Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back When *I* Was In High School....

* They had a straight schedule, five days a week. 42 minute classes, 3 minutes for passing. It changed at the semester. They didn't have all of this color-coded alternating-days, different-schedule-for-each-color, try-to-remember-what-damn-classes-you-have-today crap. And our classes weren't 80 minutes long. One of my high school teachers said that kids maxed out at about 20 minutes of continuous information. That left 22 minutes of goof-off time in his class each day. It was awesome. And you know what? We all learned a lot in his class. This was the same teacher who gave me pointers on how to forge his signature to get me & my friends out of study hall so we could go hang out in his empty classroom. We called it "Advanced Hall-Wandering."

* Each sport did not have its own school jacket that you had to purchase. There was one damn jacket, you bought one of them, and when you "lettered" in a sport, you added the letter and all other associated pins, etc to your jacket. You didn't get a jacket for soccer, another one for basketball, another one for track....each year. At $70 a pop. (and in a MAJOR geek-note...I "lettered" in Academics....did you even know that was possible?)

* Everyone stayed at school all day. There were no early-release programs for juniors and seniors. There was no taking-off during lunch (although kids did sneak off and head over to the corner grocery store). There was a Senior Skip Day (not school-sanctioned, of course), but other than that, your ass stayed at school. Unless you were one of those troublemaker-types.

* Parents were not asked to attend a several-hour long orientation program the first day of school, so that they could meet (only half of) their student's teachers, and "get a feel for a day in the life of their high schooler." Attendance at this is required for the students. So their first day goes from 7:45-2:15, and then again from 5:30-7:50. Long friggin' first day. Wonder if they'll squeeze a soccer practice in there, too?

* There was no "Wellness Room" available to the students, "designed to reduce stress and enhance relaxation." We didn't have these activities available: Massage, Reiki, Reflexology, Jin Shin Jyutsu, Zero Balancing, and Craniosacral Therapy. If you were stressed out, you sucked it up. Try a sport.

* There was not a "Café" where kids got their lunch. It was a cafeteria. That offered one choice for lunch. Eventually they also had what they referred to as a "salad bar." There sure as hell was not a Subway franchise in there. Or a coffee machine. Kids weren't supposed to drink coffee, don't you know it stunts your growth? (a big concern for my 6-foot-tall freshman, but you get the point) I understand that when the bus picks you up at six-freakin-thirty in the morning, you might need a little somethin', but really? That's when you grab a travel mug and sneak some coffee from your parents when they're not looking. Unless they don't drink coffee. Then you were just screwed.

Things shure have changed since Ah was a youngster....you kids have it so easy these days! (ok, not with the scheduling...that's just insane). And we had to WALK to school! Every day! Ten miles! In waist-deep snow! Uphill! Both ways! And we liked it!

Yeah, well, maybe not. mk

Friday, August 21, 2009

Anyone Else Think About This Stuff?

So, I'm on the boat with Brenda last weekend (yet another thing I should blog about...dang it, the list is getting longer and I just keep not blogging...crap. anyway), and I was snapping green beans in a colander I was holding in my lap. Feeling pretty country. And for some reason my mind traveled along in the bizarre little directions that it does and I got thinking about dropping things (it gets a little dropsy in the galley), and how when I drop things into my lap I clap my legs together to (try to) catch it.

So then I thought, as I ALWAYS do at that point, about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and when Huck was at the old woman's house, and he was cross-dressed and pretending to be Sarah Mary Williams and the old woman tossed something at him and he caught it in his lap by clapping his legs together. And she followed up after a bit by saying:

"And, mind you, when a girl tries to catch anything in her lap she throws her knees apart; she don't clap them together, the way you did when you catched the lump of lead"

Which means that I am apparently a boy.

So, I happened to verbalize this out loud to Brenda, and weirdly, it turns out that she always thinks EXACTLY THE SAME THING when she catches things in her lap. And we marveled at the similar vein of our brains, and wondered how many *other* people do this.

Do you have weird associations like that, that you always think about at certain times? Another one I have is every time I change the sheets on my bed. I think about some game show I saw a million years ago, where a woman versus a man were racing to make up a bed, and the man actually beat the woman, because she was trying to make the bed look nice and he was just jamming the sheets and pillowcases on, and since neatness didn't count in the contest, he won. And I think about this EVERY TIME. And then don't think about it at all....until the very next time I change the sheets. I know, it's weird.

Also weird is why I thought this would turn out to be an interesting post. It was way more interesting when Brenda and I were talking about it in the galley, but that may have also had something to do with the woodstove cranking at over 550 degrees in a small enclosed space and our resulting brain-friedness.

So, peeps, share some weirdness with me. mk

Saturday, August 01, 2009


Tonight, in a little less than an hour, I am attending my 20th high school class reunion. eek.

I always swore up and down and sideways that I would NEVER go to a reunion. EVER. No way. Did I mention NEVER?

So here I go.


wish me luck! mk

update: It was awesome. I saw so many people I hadn't realized I had missed. There was a LOT of laughing, hugging, shrieking of "oh my GOD! you look GREAT!", more laughing...just awesome. I made it through the entire four-hour reunion AND the afterparty, got home somewhere around 1:00.

So glad I went. And interestingly, I think that going may possibly have exorcised a few demons, some of the ones that have kept me feeling inadequate and miserable, like the unpopular geeky kid I was in high school.

Most everyone still looked just like themselves (you know how sometimes that changes?). Two notable exceptions were the quiet art/skater guy who now looks vaguely like a Sasquatch with a massive beard and heavy-framed glasses...once you knew who it was you could see him in there, but no way was he immediately recognizable. The other was the kid who was heavily-bearded starting in middle school with a thick unmanageable mop of hair, who is now bald & clean-shaven. I stared at him off and on all night and never did reconcile him with my mental picture.

A good time was had by all. Tons of pictures were taken (none with my camera), and I'm sure they'll start popping up on Facebook starting any time now.

So. glad. I. went. mk