Sunday, May 27, 2007

Senioritis Meme

My brother tagged me when he saw me at my nephew's graduation Saturday:

Fill this out about your SENIOR year of high school! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be.


1. Who was your best friend?

We moved to the town where I went to High School when I was a sophomore. It was a very tense time for me because I was a painfully shy girl who had just recently lost her father to cancer and was moving to a place where she knew absolutely no one and had no family connections out side of her mother and siblings. The place where we moved was one of those places where if you didn't live there from the day you were born you really didn't belong, so I just didn't quite fit. I had fairly good grades, but wasn't quite the top of a very big class (I was 105 in a class of 706 kids the cutoff for National Honor Society was 100.) I had some acquaintances but very few friends. My two best friends in High School didn't go to my school. I knew them through the city-wide Catholic Youth Group. Debbie Hanley graduated from the Catholic school a year early because they closed the doors and our senior year she was already taking her freshman year at Indiana State University. Caroline Kunkler had gone to the Catholic school as well, but when it closed she finished her senior year at the other public High School in town. At school I hung around with, well I was pretty much a loner.

2.What sports did you play?
Freshman Year, before we left Illinois, I had been on the track team of my middle school and had intended to run track for the high school team. I was actually a pretty fair high jumper at the time. I injured my knee (the first of a long line of knee injuries) in the spring of that year and didn't even get up the courage to try again until my junior year when I actually was shocked that I made the team as a high jumper and hurdler. Three weeks before our first meet I re-injured the very same knee, and my dreams of finally finding a place where I belonged at that school were sadly dashed for good. I have always had knee trouble in both knees to this day and have had to have surgery on both repeatedly.

3. What kind of car did you drive?
I never drove in high school. I got my license when I was 17, but I hated to drive, I mean it made me physically sick to be behind the wheel of a car. I successfully avoided ever having to drive a car well into adulthood. I began driving when my oldest daughter started kindergarten. Even then the act of driving would nauseate me. Now I drive hundreds of miles a week without even blinking an eye.

4. It's Friday night, where were you?
If I wasn't scooping Ice Cream at Baskin Robbins (the one by the ISU Campus, which sadly isn't there anymore, it is now a Jimmy John's franchise) I would be out getting pizza with a gang of friends from the CYO group.

5. Were you a party animal?
I drank in high school, I know that will probably come as a surprise to my siblings, they thought I was a goody goody. I tried pot, but it made me sick so I never used it again. I avoided illegal drugs, mostly because none of my friends did them. We went to parties and drank. My friends had parents that allowed drinking in their homes where they could control the level of alcohol consumption. I never lied to my mom about drinking when I was a senior in high school. If I was going out to a party I told her exactly where I was going and whose parents were going to be chaperoning, and when I was going to be home. I think she let me do all the stuff I did because I didn't lie. Once I even stayed out all night at a guys house, because the girl who drove was too drunk to drive us home and the house we were at was way the heck out in the boonies of northern Vigo County. I called mom in the middle of the night to let her know what was going on, and told her that the guy's dad was going to let us spend the night at his house and mom was fine with it, I didn't get in any trouble at all. We got home the next day around ten or eleven in the morning, hung over, but safe.

6. Were you considered a flirt?
I was way way too shy in High School to be a flirt. I could barely speak to guys let alone flirt with them. I went on a total of one date the entire time I was in high school and the guy, Mark, and I both agreed at the end of the night that it had been a miserable failure. That experience put me off dating well into college.

7. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?
Old wound here: played the flute in middle school, so I signed up for band when I registered for the school when we moved there in the fall of my sophomore year. In the fall, of course it was marching band. I worked my tail off every day to get caught up learning the stuff that all the other kids had learned at band camp and before school had started and by the second football game I was marching in the halftime shows like the rest of the band. The first nine weeks I got a C in the class. When I asked the instructor why I had gotten a C he informed me that that was the best grade I could get since I hadn't been to band camp, never mind that I hadn't even been living in Indiana (let alone been in the continental United States as we were still in Hawaii) when they were all at band camp. He would not be swayed and my grade stood, thus ruining my GPA and my academic standing for the rest of high school (See question #1) I stuck around that entire year, went to Band Camp the next summer and worked my tail off the next fall only to find out that the best you could get without being a section leader was a B-. I finally said Adios to band and quit my Junior year and joined Drama class. I do not regret it to this day except that I quit playing flute for about 20 years as well. But, now I am playing the flute again, so I guess I am healing finally.

8. Were you a nerd?
I took accelerated Math classes because I had been on the accelerated track since 7th grade. So I guess in terms of that you could call me a nerd. I loved Geometry, mostly because it had very few numbers. I would have hated Algebra II except Mr Miller was an amazing teacher. I had him again for Calculus only because there were so many kids my Senior year who wanted to take Calculus that they had to split the class into two sections and he chose me for his section (we had 8 kids in our class, it was awesome.) I hated Calculus and probably should have flunked, but Mr. Miller gave me points for being brave enough to attempt problems even when I got them wrong. His methodology helped everyone to learn something, even the denser of us.

10. Can you sing the fight song?
I know it was based on the Ohio State Fight Song. I am sure that if I thought about it long enough I could probably come up with the words. In marching band we scripted the word South, just like Ohio State's Ohio, with the tubas going out to cross the t. That was really cool I thought.

11. Who were your favorite teachers?
Mr. Miller, from #9. He was awesome, He would regale us with stories from his days as a student at Rose Polly, (AKA Rose-Hulman before Anton Hulman gave them all the dough). He had some really great stories. He was a gifted teacher.

Mr Moon. He was an English teacher who treated his class like a college course in literature. In fact he called his class Reading for College. He taught critical reading skills and good essay techniques, but his methodology was learning by doing. You were expected to do the dang work, no excuses. I actually saw him bean a kid in the back row who had fallen asleep during a discussion of William Faulkner with a chalkboard eraser from his desk without missing a beat of his lecture. When the kid fell over, and got back into his seat, Mr Moon said, between sentences, "Nice of you to rejoin the class Mr. Jones. Faulkner's use of run on sentences was deliberate . . . " The entire class lost it, we laughed for the next ten minutes until the bell rang. If he had done that today he probably would have been brought up on charges of child abuse. Back then he demanded respect and just about everyone gave him that respect. I tell you what, that Jones kid never fell asleep in class again.

12. Where did you sit during lunch?
There was a table of kids from the CYO group that sat together, I usually sat there. After I ate I went outside to have a cigarette before my next class. Yes, I know you are all horrified that I was a smoker. I actually started smoking in Junior High School, just after my dad got sick (He taught at my school so I am really sure I never would have tried to smoke at school while he was still there). After he had taken his leave of absence I used to sneak off with my friends to a place outside the fence and smoke cigarettes in 8th and 9th grade. In High School I smoked more often because I could afford to buy cigarettes (those great after school jobs) by senior year in high school even my mom knew I smoked. We smoked those long feminist cigarettes -- not the 100's but the 120's, menthol of course , they looked like little cigarillos. It makes me cringe now to think if it. I can't for the life of me remember the name of those things.

13.What was your school's full name?
Terre Haute South Vigo High School, There was also a Terre Haute North Vigo High School and a Terre Haute West Vigo High School. For short we called ourselves North, South, and West Vigo (go figure those people from West Terre Haute had to be different) Three Gargantuan Monstrosities of consolidation, horrible as learning environments go, classes were always too big, lots of kids got lost in the shuffle.

14. School mascot?
We were the South Braves. Our Mascot was a proud Indian Chief who did a war dance at half times of football and basketball games in full ultra suede costume and head dress. I am sure that they have retired him by now, but there was a huge competition among the boys at the school to see who would get to be the Brave each year. My senior year it was Bill Reiley, a friend of mine and a very nice guy.

5. Did you go to Prom?
Only had one date in high school and it wasn't to prom. I was way too shy to ask a guy, and nobody asked me, so I didn't go to any dances that involved asking a date.

16. If you could go back and do it over, would you?
Not for any amount of money or any other reason whatsoever. I was pretty miserable in High School. People kept saying that the high school years were going to be the most memorable years of our lives and all I could think back then was I hope the hell not because I would hate to think this is as good as it gets. My life has been so much better every year since high school that I have no reason whatsoever to want to go back to that time or place.

7. What do you remember most about graduation?
It was long and boring, (707 graduates, too many speeches) and they took 20 extra minutes of my graduation to give a sports award to a kid Cam Cameron who happened to go to my high school, but wasn't even going to graduate until the next year, which made my graduation even that much longer. I also remember that my little sister was sick and in the hospital so I was really worried about her health and my mom almost didn't make it to my graduation because Jeanne was so sick, and I would have rather just skipped the whole thing only you couldn't get your diploma unless you went through the ceremony, so I was stuck there. I guess what I remember most was wishing the whole time that I wasn't there.

18. What was your favorite class?
Reading for College because Mr Moon made you feel like you were already a college student. He expected you to do the work and challenged you to attempt to move outside your comfort zone in terms of what you would read and what you liked. I read more good books for his class that year. In one grading period I read probably fifteen books that had been published just that year. They were amazing; some of them I loved, some I hated, some I still don't think I understand, but back in the fall of 1977 the fact that a high school teacher allowed me to give him my opinion of a work and would engage me in a dialogue about the work, which meant that he had read it, was really cool to me.

19. Where were you on senior skip day?
I don't think there was an organized Senior Skip Day, if there was, I wasn't enough in the know to know about it. Too shy.

20. Were you in any clubs?
Chess Club, and Scribblers both sponsored by Mr. Moon

Scribblers was for writers; back then I wrote a lot of really bad free verse. We mostly just sat around Mr Moon's classroom and talked about books. Sometimes we read our stuff to each other.

Chess Club was the most popular club in the school. The cafeteria was full of kids who actually played chess for the entire club time. Mr Moon actually played a really mean game of chess.

21. Where did you go most often for lunch?
We had "closed lunch" which means you weren't allowed to go off campus. Most of the time I ate ala carte because the plate lunch stunk. There were a few things in the ala carte line that were actually non-gag-producing and the chocolate shake-like substance that they offered was tolerable. The rest of the time I brought a bag lunch from home. Occasionally, we would sneak off campus for fast food. One time when we had sneaked off campus we were heading back toward school and thought for sure we had been nabbed because we were staring straight into the car of the school Secretary just across the parking lot from us. We just sat there frozen, not sure what to do, when who should get into her car but the principal himself (there were rumors all over school that they were having an affair) She said something to him, he ducked down in the front seat and they drove off really quickly. Needless to say, we weren't called onto the carpet for being off campus that particular lunch hour.

23. What did you do after graduation?
The night of graduation our class had a party at a local hotel. There was so much destruction that we all had to pitch in to pay a huge damage fee. Good times.

After that I went on to college at ISU (with a semester at Ferris State in Big Rapids MI) then back to finish up at ISU where I met mrangelmeg my second senior year. After graduation from college mrangelmeg and I got married and it took 23 years to get me back in a classroom to begin my Masters.

24. When did you graduate?
1978

25. Who was your senior prom date?
didn't go

26. Will you go to your next reunion/ which one will it be?
I went to my 25th a few years ago and I actually had a pretty good time, though I thought that some of the same cliques were still active after 25 years. I might go back to another one. To be honest we had more fun at mrangelmeg's high school reunion than we had at mine. If his class ever gets it together enough to have another reunion I would rather go to his than mine.


27. Who was your homeroom teacher?
I can't remember his name, it was some shop teacher. We had a great homeroom though. We had some fun people in there and they made boring home room worth having to sit through.

28. Who will repost this after you?
I don't know, but this was a lot of fun to do.

29. Who was your highschool sweetheart?
I was so shy in high school that I hardly even talked to guys. I had one date, as I said before with Mark LaFrance, which was a disaster. I had a few crushes, but nothing ever went beyond the crush stage.

30. Do you still talk to people from high school?
Nobody. I moved away and have no contact whatsoever with anyone from high school. Interestingly, Chris, the sister of my friend Caroline from #1 is a member of my parish here in town, but I rarely ever talk to Chris. When my oldest daughter went to ISU she ran into a woman who worked at a CVS who recognized her because she looked like me, it was someone I had known in high school. Those kinds of connections are funny but tenuous.


This has been fun and in some ways cathartic to do. I want to tag

Suzanne and Kitchen Madonna and Paul. I also want to tag mrangelmeg I promise to post his on my blog if he email's his answers to me.

3 comments:

Suzanne said...

I did it. I wasn't as thorough as you, however. :) I didn't know you were such a math wiz! Great for you!
I have always had to struggle with anything other than good ol basic math. Homeschooling has been a real education for me in this area..not just my kids! Ha! Are you writing about "Virginia Slims," by any chance? LOL!

betsysbandit said...

New Reality Series..."So You Think You Know Your Younger Sister". I'd be out the first round. Was nice to know even you had some bad habits. :)

Paul said...

I had Mr. Moon for English and have not thought of him in years. Did you keep that reading for college list he used to give out. At the time I thought it was very ambitious. I'd like to see it to see how challenging it really was.