This was my first indication that this place was different and special. The world I was used to living in had teenagers that didn't hold open doors and usually didn't even acknowledge that people over the age of 30 were allowed to breathe.
Since I wasn't a teacher, starting in December wasn't a major issue. As the new Development Director, there were lots of things to do... work on receipting of gifts, figuring out how to meet donors and make visits to Association Churches.
Bob, Eric, and Mark were among the first teachers to greet me and quickly I felt at home. My first month was interesting because I stayed with my folks at their home in Carmel while my family up north stayed while Mark finished his first semester of sophomore year.
It fell to me to find a place to live. Let's just say my choice wasn't well-received, but in my defense they never saw the places to which I said "no."
At Christmas I drove back up to Augusta and we moved to our rental home not far from Lutheran High.
After Mark and Rhonda arrived, he started school. The next weekend we went on a family trip to a big city mall. As we loaded back into the car, I thought Mark was in the backseat and pulled the car slowly forward.
There was a loud scream.
It was Mark.
Apparently, he was not in the car. He had thrown some stuff across the seat prior to getting inside and I drove the back car tire over the top of both of his feet. It was an accident. Really.
His feet hurt enough that even getting a special meal wasn't able to help ease the pain. On Monday, we drove to the Orthopedic doctor for X-rays. There were no broken bones, but lots of soft tissue damage. He was fitted with walking boots and told to come back for casts.
You know, if you are the new kid in school there probably isn't a better way for other kids to get to meet you than to show up with walking boots on both feet and requiring a wheelchair to get to class. Yeah, I was a hero (actually, Mark didn't see it that way) since now he was well-known to his peers.
Another positive memory of that first semester was Mark's history class right before lunch. In Wisconsin, that's taken sophomore year while in Indiana it comes junior year. So he was the only sophomore. The first day of that class I looked out during lunch and he was sitting at a table with two of the junior class' better athletes and two cheerleaders who welcomed him to their table.
Another sign this wasn't a typical school.
I felt welcomed and thanks to great colleagues I enjoyed every year at LHSI.
There's some more stories inside those memories, more of those in an upcoming blog.