Growing Pains

Edward Rohs and Judith Estrine

in Raised by the Church

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780823240227
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823240265 | DOI:
Growing Pains

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This chapter discusses how Ed Rohs grew into adolescence at St. Vincent's. For the first time in his life, he attended a coeducational public school—John Jay High School—which was a distance from his institutional home. It describes the challenges he experienced coming up against an alien high school culture, its racism and ignorance of his life in St. Vincent's, and the difficult balancing act between school and institution. The chapter discusses truancy (“playing hooky”) and the shame St. Vincent's boys felt at having to give the school their institutional home address, which automatically labelled them “juvenile delinquents”. Ed's experiences with other St. Vincent boys in a singing group, and his first dance, are described, as is the summer after his Junior year of high school, when he prepares to leave the Catholic home nest by finding summer employment and living on his own.

Keywords: John Jay High School; first dance; singing group; truancy; playing hooky; adolescence; juvenile delinquents; racism

Chapter.  5112 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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