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High School Memories

Life gives us brief moments with another...but sometimes in those brief moment we get memories that last a life time...” - anon

Since I wrote that last entry about the spellling bee, I've been doing some reminiscing about my school days. You know what? I had an interesting insight, I think. Over the years, I've convinced myself that my high school days (and even public school for that matter) were miserable years. [ note to my American friends and western Canada friends: where I grew up in Ontario we went to public school for Grades 1-8, and high school for grades 9-13]. It's only since I've left school that I've convinced myself that they were hollow, empty, lonely years as I grew up in my all-enveloping geek world.

But they weren't, really. Well, ok, so they kinda were, but let's face it, I was a hollow, empty, lonely geek. We lived in the country, the nearest neighbour with anybody close to my age was half a mile away, and my brother and I were only allowed to go down and play at their place on Saturday afternoons after all the chores were done. So I learned to like my own company.

I was accepted at school, though. That's my point. Even though we fit into all the same cliques back then as exist today (jock, cheerleader, geek, all-Canadian, punk, etc.) we all got along with each other. We had different noon hour and after school interests, but we all still hung out together in the halls between classes, cheered each other on if there was a competition representing the school no matter what it was, we'd compete against each other during the annual winter carnival for snow sculptures, we had a school house league where all students were expected to take part, and the teams were randomly drawn up across the board---mixing talent level, grade and so on. Our school offered a lot of activity options. They were innocent times all told.

It was the time of the cold war and the Cuban missile crisis, so things worldwide were kinda tense at times, but at school somehow we felt safer. It was innocent. And we didn't even think of having to worry about someone sticking a knife in us in the washroom. About the worst it got was one day I saw a student back-talking to a teacher. You just didn't do that. You could argue, question, debate. But you didn't balk-talk. Everyone knew that.

So, I didn't get invited to the class parties, I didn't go to the school dances, I wasn't the social butterfly that I now wish I had been. There's the thing. It's only now, after the fact, that I wish I could go back and re-write some of that history, even though, at the time, it was all okay.

It put a smile on my face when I realized that that was the case. If anything, it validates the philosophy of "enjoy the day you've got, yesterday is history, and tomorrow may never come."

_____________________________________________________________

So, I was thinking I'd start a generic tag for anyone and everyone.
5 of your most pleasant memories from school days, and 5 of the worst, or most embarrassing, or whatever.

BEST:

1) Going to all the football games, making total asses of ourselves shouting ourselves hoarse, and pouring confetti down the necks of any and all teachers who showed up to any game.

2) Helping tear down the goal posts the year our school won the Championships. Unfortunately, the celebration was short-lived as they hit my brother on the head when they came down and we had to get him to the hospital for stitches.

3) Helping Sandra decorate the gym for the big French club semi-formal. It was one evening, and she and I were the only two who showed up to decorate. The theme was "Sous les Cieux de Paris" (Under Paris Skies), and we had stretched wires from one side of the gym to the other and were hanging dark blue crepe paper over it to simulate the sky at night. We were almost done, and we were both on ladders, and had stuck our heads through the paper. I said "So this is what heaven looks like". Pure cornball, I know, but I was a teenager experiencing puppy love...give me a break! I had a big crush on her at the time. That's probably the closest I've ever come to getting mushy!

4) Graduation, when my Algebra and Trig teacher told me I had scored 98% on the Provincial Trigonometry Grade 13 exam. He meant the world to me, was an incredible mentor, and was probably the one man most responsible for me eventually spending 20 years of my life in the teaching profession. I was so pleased to have done him proud.

5) The day in Grade 9 in gym class I beat EVERYONE, and I mean even the guys on the track team who were in my gym class, running the 220-yard dash.

WORST:

1) The day after I beat EVERYONE, and I mean even the guys on the track team who were in my gym class, and Mr. Atkinson (my gym teacher---an old military type who ran his Phys Ed class as if it was a training camp for the marines) had told me to show up after school for practice for the track team. He didn't ask, he TOLD me to. I was hyper-excited all day. I was going to get to hang with the jocks, and be able to represent my school in something other than public speaking contests. That day lasted about 2 and a half years as I recall, but eventually it was 4 o'clock and I headed down to the change room with my gym bag. I pushed open the door and there in front of my 98-pound weakling eyes were all these 300-pound gorillas fllicking towels at each other's gonads, spitting, talking dirt and generally being high school grunts. You see, the football team was sharing the change facilities with the track team. I realized I didn't belong, and I turned and walked away from a sure-fire Olympic career. The thing that really pissed me off? The next day, nobody said a thing. Nothing. Nobody. Cripes!

2) Graduation, when a classmate and kinda friend of mine was awarded a trophy and cash prize for scoring the highest grade in Algebra, and I had beaten him by 2 percent. I made a fuss about it (which made me look petty) but they didn't reverse their decision. Eventually, after I got to University, they sent me $50 and an apology for the mixup. I flunked out of University.

3) The night of the grad dance. The girl I had asked (Sandra) laughed in my face because she didn't think I was serious (it took me about 4 days and I don't know how many practice sessions in the mirror to get it right before I got up the courage to ask!). So, I volunteered to serve in the cloakroom checking coats (to my graduating classmates...how pathetic is that?). I remember we had ordered Kentucky Fried Chicken for the food break. Bad planning. We forgot everyone would be all dressed up in fancy gowns, matching gloves and tuxedos.

4) The time I had to bow out of a part I played in a drama club presentation that won the city championships and were going to Sudbury (about 180 miles away) for the Northern Ontario competitions. I couldn't go because, well, there's no delicate way to put this, I was a bed-wetter at the time. Try to make up an excuse for that one when your school is counting on you!

5) The day when, as I was entering the puberty thing, and coming from a very conservative and 'non-takative' family environment, I was as naive as shit about all things sexual. Someone had thumbtacked a Kotex pad to the ceiling tiles in one of the hallways. Word spread around the school quickly (that would be a REALLY over-the-top thing to do in those days) and everyone was coming by and giggling and pointing in a very school-boyish and school-girlish way, until one of the teachers took it down amidst a great cheer. The bad part? I innocently asked one of my friends if that was like a female jock strap!! What did I know?!

....and as a bonus...

FAVORITE SILLY SCHOOL RITUAL:

One of two things. We all had combination locks. It was a great tradition that if you stole someone's lock while they were at their locker (or worse, if you found out their combination) you'd take the lock and put it on the back belt loop of anybody walking by. They'd have to figure out who's lock it was, and the guy or girl missing the lock would have to figure out who had a lock hanging from their ass. It was used more than once to get two kids together that their friends thought should be together. It was sometimes delicate to be fumbling around with a combination rubbing up against someone's ass. I still know the serial number on the bottom of my lock: YP35635. That's how you knew when you found your own lock.

The other thing that several of the bigger kids took some delight in was locker-stuffing us smaller kids. I only got it twice, I think. But there were really small kids like Barry Sullivan who would find himself in a locker somehwere in the school almost every day. But then, he got to hang out with the jocks, so it was okay I guess!

Anyone care to share your stories?

And, oh yeah....Go Oilers Go!!

(I had a couple images of my old high school that I tried to include, but Blogger wasn't co-operating in uploading them. I'll try again later).

PEACE.



I attended The Central High School of Philadelphia, the second oldest high school in the United States, founded in 1836. It was an all-boys school when I attended. It's for college bound students and is very selective and demanding. Some students love Central. Many hate it. I hated high school with a passion, and almost got thrown out in my senior year.

Glad to hear you have some fond memories of high school. I have none. And I mean none!

I hated high school so bad....

High School Sucked!! As a DP, it was HELL on earth.

Hmmm, I might give this a shot, but my best memories are from Junior High. High school sucked.

People....I can't believe this!! Years of your life, and not a SINGLE good memory? Maybe I should revise it and just make it your worst 5 memories!

BTW DJB, what's a DP?

I've learned that because memory is all that remains of my past, I can basically re-shape my past entirely just by which memories I choose to focus on.

For years I believed I had had a very unhappy childhood, and I had the memories to prove it - anger in the home, violence at school, a pervasive sense of loss and depresssion.

Yet while those memories really did happen, it later occurred to me that they weren't ALL that happened. In fact, a real-time recording of my life is not available, which is a relief, but I can easily count as many really happy memories as I can sad ones...


Plus, many things that seemed completely non-descript at the time, like our woodsy home and family trips etc. now seem to me happy memories in themselves.

So I've determined that I can change the past; at least, cast it in a different light, and that's been quite a gift to me in my life.

Sounds like you're enjoying a similar gift, and I'm really glad.

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  • I'm Evydense
  • From Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • And I'm tired of living in the shadow of narrow-mindedness and ignorance. So here's the fax, Jack! "The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and three hundred and sixty-two admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision." - Lynne Lavner*** I'm confused; curious; satisfied; realistically resigned to being a frustrated idealist; usually at peace with myself, but not always. Amazed at how little I know, and wondering how much I need to understand.
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