Monday, January 19, 2009

What was I like in High School?

(This is for Scarlet. I was afraid it would get too long to put in her comments.)

Around these here parts, High School is grades 9-12, so I’m trying to keep it within those years (1971-1974).

I was pretty lazy when it came to school work. Most of my grades were at least a “C”. One of my science teachers mercifully gave me a “D” one year, even though I didn’t earn it. He was a good enough teacher, I just had some kind of mental block and wouldn’t allow myself to learn his subject. When I went to college in 1985, I earned an “A+” in his subject, which causes me to think that youth is not wasted on the young, but maybe education is. So I wasn’t a brain by any stretch of the imagination.

I was as much of an athlete as they allowed girls to be back then. I did very well in track at the long distances – at least until I started smoking. The longest distance a girl could compete in at that time was the 880. That was when it was still measured in yards, not meters. 880 was twice around the track and I qualified for State one year, where I came in 8th or 9th. I was also on an 880 relay team that still holds the school record. We didn’t have a girl’s basketball team at my school, but we played volleyball. We also qualified for state tournament my Sophomore year and I got to play for a few minutes. I really wasn’t tall enough to be a good spiker and I was too skinny to muster up a power serve. In the summers, I played on a fast-pitch softball team. We weren’t very good. One of the girls’ moms was the coach and I think my mom was her assistant. We mostly just showed up and played.

Another thing I enjoyed competing in was Declam. The Declam team had several categories: poetry, prose, drama, extemporaneous speaking and so on. I did readings in poetry and prose and participated in the drama. Our Declam coach was very liberal minded. We met at his basement apartment for practices and he’d let us smoke. I’m sure he would have gotten into deep trouble if we’d gotten caught.

The thing I most enjoyed was the music activities; I was in Mixed Chorus, Girls Glee, Swing Choir, marching band, pep band and concert band. For as small of a school as we were, we always managed to really kick butt when it came to music competitions. That was always a lot of fun.

I think if you asked any of the 32 people I graduated with about me, they would remember me as kind of a flake. Not really very smart, but fairly good at some things. I remember feeling lonely a lot of times. My dad died when I was 13 and I had a lot of trouble coming to terms with that. I didn’t get into a lot of trouble in High School, but that was because I was good at being sneaky and didn’t get caught.

I’d continue with this and post some of the things I’m ashamed of, but my kids read this once in a while and I’d be embarrassed to have them know certain things about my past.

SO, now it’s someone else’s turn; what were YOU like in High School?


Scarlet said...

Nice cliffhanger at the end there! ;)

Sounds like you were a little of everything...most definitely a jock. It's funny, the kids I knew who participated in sports never smoked (not that I knew of anyway).

I think everyone was a little crazy in high school and we don't have to tell all.

Thanks for sharing a bit of your past with us. You and I weren't all that different, ya know. ;)

Marla said...

Gosh I don't know if I want to share my high school experiences. Certainly not all of them. I don't think I was a very good person.

Cliff said...

Thanks. I was supposed to stay away from girls who smoked. :)
Thanks for doing this.

Mary Connealy said...

The one good thing about high school is most of us would NEVER go back and are mostly not all that thrilled with ourselves. Which adds up to it being a pretty common thing for high school to be a low spot in your life.

I have next to nothing to do with anyone I knew from high school. You, Janell, and Joani, and I don't even see you that often.

I do hang around husband. I married my high school sweetheart. So, yeah, I stayed in touch with him. Since he lives in my house and everything.

What was I like? Well, painfully shy. At least inside. I'm not sure the rest of the world knew that but most things were agony for me in high school.

I remember humiliating myself almost daily. (Oh, all right, HOURLY) But I look back at those moments now and cringe, but I also have found some peace in believing (whether it's true or not) that most of the people I made a fool of myself in highschool don't really remember all the dorky things I did, they're too busy cringing over the dorky things THEY did.

Mary Connealy said...

Oh, wow, I should have said this first.


Baby pictures

Janell said...

Scarlet; I was pretty sure we had a lot of similarities; just way different backgrounds.
You're definitely right, we don't have to tell all!

Cliff; I'm glad I quit smoking, so you'd be allowed to let me hang around with you.

Marla & Mary; I think you're right; most of us did things that make us cringe. All a part of finishing the growing up porcess out there in broad daylight and in public.

cdroses said...

I remember you being in the play "Jesus Christ Superstar." I also remember going to your graduation. As for being in everything musical, I am so not surprised! Look at Grandmas Clara and Rachel! (Rachel=Mom to you lol)

As for how I was in high school...check my blog out later. You may have to scroll past the trip details though! :)

Jamie Dawn said...

I liked reading this post about your high school years.
I was really into sports and music. I played volleyball and softball. I was NOT a runner like you. I have always been a hideous runner. I am not built for speed. I could have my legs moving fast like Fred Flintstone when he's peddling his car, but with me it was a lot of action and not much movement.
I was in choir and ensemble and I sang in church choir. I was a good student and got mostly As.
I'm bummed that you didn't tell us the REST of your story!!!!

Paul Nichols said...

Very interesting. I had a merciful teacher, too. It only took me four years to finish Algebra 1. A simple, last-minute change in my grade earned me my HS diploma.

I had similar music interests as you.

Iris D. Doolittle said...

Jello, Jello, Jello, you were funny, and kind and we always had fun in the french horn section complining about Bob W. if I remember correctly. (Yes, some of us did call Janell "Jello".) And I loved you then as I love you now!

Iris D. Doolittle said...

I was the valedictorian and I can't even spell "complaining" correctly. Sorry!

Janell said...

Cindy; Superstar? I think it was "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" - a scaled down version to suit our small numbers.

Jamie D.; if you want more of the gorey details, I'll email you.

Paul; I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one in the world who required a mercy grade to get a diploma!

Iris; I remember being called "Jello". That was funny. And you're last comment made me laugh out loud!!! I consider it a privilege and blessing to be counted amongst your loved ones!

cdroses said...

Ok so I had the wrong play name. What do you expect? I was only 7 or 8! :)