My second 6th grade class. Just a warning, the journaling may be disturbing to some. It reads: This class, this school actually, was a shocking initiation into city life for me. My parents and I had been living in a small Maryland town when we moved to Newport News, Virginia, during the middle of my 6th grade year. On my first day of school, a girl named Bunny threatened to beat me up because she thought I was prettier than her. My class had actually driven away at least one substitute teacher trying to cover the regular instructor on maternity leave. And over the course of the 1Ĺ years that I attended Newsome Park, a number of disturbing events occurred in this school which housed 1st and 2nd graders from the local neighborhood and 6th and 7th graders mostly from 20 minutes away (really a slap in the face of desegregation) : various trash cans and the auditorium curtains were set on fire, a younger student was also set on fire on her walk home one day, and at least one dead newborn was found in the girlís bathroom. In later years, I was told that people I knew were snorting cocaine at the back of our bus. I didnít even know what cocaine was back then. Definitely a jolt to my young mind, and a lasting influence that has affected my decision to raise my own children in a small town.