I grew up in Houston and went to an exclusive private school called St John's from 1st grade through 10th grade, at which point I transferred to Lamar High School, literally across the street but worlds away.
My SJ career was pretty poor on the grades side of things. I remember the day, near the middle of 2nd grade, that I was assigned too much work and couldn't finish it. This made me kind of mad, especially since some kids had no trouble at all with it. Others were more like me, and there were kids dropping out and getting held back every year. It was at that point that I realized that I really didn't have to do all that work. It was also then that I decided not to do it all unless it was reasonable, in my mind. Thus was the first chapter of the end of my SJ career.
Fast forward through years of crappy grades and good teachers, great classmates, fistfights, mediocre athleticism and a serious problem communicating with females (until about 7th grade when I became better friends with some of the new girls- our class size doubled in 7th- and also with some rebellious and brilliant types such as Whitney Vaughan)
Through all these years my old friends were, one by one, leaving SJ to go to other schools, mostly private, and they were replaced with the best and brightest Houston had to offer. No diversity, of course, but seriously smart people. Meanwhile, David Beebe went from being average to basically being one of the "dumber" kids. Not having a photographic memory and also having an imagination that runs wild while I read was a double whammy for me. By the time I was asked to and agreed to "consider leaving" I was ready to go for sure. I approached every day at school starting near the end of 7th grade as a new adventure and made sure to have as much fun as possible. Even my parents had to laugh when I was busted skipping study hall given detention for "lounging with the girls" on a back lawn. Not so funny for me was the "Saturday Work Hall" I received for streaking down River Oaks Blvd one day after school hours and not on school property. That was the point at which it was explained to me that I was a representative of the St John's family 24/7 and that I could and would be held responsible at school for things that could happen out of school. Needless to say, I had a whole lot of crazy but harmless stuff my friends and I were doing on a near daily basis that would have qualified for punishment under those terms. It was time to go.
Ironically, I am still on great terms with St John's and never really was on bad ones, even as I walked out the door for the last time as a student. And even more ironically, in the company of certain people in Houston, my actions in life (most of my public activities have been pretty positive) still do reflect indirectly on St John's. Wow.
Lastly, I just recently attended my St John's 20th class reunion and it was amazing. We always had a really strong and fun class. We still do and, not surprisingly, everyone is doing really well and looking good doing it. I would not trade Lamar for anything- best move I ever made- except maybe going to UT- but St John's does actually pretty much live up to its billing- especially if your kid is about 20% smarter than I am! - David