Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A high school thing

A high school meme

I would have let this one lie, but then I had a dream about being back in high school last night. Nothing special in the dream. Just about being in a class in one of the many, many windowless classrooms in my former high school.

Anyway, I stole the meme from Sheila.

1) Where did you graduate from and what year?
McMinn County High School, in 1995

2) did you have school pride?
Not especially. And there wasn't a lot of school pride in the school, that I remember. And I can't remember the school doing much to instill us with pride.

I remember going to football games and basketball games, not because I wanted to see us beat so and so, but because there wasn't much else to do in my town.

3) Was your prom a night to remember?
Not really. I didn't go to the prom itself, though I did go to dinner and a party afterward.

4) Do you own all 4 Yearbooks?

I have all except the one for my senior year. I'd kinda like to have that senior yearbook now, if only so that I can prove people that I'm not full of shit when I say I was voted Most Intelligent in my graduating class superlatives. Although, I got that, I think, because I'd tried out for the Jeopardy Teen Tournament a couple of times. I didn't get on the show. Didn't even get close. Strangely, that still awed a lot of people.

I also got lots of votes for Wittiest (I was even told that I won, and that the teacher in charge of superlatives didn't want one person winning more than one category--I don't know that it's true, but it makes for a good story), and a few votes for Most Studious (which was most untrue--I specialized in doing the absolute minimum)

5) What was the worst trouble you ever got into?

I don't remember anything terrible. There were lots of little things, but I can't think of anything in particular that kept me in trouble for an extended amount of time.

6) What kind of people did you hang out with?

A lot of the Art Hall people. Our school was designed along one big, central hallway, with the various departments getting their own halls. English Hall, Science Hall, Math Hall, Art Hall, etc. There were a couple of halls that had their own cliques of people, and the Art Hall was one of them (the Ag Hall was the other with a clique, mostly the farmers' kids, and it wasn't even really a hall--it had more foreign language classes than Ag classes). I don't know if from the outside I was necessarily considered one of the art hall people or not, even though I sang in the chorus and did play production stuff from sophomore year on.

I also hung out with the guys who were on the Academic Competition Team, which is even dorkier sounding than "Quiz Bowl" team. But we played Quiz Bowl. But we approached it in much the same way we approached our a game show where we knew what we knew not because we'd actively pursued it to study, but because we'd picked it up along the way of watching TV or reading....

7) What was your number 1 choice of College in HS?

I don't remember, and it's one of those things that I didn't make note of in my journal. I remember having this nebulous anxiety about it, and I think I was more anxious about not knowing what I wanted to do.

I was jealous of those people who had a good idea where they wanted to go and what they wanted to do.

Not so much anymore, even though I'm still not completely sure what I want to do when I grow up....

8) what radio station did u rock out too?

WOKI out of Knoxville was I-100, and in the middle of my junior year, they switched formats from a top 40 station with a nice hard rock lean to country.

After that, there wasn't really one. A lot of my friends really liked WUTC out of Chattanooga, but I couldn't pick it up with my shitty car radio.

The only station I could pick up well in my 1987 Bronco with its horrible radio and bad antenna was an oldies station out of Etowah, Tennessee. I think it was somewhere around 93.9, and I don't think the station even exists anymore. At least, I've never listened to it since. But it's what I listened to in my Bronco, since the tape player didn't work consistently, either. They liked the Bee Gees. A lot.

I still can't hear "Tragedy" without thinking about the ride from my house to school, because they played it almost without fail on that ride from 7:40 to 8:00 to school.

9) Were you involved in any organizations or clubs?

Academic Competition Team, which I talked about a couple questions back. And we weren't bad. We had an in-county rival, and we always beat the snot out of them. I think the only time we ever bucked up as a team to do better in competition, was when McMinn Central beat us early in our senior year, and they named our constant thrashings of them as their reason for bucking up.

I think we got the final word, and did beat them.

We were as good as you can get without studying. I think mostly we were there to have fun.

Chorus. I sang bass with Trean Bowers, Brandon Pennelly and Josh Mullins.

A couple of plays.

There were others.

10) What were your favorite classes in high school?

I liked a couple of my English Classes, especially senior year. World History class was also fun, except for the bit where the teacher, who was a great teacher and an extremely nice man who was just a bit too hefty for the pants he wore, would sit in front of the class on a stool, with his feet on a desk in the front row, exposing his giant, pendulous balls to the class through the strained fabric of his britches.

Yeah. See, I still can't thinking about ancient China without thinking of that man's gigantic balls.

Honestly. It was an achievement in self-delusion if he thought he still wore a pair of 36 inch waist pants....

11) Who was your big crush in Highschool?

There were a few. The one that was constant was a girl I went to church with. We had several classes together. If there was anybody who ever just made me forget how to speak the English language, it was her. I've not gotten as tongue tied around anybody else in my life as I did for her.

12) Would you say you've changed a lot since highschool?

I think I'm a little more comfortable with myself, a little more at peace. But personality-wise, I think I'm still much the same person.

13) What do you miss the most about it?

Monday to Friday, 8 to 3:15 would be nice.

I dunno. Seeing a lot of those people every day.

And having a cafeteria with an artificial river to dump your food into when you brought your tray back. My favorite lunch memory was watching somebody throw their whole tray into this sluice of water, and having the tray catch, and form a makeshift dam. The panic on the lunch lady's face is one of my top five favorite facial expressions ever.

14) Your worst memory of HS?

There's no specific memory or event. I remember being unhappy so much. If I could go back in time and give myself a kick in the pants, I'd do it in a heartbeat....

15) Did you have a car?

I drove a tan 1987 Ford Bronco. It got like 7 miles to the gallon. And I'm not exaggerating by much, there. It had no air conditioning. A crappy radio that we'd installed that wouldn't connect consistently with the antenna. It was loud to drive, and almost impossible to have a conversation in. It was awesome.

16) What were your school colors?

Black and Gold.

17) Who were your fav. teachers?

Ms. Godsey and Ms. Watson, both of whom did their damnedest to make me believe in myself, and neither of whom would put up with my lazy bullshit.

Ms Godsey was not as polite about it, and she used those words exactly. It was one of the saddest days of my life when I found out Ms. Godsey had passed away. Cancer got her.

Dr. Manley, the chorus director, I also liked a great deal, though we could have some big time arguments. He never took it personally, though. I still try to emulate that.

18) Did you own a cell phone in highschool?

No. They were just starting to pop up around then. I don't think anybody in my school had one. It was still a thing that professionals had, and it had only just started sifting down to kids.

19) Did you leave campus for lunch?

No. They wouldn't let us. Which is and was bullshit.

20) If so, where was your fav. place to go eat?

I often spent lunch hanging out in the chorus room, or in the library.

21) Were you always late to class?

Late to school itself, occasionally. First period. That was the first year Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers came on in America, my senior year. I was fascinated, and to this day I cannot explain why. I was made late to school by a program designed for 8-year-olds. Not once, but on a week-to-week basis. There were three or four of us who ruined many of a World History class by discussing, at length, that morning's Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers episode.

I think we were most fascinated by Thuy Trang, who played Trini, and her declaration of "Sabah-Toothed Tigah" when she would become the Yellow Ranger.

Other classes, not so much. I spent four periods out of six my senior year on the art hall, in classrooms right next door to each other. Didn't have much excuse.

22) Did you ever have to stay for Saturday School?

We didn't have it. I think the principals were scared of doing so by the Breakfast Club.

23) Did you ever ditch?

Just a couple of times. Didn't do much.

Once, it was with Dad to go to a Braves/Pirates playoff game. Ronnie Gant's grand slam landed six or seven seats away. The principal would not excuse the absence. My excuse was this: Dad's a Braves fan, and just how often do the Braves make the playoffs?

Mind you, this was 1992, and it was just their second playoff appearance of the nineties....

24) What kind of Job did u have?

I bagged groceries. I also did some work at Mayfield's, a local dairy.

25) When it comes time for the reunion will you be there?

I didn't go to mine, last summer. The people I want to keep in touch with, I have.

26) Do you wish you were still in high school?

No. I've moved on....


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