|Over the years the bond between the
students is sometimes questioned by folks who did not attend the school.
There is a curiosity about the how and why of it. All sorts of comments
are made about how the students were in contact with each other. Even the
more rude observation, especially in this time period when so much goes to
the lascivious, as to there being maybe a darker side. All the emotions
tied up with living must be recognized. There was the loneliness of
students who are almost children, away from the love of their home. All
the fears tied up with life and living, fear of failure, peer pressure and
yes even death, were ever present. There was anger too for numbers of
valid reasons. Sorrow could be visited upon the children for one or
another reason. There too, were the positive emotions such as, puppy love,
joy in social activities, games, and certainly the feeling of protected
security. Of course, the opposite of this might be considered by some to
be a confinement and loss of freedom. For whatever emotion the dormitory
rooms always gave a person an opportunity to have someone with them. The
shared understanding between the students gave them a close, protective,
bond toward each other. This can be seen as we look into a chance
conversation between two of the girls.
"Tip!" "What are you doing sitting in the
dark?" The lounge was created for the girls. It was set in one of the
basements and wasn't anything of pleasant surroundings. The girls were not
encouraged to be wasteful of their time, therefore;
No extras of any sort were given to this
space. The high windows did let a little light through, but mostly the
room was dark. There was no answer forthcoming from the girl. Typical of
her stoic ways she simply looked straight ahead without making a reply.
Margie was not one to be daunted by the
attitude. She knew of these ways and the girl sat down on the couch beside
this obviously disturbed girl. "Is something wrong?" She pressed for an
"Have you seen the paper?" She gestured
toward the paper in front of her which had been folded to a particular
Margie reached over for the paper. There in
large letters were the words, "Chilocco Student found dead on Railroad
Tracks." The story went on to tell of how the unhappy student had run away
from the school. Whether it was an accident or whether he walked into the
train was not known.
After the girl read the paper, she turned
to Tip. "Do you think he walked into the train?"
Tip was a deep person. She wouldn't get
into a shallow discussion as a rule. It was with surprise Margie heard her
say. "I wouldn't doubt it."
"Did you know him?" Margie asked.
"I didn't. "But how is he different from
any of us?" Margie knew the girl was intelligent beyond her years in her
observation and in some childlike way she admired her for that.
The girls made no more conversation about
the incident. Instead, they spent a very long time just chatting about
everything and everything else. When the girls parted Margie walked to her
room with the early comments Tip made still on her mind. As she stood at
the large windows of her room overlooking the pleasant outdoor
surroundings, she was still quiet with thinking. When her room mate came
through the door it was there she found her.
"Hm-m." "Are you okay?" "You aren't
homesick, are you?"
"No, oh no, not that!" Margie was honest.
"I'm just thinking about that boy who was killed." "Did you know him?"
Margie's roommate was even more true to her
culture than Tip in her stoicism. She made no comment at all. If there was
a brief sadness to cross over her face she quickly was in control.
Shrugging her shoulders she said, "Are you
going to chow?" "Or, are you going to stand here starring out that
This was only one incident. However, I
think it goes a long way to demonstrate how a close bond was established
between the students as time after time they shared many different life
situations. Certainly not all were to this gravity but; nonetheless, it
was the being there for each other to cause these bonds to be formed. The
culture of the American Indian contributed to actually what I would call a
creation of a totally new tribe, and that one would be called "Chiloccoans."