Not quite sure why I'm doing this to myself.... As I've mentioned elsewhere, my presence of Facebook has reached a sort of critical mass, where people from my distant past are finding and being found by me. It's sometimes cool, sometimes weird, sometimes stressful, sometimes surprising.
I spent much of Thursday, for instance, having a really great conversation with someone from high school whom I sat across from in history my junior year, liked well enough, but didn't really know all that well. She added me as a friend and sent me a message about our 30-year reunion--scheduled for July 2011--and then we exchanged a few more very interesting messages, and it was really great, and made me glad I'm on Facebook.
The chat function, though, makes me nuts. People keep trying to get me to chat via Facebook's chat function, which I can't figure out how to disable. I don't chat online. On principle I don't use any form of online chat. You want me to communicate with you, take the time to compose a message that I can answer on my own time, and don't expect me to wait while you're typing. The only time I have violated that rule is when someone asked me a quick, specific question that needed a quick, specific answer and didn't need a full email thread.
Anyway, the chat rant was a sidetrack--the real point of this entry is a meme I found on the page of another old schoolmate. (Schoolmate! I don't know that I've ever used that word in a sentence about myself.) I read this meme and was mildly astonished to realize there are people in the world who think about high school in a sustained way--I mean, someone actually came up with all these questions about high school!
High school for me was like lunch on a road trip: this not especially memorable thing you have to stop and deal with while you're on your way to someplace better. You try to make the best of it and hope it's not awful, but you know better than to hope it will actually be great. And chances are, unless you end up spending more time in the bathroom (or the hospital, or the therapist's office) dealing with some dreadful aftermath than you spent on the original experience, the details of it soon become fuzzy as you focus on something more important. In fact, a few hours later, all you're left with is some mild nausea and one more reason to stash a few packets of Alka-Seltzer in your glove compartment.
So why am I actually answering the questions on this meme? Actually confronting these things is the Alka-Seltzer, the weird fizzy thing that will settle what has been ruffled and roiled. Also, I don't know, what the hell. I had extensive dental work this morning and am feeling sort of cranky, and this seems like a good way to let the crankiness out. I just am answering the questions. So there.
DURING YOUR SENIOR YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL ...
1. Did you date someone from your school?
Yes. As far as I can remember, I had one official date my senior year in high school: I went to the winter formal with a guy I'd known since I first learned to make vowel sounds. I later went to his wedding--his was the first gay wedding I ever attended--and I took another gay Mormon man as my date.
That tells you as much about me as the rest of this meme put together.
2. Did you marry someone from your high school?
Thank christ, no, I didn't marry someone from my high school during my senior year of high school. Neither did I marry someone from my high school after I graduated.
3. Did you car pool to school?
Dear lord no--I walked, all two and a half blocks. I walked home for lunch, too.
4. What kind of car did you have?
I didn't. I didn't like driving. I still don't.
5. What kind of car do you have now?
Oh, some white thing with four wheels and four doors. I have to stop and think every time I answer this question for some mechanic and I'm not going to do that here. It's a vehicle, goddamnit, not a statement about my personality.
6. It's Friday night - where were you in high school?
I remember far too many Friday nights playing in the band at some wretched football or basketball game--not excruciatingly painful, just something I would rather have not done. If there was a dance, chances were good I went to the dance. If there was no dance or ball game or pizza party, well, I wasn't watching television because I didn't watch television in high school. I was probably reading a book or writing something.
7. It's Friday night – where are you now?
Watching a dvd or reading a book or writing something.
8. What kind of job did you have in high school?
I didn't have a job in high school, unless you count the fact that I was yearbook editor both my junior and senior year. But I didn't get paid for that. Every summer I worked for my parents, but I didn't work during the school year.
9. What clubs, activities or sports did you participate in?
Besides yearbook, I was also in band--I played the clarinet in marching band and the bassoon in symphonic band. HATED IT. I sang in some choir. I was in honor society. We didn't have many clubs. As a freshman I also went to volleyball tryouts for a week (everyone was doing it, and I succumbed to peer pressure) and tennis tryouts for two weeks (my mom really wanted me to play, but I sucked and thought the scorekeeping was silly). As a senior I went to track tryouts for a day--the track coach saw me running every morning (so I wouldn't get fat) and wanted me to be a distance runner. But I didn't run fast, and when I vomited as a result of the crap they made me do at practice, I said, "I'm outta here."
10. Were you a party animal?
11. Were you considered a flirt?
Hardly. I have an essay about my mother coming into my bedroom one evening and lecturing me on the fact that I wasn't flirty enough. She thought my earnestness was a character flaw.
12. Were you a nerd?
13. Did you get suspended or expelled?
14. Can you sing the fight song?
A few lines. It went
Hail, Thatcher High!
We sing our praise to thee.
We'll stand by our colors
and honor bring the T
15. What was/were your favorite class(es)?
The creative writing classes I took at the community college my junior year.
As for the classes I actually took from high school teachers in high school, I didn't like algebra much, but I was surprised at how much I liked geometry--I liked shapes and I liked writing proofs, liked figuring out how to construct an argument and demonstrate that something was a fact. I wasn't especially interested in science and refused to take chemistry. I can't say I liked practical classes like typing or accounting, but I valued what I learned in them. Every English class I took in high school was a joke, which is why I began taking writing courses at the community college.
16. Who was/were your favorite teacher(s)?
As I mentioned, I was yearbook editor. One reason I liked doing that was because I loved the yearbook advisor. She was really good to me. The Home Ec teacher was my MIA Maid teacher and I really liked her too--considered her a friend--but I never took a class from her at school.
17. Where did you sit during lunch?
My kitchen table.
18. What was your school's full name?
Thatcher High School.
19. When did you graduate?
20. What was your school mascot?
A green and white eagle. The yearbook I edited was the Talon.
21. If you could go back and do it again, would you?
I have no great desire to, but I guess if I could do it over and change a few things, I might. For instance, I was valedictorian and had phenomenal scores on college entrance exams, but it never occurred to me to apply to truly prestigious schools--I applied to the universities in Arizona and that was it. Our counselor sucked and never suggested anyone try to cultivate any ambition, and I was too earnest and dutiful and provincial to imagine going to some fancy school when no one in my family--or, with a few exceptions I didn't know about, the entire town--had ever done that. Yeah, I got a huge fat scholarship to the U of A and I loved my undergraduate education, but I sort of wonder what might have happened if I had applied to, say, Stanford for Berkeley as an undergrad.
I also might have graduated in three years. My senior year I only took four classes, one of which was driver's ed and another of which was teacher's aid. I didn't even take English as a senior because the teacher was an IDIOT. And while there were classes I would have liked to take if they were available--art, maybe, or French--our school was too poor to offer them. So I just found a way to have more time to devote to yearbook, so that I went home every day at, say, 4 p.m. instead of 5:30.
22. Did you have fun at Prom?
23. Do you still talk to the person you went to Prom with?
24. Are you planning on going to your next reunion?
Sure, if it's convenient. I might even manage to look forward to it, though that might be foolish, given that my writing is so critical of the church and most of the people I graduated with are faithful Mormons.
25. Do you keep in touch with high school friends?
Not really. There's only one person from high school I maintain any sort of contact with, though I'm happy to hear from everyone else now and again.
I tag everyone who graduated from high school and is willing to revisit it.