Boston Latin School
, the oldest public school
in The Americas
, according to legend, was founded in 1635
in Boston, Massachusetts
It is now one of three exam schools in the Boston Public Schools System, and is considered the best of them. The other two are Boston Latin Academy and the John D. O'Bryant School of Science and Math(or something). BLA was formerly Girl's Latin, until both the Latin Schools went co-ed. The old BLA building is located behind Fenway Park and currently houses the Boston Academy for the Arts (BAA), one of the charter school experiments that the Boston Public Schools System is conducting.
Many luminaries have passed through, or flunked out of, its hallowed halls. The latter includes John Quincy Adams and Leonard Nimoy, no one can name anyone famous who actually graduated from there (except Ralph Waldo Emerson and maybe that American Express guy), which is encouraging, because I, too, failed out of BLS.
I have severely mixed feelings about my BLS experience. On one hand, it doesn't deserve its national reputation as a bastion of excellence. But, on the other hand, it is better than you would expect for a free institution, and is certainly scads better than your average public school. On the gripping hand, I don't know if any conventional school would have made me happier, and I'm certain many would have resulted in jail, suicide, homicide or some combination thereof. I wish that it hadn't been so authoritarian and viciously competitive, but I also wish I'd applied myself more and taken what I could've gotten from it, instead of resentfully and sullenly just getting by for several years, and then eventually leaving for Another Course to College, which was essentially a refuge for sullen and resentful BLS and BLA flameouts, as is the aforementioned BAA.
I did have some excellent teachers, I did make some lifelong friends, I did learn quite a bit of useful stuff, and I certainly learned to have a thick skin and muddle through. I think my folks, though they feel guilty about many of my teenage years being a daily hell, did as well as they could have.
It's hellish, but so is teenagerdom.
This writeup is in the public domain.