Sunday, October 5, 2008

High Schooled

Today I was doing math exercises to prep for the GRE. The lined paper, the lists of equations, the word problems all felt uncomfortably like high school.

And then I remembered the High School Survey I saw over at blogoxygen! Who's up for a little nostalgia?

1. Did you date someone from your high school? A whopping two someones. There was A, my first boyfriend. We did Drama Club and Academic Team together – it was a match made in nerd heaven. I think I may really have loved him, but in the funny way that teenagers fall in love. We broke up and there was much pain and angst. My junior year I dated N for about six weeks before A and I realized that we still, uh, had a thing for each other. My mother made me wait two weeks after breaking up with N before I could start dating A again. Did I mention N was in the Drama Club, too? Awkward.

2. What kind of car did you drive? A silver-and-rust 1985 Pontiac GT. No air conditioning, no heat, and the fabric on the ceiling caved in. In the winter it had to be on for at least twenty minutes before it would go into drive. Not surprisingly, I was voted Worst Car my senior year.

3. What is your most embarrassing moment in high school? You want me to pick out just one? Well, you’re getting two. Freshman year I fell off a bus. It was raining, I missed a step, and my backpack was crammed full of textbooks. Thankfully it was so full that I was actually carrying another textbook, which shielded my face from the sidewalk.

Senior year I was Snoopy in our production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. I wore a fur suit in front of the entire student body. Snoopy’s big showstopper song is, ironically, “Suppertime,” which I was belting out at a time when food was not my friend.

4. Were you a party animal? Oh hell no. My social position as Nerd Extraordinaire had been fixed since I moved to the district at thirteen. I had quite a few friends, but I wasn’t the one they called to go drinking. Then again, they usually went out to a place called “The Ridge” to drink. I don’t know if high elevations and blind intoxication are good partners.

5. Were you considered a flirt? Nope. Far too nerdy and awkward.

6. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? I was in an awesome choir. The director was a teeny man with one leg who may have loved us a little too much, but we sang our hearts out for him. And we were good. A was in the choir, too. Did I mention that my school was TINY?

7. Were you a nerd? Duh. Academic Team, Drama Club, Choir, Worst Car, and co-salutatorian. Then, as now, a neon “TOOL” sign often materialized above my head.

8. Were you on any varsity teams? I played a very little varsity volleyball my sophomore year, and then I officially made the team my junior and senior years. We weren’t that great but I loved it. I was an anchor of the Academic Team my junior and senior years, which means that I played every round.

9. Did you get suspended/expelled? Haha no. I talked big, though, and if I’d actually done some of the things I thought of doing, or told some of the teachers what I really thought, I’d have been out of there on my ass.

10. Can you still sing the fight song? No, but my mother can. Did I mention we went to the same high school? Did I mention it’s TINY?

11. Who were your favorite teachers? For a tiny school in the butt end of nowhere, we had some standouts. Mr. S, my algebra and geometry teacher, got me to actually like math. That may have been because he looked spot-on David the Gnome. I kid you not.

Dr. B was my crazy-ass honors English teacher. He introduced me to literature and actually listened to me when I bitched about all the “dead white guys” we had to read.

Ms. H was supposed to be my AP History teacher, but she left before I could take it. I had her for Comparative Religions and she was a hoot.

Mrs. S, my Algebra II and Pre-Calc teacher. I wasn’t stellar at math, but she’s probably the best instructor in Southern Ohio.

Mrs. I, my AP English and Creative Writing teacher. She was the one who finally convinced me that my writing wasn’t half bad.

12. Where did you sit during lunch? Table with friends. My brother used to sit at picnic tables set out behind the building. During his senior year, the little shit ordered a pizza during lunch period – only the delivery guy took it to the front of the school. He escaped with a good-natured scolding from the vice-principal.

13. School Mascot? A tiger. Yes, I know most of the words to “Eye of the Tiger.”

14. Did you go to homecoming and with whom? Fall Homecoming was A Big Deal at my school, and so I avoided going for a couple of years. I never had a date to any homecoming dances – a bunch of girls would go out to dinner then to the dance as a group.

15. If you could go back and do it again, would you? FUCK NO. Even though my freshman year at college was rough (what with the not eating), it was miles better than what I’d left behind.

16. What do you remember most about graduation? Don’t hate me, but I was co-salutatorian. I gave a speech – a darn good one, actually. I wish I had a copy. But my most vivid memory is walking up to the podium and willing myself not to pee.

17. Where did you go senior skip day? Funny story. My spot as co-salutatorian was a contentious one – there was a lot of drama, and at that point I cared more about being skinny and fooling my mom than I was about being second. It came down to two grades – a homework assignment and test in pre-calculus. The homework assignment was due on skip day. I seriously contemplated not going, not getting the grade, and not being salutatorian. When I told my mom this, she flipped. “Lisa, there are people rooting for you to be salutatorian. You have to go!” So I went, turned in the assignment, and bumped myself up in the rankings. Woo-hoo.

18. Have you gained weight since then? Define “then.” If you mean freshman-junior year, then no – I weigh less now than I did then. I weigh slightly more now than I did at the end of my senior year.

19. Who was your prom date? I went stag my senior year, but junior year I went with A. At this point at I was pretty madly in love with him. My dress was black, strapless, and had pink trim. Get this – A dyed his hair pink to match. I had a wonderful time, and when A dropped me off, he pulled into my driveway, turned out the headlights, and we made out like banditos for half an hour. I retained my honor, of course, but there was definitely some intentional boob-brushing.

20. Are you planning on going to your 10 year reunion? Totally. I’m madly curious to know what everyone’s up to, how much they have or haven’t changed. But then I’m madly curious about most people’s lives.

21. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself? Do not worry so much about your grades – despite what everyone tells you, they are not predictors of your eventual success in life. RELAX, for the love of cheese. Don’t be such a scaredy-cat. And when senior year rolls around, please do not convince yourself that you can live on diet yogurt, grapes, and Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. Oh, and you’re an OKAY PERSON and PEOPLE LIKE YOU, you don’t have to wait till college to realize that about yourself.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Didn't need to know about the prom-night gropage!

(I still describe Mr. S as "David-the-Gnome with a blackboard," and I judge harshly those who do not understand the reference.)