidating. So, while at Taft I learned how to stay quiet, keep my head on a swivel, and just blend in to my surroundings. Despite all those kids on the bus constantly telling me I had to be one of us or one of them. I just tried to go unnoticed.
Luckily for my brother and I our lockers were alphabetically next to some great people from Crown Point. Funny how a random thing like locker placement can change your life but for me it did.
I never really was able to get comfortable, like most kids during Jr. High/Middle School. Even after entering CPHS I think it probably wasn’t until my Junior year that I allowed myself to feel somewhat relaxed at school. But, in public and social settings I was still just a wall flower. Awkward and poorer than almost everyone in the room.
My adoptive hometown of Crown Point has had a major impact in my development into an fully functional human. Especially the friends I made, the families that took me in, the teachers, counselors, and coaches I had all helped show me a world I never knew existed of: social mobility.
I was never an honor roll candidate. I won’t say I didn’t try but I definitely didn’t know how to excel in school. My motivation in terms of school, behavior, and grades were simple:
Keep my parents off my back
Enjoy the free and reduced food options
Stay eligible to play sportsNot what my first collegiate academic adviser wanted to hear
More often than not I’m proud to say I was able to accomplish those goals. However, I missed out on my 11 year old Little League season because my grades were bad. If only I could have stayed on the Cardinals we would been unstoppable as 12 year olds. I’m sorry Mr. York.
In high school a time or two my GPA* did slip to 1.8, possibly as low as 1.6, when I wore a cast up from the knuckles on my right hand all the way up to my shoulder for 15 weeks. Then, another 9 weeks of painful physical therapy to regain mobility in my shredded elbow. Irregardless of how low my GPA plummeted it was always a 2.0 by the end any semester. For the record 2.2 at graduation. Good thing it was the late 90’s and I was an athlete. Not sure what that type of academic transcript would get you today.
Now as an adult, a husband, and most recently a dad I think I’ve observed enough people, places, and things to understand how this world works to confidently ask anyone reading to put their faith and their vote in me.