The Hallways of Hibbing High School

They were haunted, I tell you. Haunted by the spirits of students gone before us. Haunted perhaps by Bob Dylan himself, although he was Robert Zimmerman way back then. And there’s the hallway leading to the study hall with the “meat line” of young men ogling young women. And there’s Kevin McHale towering over all of us, so long-legged and long-armed. And now those hallways haunt me, haunt my dreams…..frequently.

Hibbing High School was the recipient of the coveted Bellamy Award for prestigious, honorable high schools. Built by iron ore mining money decades before, it is still a grand monument to Minnesota industrialism and capitalism and extravaganzaism. The auditorium was likened onto the Capitol Theater in New York City!

Grand and glorious, yet oddly enough, filled with unappreciative teenagers scheming ways to skip classes without getting caught.

In my dreams, I cannot find my locker. I do not remember my class schedule. I am carrying an armload of books, but I have no idea what class they are for. I wander through the hallways of Hibbing High School, up and down the magnificent staircases. I turn corners looking for shortcuts to classes I cannot find.

It’s a school like a castle. It is a school with four floors, at least! And a subterranean level as well. I try to follow the crowds to find my way, but they ALL seem to know where they are going. I slip into a class already in progress, hoping it is where I belong. The teacher doesn’t seem to recognize me, but I smile and take a seat in the back. As the hour continues, I begin to panic afresh. The teacher is passing out a major test, and I have not been in class for weeks. Do I even belong here? I dash out the door, down the hallways, down the stairs and around more corners. Here are some lockers! Maybe one of these is mine. Well, this one looks familiar, but what is my locker combination?

And so it goes.
On and on.
With no resolution.
Until I wake up.
Exhausted by the hallways of Hibbing High School.

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October 2011