In Grade 7 (1981) we had one TRS 80 in the science room.
Every Friday we had a two hour activity session -- Things like electrical shop (Building motors in Metal Shop), Anthropology (Noted documentarian showing off his stuff), extra sports, cooking, gaming, etc.
One of the options was something called "Math Digressions" Which was about the nerdiest title ever. It consisted of us writing programs on the TRS 80.
The one nice thing about that flavour of BASIC was the set command. You could set a pixel directly via screen co-ordinates (set(0,0) would turn on the upper left) which was very easy for a 12 year old to understand. The character space mapping that commodore used was too complex at that age.
I started spending my time after school at the local Radio Shack. I'd come in with programs I had written out on paper and type them in. I had a working blackjack game by the end of grade 8. The Shack guys didn't seem to mind. I think it was corporate policy to let the kids in as long as they didn't act up; It allowed them to show the scared adults that even a child could do it.
It wasn't until grade 10 that I was again allowed to take a programming course in school. We started off in HYPO (an 8 bit assembly simulator), then Waterloo Basic, which was a fairly structured basic flavour, and the school had a policy "GOTO = fail", which actually instilled some good practices.
In grade 11 we moved on to PASCAL and C, which I hated at the time. (too many hard to find characters!).
In University (at various times), I ended up studying Fortran, C++ and Java.
I'll echo what wcm said. It was a magical time. And I think that people my age (35-50) are the most computer literate generation there will ever be (as a whole -- you'll always find gifted individuals). We learned when computers were becoming ubiquitous, but still hard to use. We had to conquer the dos prompt. We had to try multiple interrupt jumper configurations on our modems to get them to work. We actually had to understand this stuff.
I teach part time a 2nd year Data Structures using Java. I still get chills at the coolness of a recursive binary search tree, or a queue based breadth first search. Kids today just don't give a damn about this stuff. They want instant messaging.