The Middle Years

Moving on from The Still Early, but not as Early Years I was forced to wake up from what had been a pretty idyllic existence and come to grips with some of life's harsher wit:

Death - It happens, often when you least expect it.

Weather - There is a significant climatic difference between St. Bart's and Flagstaff, AZ in late December.

Moving on, I entered what I term my "Juvenile Delinquent" phase (grades 7-8).  This was largely contained within what most would consider reasonable bounds but will not be disclosed in detail yet as I may want to run for public office someday...

Realizing that, at some point, things like your "permanent" record matter, I (mostly) cleaned up my act in time to start ninth grade in order to ensure my acceptance at one of our nation's higher learning facilities.  Of course, nothing is ever that easy and my mother and stepfather moved from Flagstaff, AZ to Page, AZ in the middle of 10th grade, disrupting a groove that was just starting to come together.

Page, a tiny community along the Arizona/Utah border, sits on a 3-mile diameter (or was it radius) circle cut out from the Navajo Indian reservation (the largest  in the United States).  Overall it was my first experience at being an ethnic minority (60% of PHS students are Navajo) and, as such, turned out to be pretty valuable going forward.  It was also my first experience in "small town" USA.  Not a bad place, I made some great friends and was just hitting my stride in school (grades 10.5-11) when the inevitable happened, we moved....

Tempe, AZ - Not a small town by any means, this is where the Middle years ended (grade 12).  It is where my mother still lives, more than a decade later (to the benefit of my brothers who got to grow up without moving every year through late adolescence).  Being a rolling stone for so long had a permanent effect upon my psyche, rather than take my all-expenses-paid regent's scholarship to the University of Arizona, I chose to move, yet again and accept a Navy Reserve Officer's Training Corps full scholarship to Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana where I began The College Years.