Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Old Days

Ashley at Writing to Reach You has been blogging through the school years. I don't think I can do one blog post per year, since my younger years are vague memories at best and the more recent years are full of debauchery and absurdity... Instead, I am going to break it down, writing a sentence or so about each year or so.

Preschool - we had swings. We had music time and I liked the triangle.

Kindergarten - our teacher was nice (I think all Kindergarten teachers have to be nice) and when we did an assignment we got to put a dot sticker on our ladybug and when we filled our ladybug we got a prize. Maybe if the prizes had been better I would have developed better habits.

First Grade - our teacher was mean and ugly, from my memory. Whenever we got in trouble we had to write to one hundred on a piece of graph paper with exactly 100 squares. I was already proving to be a lazy genius, as I would fill out the page systematically, being very aware of the pattern and understanding the efficiency of writing the same number repeatedly. I was a one woman assembly line of 1 to 2 digit numbers. I think I peed my pants in class once. I don't know why kids aren't allowed to go to the bathroom without permission.

Second Grade - Who did I even have? I think her name might have been Mrs. Carter. I think she was like your average teacher those days, with a bad sort of mushroom cut and frequently wearing corduroy jumpers. My mom and step dad got married. My sister Michele was born. I think we also moved to a new neighborhood, leaving a lot of friends behind.

Third Grade - Fourth Grade - I was in a 3rd-4th combined class. In 3rd Grade I remember we were supposed to do some sort of presentation in front of the class, I got so nervous I cried and declared that I couldn't do it. Mrs. Mulrooney threatened that I would get a 0, an F if I didn't do it. I took the poor grade. We watched The Princess Bride in class. My best friends were Rachel, who was in a different class, and Audrey. In fourth grade I used to hang out with Audrey all the time, even going to a Renaissance Faire dressed up. She had a schizo moment when I was at her house and I made her mom take me home in the middle of the night. That may have been the end of it. I was also friends with Nina and Morgan among others. I think I hit a boy at recess once.

Fifth Grade - Sixth Grade - I was again in a combined class, the Gifted and Talented Education classes were always combined. Maybe this is when I had Mrs. Carter. Yeah. We called her Mrs. Carterski. I don't know why. Who did I have for second grade? Montesano? Oh well. I had my first crush on a boy, Tyler Roberts. Friggin' Cody Dadew told him. This is when people first started to have boyfriends and girlfriends. I had one boy come up to me during recess and ask me if I wanted to go out with his friend. I said 'no' because I didn't think he was being serious. I wasn't that cool. I would play games like Miss Mary Mac at recess sometimes and Iesha said the word 'bitch." My dad was teaching me to play softball. I was going to be on a team.

Between Sixth Grade and Seventh Grade my family moved to Oregon. My sister and I didn't know anyone and we lived way far away from people so we played outside in the backyard wearing shorts with boots pretending we were in Jurassic Park or playing other weird games. Michele got stuck by her pants on a rock and Meg and I discovered her.

Seventh Grade - I had started a new school in a new state - the first day was on my birthday. A girl I had met while registering for school and had had a sleepover with once discovered that she could be cool and left me behind pretty much immediately. I think she stole my Fiona Apple CD. I made friends with Tricia and a girl named Velvet Lafaun, who is most likely in porn now. I was no longer in the classes for smart kids and I started doing worse in school, despite everything being easier. Tricia had to move and I became friends with Tyana and her group of friends. I committed vandalism and got sentenced to one day of in school suspension.

Eighth Grade - Still friends with many of the same people for a while, I staged an uprising in Tyana's crew, Katrina and I split off. I later became BFF with Kristin and Josie - we sat together in Satan Maffai's class. I was still a horrible student and spent more time mastering the art of folding notes than anything else. My sister Maddie was born. I tested really well and was to be put in all honors classes in high school, though Satan Maffai was opposed to this. A girl I knew got pregnant.

Ninth Grade - The friendships continued to shift and I had a big falling out with Kristin at the end of the year. I had a big crush on this boy, Brandon, but he had a big crush on Kristin. I wanted very much to be cool and still did pretty poorly in school, managing to just barely pass a lot of classes, despite being intelligent enough. I took lots of art classes, though I nearly failed one of those, as well. I just didn't turn stuff in.

Tenth Grade - I still wasn't doing amazingly well, but I started hanging out with some good influences, future valedictorians, some of them. I took more art classes, still had a big crush on Brandon, made friends with his girlfriend, who remained a close friend for the rest of high school and somewhat beyond. I used to write and illustrate notes with Laura and Rachel. Rachel makes amazing zines now. I still keep in touch with Laura as well, even though she moved. Laura, Allison and I made a ridiculous video based on our overactive imaginations and a number of films we had watched that weekend.

Eleventh Grade - I got straight A's for the first time in my life. I really turned things around and started to be a good student. I took every art class available and a number of social studies classes as well, but I had refused, for some stupid reason, to take AP History, choosing, instead to take the regular history classes. In my freshman year I had refused to take Biology instead of the regular science class because I couldn't get Katie to switch classes with me. I am pretty sure high school kids shouldn't be provided with choices. I was hanging out with a lot of the same people, but secretly (or not) wanted to be a punk rocker and used to hang out at "the rock" a lot.

Twelfth Grade - I was a much better student, I finally had my driver's license, and I felt like I had some pretty good friends. I was taking lots of independent study classes for art and lots of social studies classes, which is why I graduated with a Social Studies Honors Diploma. I had gone through a dozen or more crushes over the year and never managed to have a single boyfriend. I got stood up by a guy for prom. I was pretty ok with not having boyfriends and used to ask all my male friends to dance, usually not getting rejected, if I recall correctly. I was applying to colleges and was determined to go to a private college. My dad tried to talk me out of college and I won that argument easily. I was an attorney in Mock Trial that year and I had Mr. Hanson for a teacher for two classes and he was the greatest. This is when I decided that I would pursue politics instead of art for a career. I used to hang out a lot with my friend Megan too, I went to a party with her. I swore off drinking. During my last two years of high school I spoke to youth against drinking, drugs, and having sex before being ready. When I graduated we were allowed to walk in pairs or groups of three. Nathalie and I were going to walk together. Amanda asked me to join our group and Callie asked Nathalie. We both said yes, independently, and when we took the final walk, I ended up walking with Callie and Nathalie with Amanda. I worked at a pizza parlor with Allison and Nicole and there was a guy who was older than us who used to flirt with all the girls. During that summer Nicole and I worked for a week as flaggers at a road construction site.

Then I went to college and became the tree hugging, bleeding heart liberal that I am today.


Ashley said...

I like how they start and keep getting longer. That's happening to me too, since I obviously remember more things from my later years. Still, I'm going to leave a lot out. I made the sudden move to being a good student too. Now, it's hard to remember the years when I just didn't do assignments. I don't know why I wasn't at least shamed into doing stuff!

Melissa Leeanne said...

It's interesting to see that you went from slacker student to PhD student, I think it is more a commentary on the school system than on the student. I think a lot of really intelligent kids have to suffer through learning styles that don't suit them.