Southfield High School Class of 1957

Susie Robinson's Speech

October 06, 2007 --  Southfield High School, Class of ’57 Reunion
Address by Suzie Robinson

Thanks for inviting me to your party.  Before I opened the invitation, I looked at the return address and said “I think I taught that Boring kid – but Lovers’ Lane?”

 I know you made great efforts to make it here tonight.  But there are many who could not come, but would like to be.  (Donna’s letter.)

Fifty-five years ago, Mom put an article on my breakfast plate about recruitment for a new high school in Southfield.   She said it was “out Telegraph – somewhere in farm country.”  I applied, and got the job.

I drove my used ’49 Hudson to the new school, found my way to the second- floor library to the first faculty meeting.  When I walked in the room, I realized we were young, very young, to start a new school.  The average age being 26 and I was three years younger and the only biology teacher to develop curriculum.  Mrs. Muir, (the real CEO,) showed me my classroom.  There were five microscopes and a torso model with removable organs.  She told me, “Mr. Van Amede said the children shouldn’t touch it.”   I signed on for ‘52-53.  I figured I would work a year, save my money and quit to photograph African wildlife.  Thirty-five years later, after 4,000 students and a lifetime of experience, I retired.  The year before, SHS won the presidential award for excellence in education, but it was you people in the early years who laid the foundation.  You taught us how to be better teachers.  Students and teachers have a reciprocal relationship.

Now, let’s take a look at changes 1957 to 2007… 

1)     You were a type A personality fighting peer pressure.  In ’07 you’re still a type A fighting blood pressure.

2)     In ’57 you took your date to the rolladium; Now you settle for a Rollaid.

3)     You looked for a “hip joint” to meet a cool kid; Now you look for a hip joint replacement.

4)     You guys combed your hair in a pompadour; Now you wish you had something to comb.

5)     You gals fought the battle for Homecoming Queen.  In ’07, your still fighting the battle of the bulge.  

6)     Mr. Mills taught you a cataract was part of a waterfall; Now you find out you’ve got one in your eye.

7)     You cheered Coach Watts team-“Yey Jays!”  Now you say, “Eh?

8)     When you were a teenager, “maybe;” Now you’re almost a Golden-ager and you say “Depends! 

Well, you’ve realized your goals, you’ve taught, and preached, traveled world-wide, worked for the Peace Corps, and published books.  I have received a book from Mel Guinea Pig Scientist” and also a book from Margaret Honest to Genesis.”  Writing a book is an unrealized goal of mine.  To paraphrase Robert Browning, “Ahh, but a student’s work must exceed her teacher’s or what’s an education for?”  After retiring, I spent a year of aimless drifting.  Then I pursued the three B’s – bonsai, birds, and Bible.  In the book of Genesis, chapter 1: 26, we read that “human kind is given dominion over the creatures of the earth.”  This does not mean domination, but stewardship.   

But in the end, we will save only what we love, we love only what we know, and we know only what we are taught.

Enjoy your reunion and don’t be sad when it’s over.  Be glad it ever happened.  Go out and live fearlessly! You are loved!


Molly - official mascot of SHS 1957
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