[Apologies in advance: This post became A LOT longer than I planned it to be when I began writing it a few hours ago. - Also, I couldn’t get the 'read more' break to work properly.]
My high school graduating class was a fairly large one, I don’t remember my rank, but I know I was in the top 15 percentile, out of a few hundred in our class. I could’ve done better, as I usually was great at test-taking thanks to having a photographic memory, but my downfall was writing papers, I was extremely lazy about them, and many times would just blow them off and let my high test grades keep me from failing the class.
I was one of those kids who pretty much got along with most of the various cliques (kind of like here), my friendly nature usually helped me get along with virtually everyone. I was in most of the ‘advanced’ classes, but was on the fringe of the ‘Brains’ group because I was usually the poorest one.
I fit in best with the ‘Smoker/Poor/Rebellious’ group, even though I didn’t start smoking anything until after I graduated (And btw, I went to high school so long ago that we actually HAD a permitted student smoking area in the courtyard of the school!) - These were my people, they accepted me because they knew I grew up mostly poor, in the same kind of dysfunctional situation that they experienced themselves. Even though I was in the “brainy” classes, they knew I never looked down on them, because I had grown up eating from the same soup kitchens that most of them had.
As far as the ‘Jocks’ went, I became okay with most of them after I befriended, helped out one of the more popular jocks in Algebra class sophomore year. His dad was one of the school’s tougher math teachers (and also the Track coach), but he had a lot of difficulty with the subject himself, and was too afraid to let his dad down by admitting it. While I never formally tutored him, he did begin to depend on me to help explain what was taught in class in more basic terms for him until he was able to “get it”. This went on through Alegebra’s I and II, and finally into Trigonometry in our senior year. Once I became good with him, I was accepted more throughout the ‘Jock’ clique, and sometimes helped many of them with their acedemic struggles. [I only wrote one paper for one of them, for purely financial reasons… I probably would’ve done more for cash, but I absolutely HATED writing papers!]
Most of the bullying I had experienced was in the Middle School years, and some of it carried over early in my freshman year… Thankfully over that year I began to lose a lot of my chubbiness that got me picked on in Middle School, and the combination of that along with newer kids, who didn’t know me from those awkward years, merging into our HS from different middle schools around the area helped to mostly rid me of that earlier bullying.
Truthfully, I didn’t hangout with anyone from school outside of school for the first two years. My best friend, Adam, that I spent ALL of my afterschool/weekend time with was a real-life “Doogie Howser” (except that he was a mathematics & computer genius), and had started in COLLEGE at age 13, the same year I started High School! Adam & I, before my HS graduation.
Adam’s university (and much later, also MY university) was right across the street from my high school, so most of the time I would just go and hangout with him and his older college friends. I eventually became accepted by them, much faster than members of my own peer group. (Which eventually led to my “first-time” being with a female college friend of his when I was 16, and she was about 20 or 21… I didn’t find out that he had actually orchestrated the whole “situation” to happen, like a genius puppet-master, until after it had already happened.)
In the summer after my sophomore year (1988), I began working at age 15, and finally began becoming good friends with a few people from my high school, who were now also coworkers of mine, along with kids my age from other high schools around the area who worked there. The high school friend I began to hang around with most was a tall, grumpy Ukranian named Miroslav, who was about a foot taller than me, which always was fun for photo opportunities.
Miroslav was Batman to my Robin, on Halloween ‘89.
As far as dating went, it was rare that I ever dated anyone from my OWN high school. I had a major crush from Freshman year through most of my Junior year on a sweet girl named Connie, who was also almost a foot taller than me. The height difference never deterred me, but she unfortunately wasn’t interested in dating someone that much shorter. We ended up being great friends, taking all three years of Latin together (and for that last year, we were the ONLY two students in the class.) She’s one of the few people from high school that I would absolutely love to catch-up with, but sadly she’s also about the only one that I’ve never seen on any social-networking platform over the past couple of decades.
Toward the end of my Junior year (shortly before my Junior Prom), I began dating my “first-love”, Carolyn, who I met through work and went to a different high school one town over from me. (I’ve posted about her a couple times before, here and here.) We ended up dating for well over a year, going to both my Junior *and* Senior Proms together. She surprised me a couple of years ago when she suddenly appeared across the room at my step-mother’s wake… And after two decades, she *still* made my knees weak & stomach have butterflies when I saw her!
Me, with Carolyn, before my Junior Prom (May 1989).
There have been two class reunions, and I’ve skipped both of them for different reasons. For the ten year reunion, I didn’t go because I was a bit embarrassed to still be working at the job I had in high school. Then I skipped my twenty year reunion two years ago when I saw that most of the people I wanted to see had decided not to go… Plus, I was very self-conscious about my teeth at the time, which was one of the driving factors in me spending a LOT of money to get them fixed almost a year ago (remember back when I wouldn’t smile in photos?!!)
Sorry for the novel here… This is probably more than I’ve written on Tumblr in over two years! - I’ll now go back to quietly posting music! :P