Sibling Assignment #32 : Wildcat Tales

Our sibling assignment this week is to write about an accomplishment from high school. My brother's is here and my sister's is here. I attended high school in Kellogg, Idaho and graduated in 1973. High school was a busy, active, full -of- fun time that went by quickly. A few months ago my mother and I had a conversation about where my interest in writing began. She was staying at my house and as we visited she reminded me of opportunities I experienced in my school years that may have contributed to my love of writing today. One thing that stands out in high school was when I was a feature writer for our school newspaper " The Wildcat".

Our school newspaper was published at the local town newspaper office so it looked like a real newspaper. I think it came out once a week. When I was a junior in high school I took my first journalism class. I wanted to be a newspaper writer. I began by doing features on the fashions in the high school. I helped with a feature called " Fads and Fashions." Next I reported on events in the high school such as school plays, speech competitions, and music activities. Then my editor K.B. decided I should do a column. My own newspaper column! It was titled " Wildcat Tales" and my job was to give the scoop on the happenings of our high school. I remember loving to compose that weekly column on an old typewriter in the "journalism office" .
Perhaps these type of columns set the stage for "web logs" as writing on the internet became popular. I loved composing " Wildcat Tales" and that column was the beginnings of a writing life that started and stopped many times in the next thirty- some years until I began this blog. Now my tales have taken on a different form. Thanks to KB, I was encouraged to put my thoughts to typewriter to paper back in that year when I was a junior in high school at Kellogg High School. That writing lit a spark that ignited, then smoldered, then reignited again. That was an accomplishment from high school that was a lifelong lesson. It was the beginning of a writing life that I hope continues to grow and thrive.


  1. IEG, When I was at Centre of the Universe High a bunch of reprobates and I handled the school paper. Ha! I was sports editor and had a column in the Wa-Hi Booster called the "Athletic Supporter". Ha! When I interviewed at KHS in '74 the Principal, true story, pulled out a handfull of Wa-Hi Boosters, that I recognized, from his desk and asked me what I would do if a student wrote the type of stuff I had written...particularly about Kellogg, and wanted to put it in the school paper. I must have given the right answer. I was hired. Ha! Go Figure!

  2. seenthatbefore: I loved the name of your sports column. Now that you reminded me we did get copies of all the other school newspapers around the region. I don't think "Fads and Fashions" helped me get my job in the district in 1977!
    Thanks Shelby!

  3. I second that last statement, for we shall get to read some of your writing. :)

  4. What a fun thing to remember - and to think how it shaped what you like to do now. You were meant to be a 'writer'!

  5. Hi there!
    Sorry it has been so long since I commented. I love this story. My high school mascot was the wildcat and our paper was 'Cat Tales'.

  6. I started writing in high school also (class of '72) at the urging of one of English teachers. (She liked a story I wrote about vampires -- she was a very hip teacher.) I remember writing more in HS but not much after graduation. It's so great that you can pinpoint when it started for you and that it's still "afire". Keep it up -- I love to come here and read!

  7. That's wonderful to be able to trace your love of writing back to such an enjoyable time. I, too, wrote a column for my high school paper, and it was great fun (even if I did always turn it in JUST under the deadline!)

  8. Great story! I never had time to be on the paper in high school (too busy with music stuff), although I was editor of my junior high school paper. I also founded The Horse's Mouth, a paper for my sixth grade class at Horace Mann elementary school. I can still smell that mimeo machine ink ;)

    I think of my blog as my own private newspaper -isn't it fun to have them??

  9. I remember "Fads and Fashions." I was so into High School that I kept every copy of the Wildcat for a number of years. I think I may still have one or two! It made me feel like I was a part of things.

    I wrote for the "Cardinal Review" at NIC and the "Argonaut" in Moscow. Features were my favorite genre. I don't think I ever got many kudos for newswriting, but I made my editor at NIC nearly roll on the floor laughing once.

    I took Creative Writing at NIC, and always wanted to be a writer. I never thought I had "what it takes" - but now I realize it just takes time, discipline, and something to say - [read: something "interesting" to say].

    You go girl! (PS. email me sometime -

  10. I'd like to know what you think of writing on a typewriter vs. on a computer keyboard. I think that writing on typewriters was slower for me and that let me think more about what I was putting on paper. Personally, the computer makes it too easy to go fast and then go back and rewrite, sometimes several times.

  11. Tammy: Thanks. I look forward to continuing with writing.
    Jackie: I hope I was... I do it better than keeping the house clean!
    Tori, Another wildcat? Go Wildcats! Don't tell me your colors were also purple and gold.
    Marci, I am glad your English teacher saw your talent and you have now found an outlet with blogging.
    Katrina: Back then I couldn't even imagine a laptop, let alone blogging. Wasn't school paper writing a blast? I felt it was rewarding.
    Becca: Thanks for reminding me. I think we had a junior high Kitten Press also.
    PIMD: Wow! A feature writer at both college papers. Impressive. I think you are right. It is just writing every day... believe me it is hard to make it interesting every day. Our blogs sure help though.

  12. Janet: Good point. I have used this same idea with teachers at my school that are concerned that students don't know keyboarding and can't do composing. It is not a time test... it is thinking time. I often find myself doing drafts longhand first. I love pen to paper still... a bit old school.


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