High School in Brooklyn

From 1963-1965 I attended Brooklyn Technical High School, a 6,000 student all boys engineering magnate type of high school. The school itself was an intimidating edifice.. 11 stories tall and a one square city block footprint.. the curriculum and the teachers were even more intimidating. In addition to these challenges I travelled one and a half hours each way to school. 30 minutes on a bus. 30 minutes on the Staten Island Ferry. 30 minutes on the subway.

One and a half years after enrolling, struggling to maintain a "B" average, I had an attack of appendicitis. Weeks later I found myself enrolled by my parents at my local high school - which I sometimes walked (about 3 miles) to. I sailed through the remainder of my school experience and lost most of the study ethic I have developed in Brooklyn.

A number of years I ago I talked with my mom about that experience and realized that my mom saw my illness as an opportunity to pull me out of dangerous Brooklyn. She shared with me of how she worried everyday I travelled to Brooklyn. It was a place where violence was frequent in that era. And I was not a big kid. My mom did what she believed to be in my best interest. I still wonder if it really was. My deficient study ethic came into full bloom in college.

The moral, I think, is that we need to understand the inner motives that drive us to make decisions for our children. Sometimes fear and other negative inner forces can drive us to act in certain ways. I certainly did with my children. Letting our teenagers go and trusting their wisdom can be very difficult - not that I know what I am talking about. ツ


  1. Really enjoyed this post and reading about this part of your life. Relating it to parenthood is helpful to me because my kiddos are young and I need all help I can get.


  2. I'm a Tech grad ('98), and I wonder the same thing. I didn't want to go, and while I'm not quite certain I would change anything, I am certain that Tech is not for everyone.

    From your experience, I do think you missed out on something big.

  3. Hey Bob, interesting story.
    I went to the same school at about the same time, 1959 to 1961. It was a great learning experience. I do remember being told to access the school from only one street, which was considered safer, but I never had any problem with the local residents. Whatever danger there might have been was far outweighed by the excellent education I received there - skill which I still use today in ham radio and understanding technology.

  4. Thanks for stopping by Vince (and divine love)! Always great to hear from fellow New Yorkers! Hope you come back.


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