We came of age in a very different world from that of our slightly older schoolmates. While the early ‘70s were filled with conflict, things had quieted down by 1977. The Vietnam War had finally ended, although the bitter aftermath would linger for decades. Nixon had resigned in the wake of the Watergate Scandal, but he had been pardoned by incoming President Gerald Ford (a controversial move that fueled cynical feelings toward the U.S. government). We were gradually recovering from the recession that had gripped our country, with a new awareness of the limits of our oil supply.
Perhaps weary from the events of the recent past, the focus of much of the country’s population was beginning to shift inward and away from politics. On the culture front, Elvis Presley had passed away, and punk music was starting to develop. The disco craze was very much on the rise, and a movie called Star Wars had become an overnight sensation. While we were still using typewriters in typing class, the personal computer had arrived in the form of the Apple II. And many of us were now heating up our after-school snacks in a microwave. With the birth of both Apple and Microsoft, more technological innovation was on the horizon.