Friday, March 24, 2006

Do tell!

Tell me about your high school experience. Were you part of the "in" crowd, or did you walk the line in between, not attracting the attention of anyone, not cool, not an outcast? Or were you picked on unmercifully? Were you a bully? Or bullied? Were you ever unjustly accused of stunts pulled by another classmate? Have you ever taken the rap for another, a friend or enemy? Tell me about really embarassing moments.

Do share, and please encourage your blog friends to come by and do the same. This is all leading somewhere. I hope. If I have the courage to do it.


Tee said...

High School. Those words make me nauseous and depressed.

I'm turning 27 this week so I've been out of high school for 8 years. Sometimes it feels like a different life ago, sometimes it's still fresh and raw.

Sometimes I thank God I never have to go back to those days and sometimes I wish I could and maybe change a few things.

My High School was small and most of the students I had known since I was 6 years old. It was sad to see people change and seek out cliques. I was always mature for my age but my wisdom didn't help me relate to people at that age. Part of me looked down on them for being petty and childish.

I was on good terms with nearly everyone but didn't fit in with any particular group. I was shy and yet had enough bravado to get by on. I covered up my shyness by being a class clown at times. Teachers were exasperated by me and yet I usually turned out to be one of their favorites. I was smart but didn't apply myself. I paid attention only to what interested me - art and writing.

Even though I was on good terms with everyone, I didn't have many true friends. I found it especially hard to relate to females who were all about the hair and clothes. I wore jeans and T-shirts. Dr. Martens and long straight, unstyled hair. I was about comfort and being practical. I was me through and through.

One girl got that. She was a lot like me. We were good friends. She was more academically inclined though and got into a special environmental program. We didn't have any classes together and grew apart.

My second set of friends were a group of boys. We wore leather jackets, smoked pot, skipped school occasionally. During this time in my life I became angry at the world in general. I don't know if it was the pot.

By senior year I had gotten into the martial arts. I cleaned up my act. My Master (teacher) was a good role model. Didn't allow me to smoke - told me to be responsible. Made sure I went to church, gave me good advice.

I distanced myself from the bad boy group. I alienated myself from everyone at school in general. Martial arts was what I slept ate and breathed. No one at school could relate to how important this was to me. I really didn't have a close friend when I graduated.

My Master became my best friend, and when I eventually met my future husband and got pregnant and quit the martial arts I realized just how lonely I was. I took no high school connections with me. Everyone else graduated with friends. I didn't. I had turned my back on them.

I regret that. I'm just now getting back in touch with some friends from high school but it can't ever be the same. And even today I have trouble connecting with people in real life.

A part of me knows that I'll never have friends like my sisters, or the people I grew up with in high school.


As for being bullied, I have one story I pulled from my blog.

When I was in high school my car was stolen by a big "African American" (so PC) girl. Her name was Tish and she was like 6 feet tall, 400 lbs. She always harassed me and called me "stupid little white girl". I never backed down from her. One time I stood up on a bench so I was equal in height with her and said, "You wanna fight? Let's fight." She just kept calling me stupid and walked away. When she stole my car (got the keys from my backpack when I wasn't paying attention), she brought it to DC and sold it. The car was recovered in Bronx, NY.

That was really my main bullying incident. There were times I was teased about my weight too. No matter how many years go by, the scars are permanent.

I never bullied others. Even when I was tough on the outside, I have a kind heart.

Embarassing moments... I can't think of any from high school... Well, one time at a dance I asked a boy to dance and he said, "After I go to the bathroom" ... He never came back. I didn't like him that much anyway though and I just thought it was more rude than anything.

If I think of more I'll be back - but this is long enough. :)

magnetbabe said...

I absolutely despised high school. My biggest wish is that at the time I would have realized what a joke it was.
I was shy, didn't quite fit in with any one group but had a couple of friends from different groups. I was artsy, into painting and writing. I hadn't discovered my love of science because no one had taught it correctly to me. I took one trimester of calculus my senior year and my teacher was a total bitch. I failed my first test and rather than actually helping me, she gave me a C for the course and made it clear to me I should take an elective the rest of the year. In college I was determined to understand calculus and thank God I had a great professor. To this day I am tempted to show her ALL my degrees and say "Suck it!"
Back to the social aspects- I never cared much for the cliques. I was never bullied because I never really made anyone angry. Mostly I felt invisible. I dated a couple of boys on and off, but didn't go to prom and I don't regret it in the least. I always thought I'd like to go to my 10 year reunion, make everyone call me "Dr." and laugh at the jocks that became losers. Now that I live in Florida, I don't know if I'll waste my money on a flight for my reunion!
What's funny is that at the time I felt so alone. I felt like when I entered real life it would be the same because everyone would be used to high school mentality. But as tee above reaffirmed, it seems more people felt like outsiders than insiders. Maybe I'm in the wrong circles now, but I never seem to meet people who loved high school and hung with the "in" crowd. I wish I would have know that back then...

Mrs.T said...

I'll send an email if you really want to know..


Erin-erin-bo-berin said...

I graduated in 1993. I did not go to my 10 year reunion. I figured it was for those people who actually liked high school. I made it a point to be friendly with everyone. I was not part of the 'in crowd'. I saw those kids doing things that adults would get prison time for. Part of me still would have liked to be invited to the parties. I was on the Varsity Swim Team, and we got a new coach my senior year. This small man told me that if I wanted to earn a swimming scholarship to college, I'd have to lose some weight to be faster. I was 130 pounds, but I dropped to an unhealthy 86 pounds (I'm 5'6"), and then he told me that I needed to have breast reduction surgery! The smartest thing I ever did was walk out of his office. I graduated in the top of my class and got a scholarship for something other than physical prowess!

trinamick said...

I was not popular, but I had friends in every clique. I got along with almost everyone, but I was in a class of 67. I didn't hang out with the kids in my class outside of school, because my mom was really strict. There are a few I've kept in semi-contact with over the years, but nobody I hang out with on a regular basis. I didn't do the prom or dances thing, because I never cared to be part of that world. They took art & choir, I took building construction. I was kind of like Kat (which is my name too!) in Ten Things I Hate About You, except I wasn't quite so angry.

I got good grades, so I got teased for that - called "the walking dictionary". But who did they come to when they needed help with homework or wanted someone "smart" in their group for a project?

I was small & mouthy, but I never got bullied. If someone teased me, I smarted right back, so it never went any further. Plus, most of my friends were guys (some the large, pot-smoking kind). If anyone gave me crap, they stepped in.

And in the annual, I got voted Worst Car of my senior class. I drove a '66 Chevelle. Their parents bought them Camaros. But I loved that car - if only I had it now! But my embarassing moment is tied to it - it stalled out in the exit lane of the school parking lot. Everyone had to leave through the entrance, because there wasn't enough room to get around me.

Jada's Gigi said...

Ok, ok...write your sequel. :)
I graduated from high school so long ago that I barely remember that person who was me. lol
I was and am very average...average height, weight, shoe size, hair color etc. etc. but I was a better than average student making the honor society and had a way better than average voice. I sang the Alma Mater at our graduation. I think I walked the line between the "in" crowd and the outcasts pretty well. I tend to see people from thier own shoes rather than the face they try to present to the public so I had friends on both sides of the aisle but no one really close. I was wrapped up in church and the chorus so my friendships and dates revolved around those two social environments. Plus my extended family, siblings and cousins...we were all the same age so we were a built in clique. I did grow up in a very rough part of town so I had been in grade school with many of the "outcasts" types.
A couple of times I came close to crossing the line over into the "in" crowd but never quite made it, I think subconsicously I didn't really want to go there. I didn't "need" them. But I think I had the respect of most everyone and no bullying incidents that I can recall. I guess I blended really well. :) I was kind of sexy I guess, and I'll bet more guys remember me than girls...(did I just say that? lol, lets change that to "flirty")
I didn't grow up and find myself for several years after highschool but I'm happy with who I found. No regrets. but I wouldn't really want to go back to such an uncertain time in life.

Miranda said...

I wasn't popular in high school, but I wasn't picked on and I don't have any complaints. I was a fairly good debater, but I was voted "person least likely to talk off the debate floor." My friends would complain that they "told me everything" and that I never told them anything. This was true enough. But in all honesty, I didn't usually have much to tell.

I wasn't the sort of girl guys wanted to date. I was the one who
helped them pass their computer classes and the one they'd
try to make laugh. I was the only girl in most of the techie
classes and the boys in them were like brothers to me.

I spent more time than I should have online, because I wanted, more than anything, to live a life outside of my hometown. I don't remember ever being very embarassed in school, though I don't doubt I was from time to time. I WAS embarassed when I met my first online person offline, but that's a story I've told elsewhere.

Kathleen said...

Holy crap, Scott, I think you opened a can of worms. ;-)

Like everybody else here (it seems), I was not popular in high school, but I would say that I knew the majority of my high school graduating class (506 kids) and could say Hi to most of them as I fought my way through the overcrowded hallways to get to my next class.

I thought I had a group of friends, but I had to work in high school and if I didn't get all As (a few Bs were allowed, if absolutely necessary), I was in big trouble, so I spent a lot of time studying. "My group of friends" stopped inviting me to events and stopped calling. One day I got to school to find that Judy (who I thought was my best friend) had moved out of our locker w/o telling me. When I saw her later that day, she said, "I didn't think you'd care since we never see each other." The group just dropped me and I found out later that it was because two of the guys who planned everything didn't like me. "Dan and Norm don't like you, Kathleen, and so they don't invite you and we just don't think of it."

I think you could safely say that I am not the biggest fan of high school ever.

At my 5 year reunion, I walked up to Judy and said Hi. She didn't even look at me and walked away. I didn't go back until my 20th and none of that crowd was there.

Scott said...

This is great stuff all. I would reply individually, but I am overwhelmed. If you know someone who admits to being cool in high school, send them along. I like the way you all are digging in and finding the little stories that makes it all real. I think it is hard to find someone who had it going good in high school. I certainly didn't.

Kathleen said...

Re: magnetbabe's comment that she hangs around with people now who weren't in the "in" crowd.

I think it's because they all still hang out w/each other. At my 20 year reunion they were saving tables so that they could all sit together.

Mr. T said...

High school was where I learned my superhuman power of invisibility. I was not part of the "in" crowd and I learned very early, at the expense of my friends who were also not in the "in" crowd, what that meant. I kept to myself, studied, joked with my friends but never thought to make waves. And then it happened. I became invisible. My friends were bullied while I was not, even when standing in the same proximity. It was uncanny. It was not until later in my high school career that I chose to put my powers aside and make myself known, mostly because at that time I didn't care what others thought or did.. I had causes that needed rallying. The environment needed me and my superpowers... I started a recycling club and even went to the mayor to get his endorsement on putting it on a city scale. But the corruption was deep in my backwater gotham and was shut out. Which led to my brief desire to enter politics... but that's a story for another time.

Beth said...

I have too many R-rated moments as a teen. Yes, I'm ashamed of it. Is it wrong to admit to being a bully? I've changed my ways and done my penance. I also know first hand that it is true how bullies truly are cowards. You bark first hoping you don't get bit.

I was a popular loner. Weird, but true.

Scott said...

Mr. T - First, great to see you back. I'll check up on your new post tonight. I am intrigued to say the very least about the corruption, and the whole story behind what you are talking about. Post it on your blog if you feel like describing it. Please, this is good stuff.

Beth - Now see, this is totally different. If you don't mind, please expand upon a few of your experiences. Details. I want to know what happened and what you were thinking. How about a story?

Trevor Record said...

I was somewhat popular during the start of middle school. However, by the time I had gotten to High School I had parted from the popular crowd due to creative differences. Namely, that I was creative which made them think I was sort of weird and me think they were sort of boring.

Anyhow, in high school I sort of kept to myself. I had a few friends, but never bothered being particularily good friends with very many of them at any given time. Grade 10 (first year of high school) was sort of weird because I didn't have many classes with anyone I knew. I had a friend named Tyler that would come over most days after school and watch cartoons, and on weekends I would plan tabletop games. I think this was my nerdiest year.

In grade 11 there was a period where I had a group of friends that would always get together and hang around at night. However, a lot of them ended up getting into doing a lot of drugs (which I didn't care about too much), so we sort of drifted apart that summer.

For the entirety of 12th grade, I had a girlfriend that I spend almost every waking hour with. I'm not really embellishing this point. I would see her every day on the weekend, and most of our classes we had together. She would come over to my house at least 3 times during the week for dinner. It was my first "serious" relationship.

Anyhow, I wasn't really noticed by most during high school. I don't think there were many people who disliked me, that's certain.

Sadie Lou said...

Great stories. Funny how highschool is like a bubble, once you leave you realize how separate from the rest of the real world it really is.

I was popular because I didn't have a "crowd". I was friends with everyone. At lunch I drifted in and out of groups hanging with whomever seemed the most interesting that day.
I got decent grades excpet in math and when I wasn't stoned.
I was a drama geek.
I was in debate.
I was in Shakespere
I was in Woodshop
I was in Sports
The only people that I didn't get along with were the "popular chicks"
They were bitches. I was bullied on the bus once--I think I told you how that turned out, right?

Toni Anderson said...

LOL Scott I have tried to post here 4 times today and been foiled. Will try tomorrow--not that it's even very interesting!

Janie said...

Oh, wow! High School Hell! I was one of those arty people, but I really didn't fit anywhere. I had friends in all the various groups, but I never really felt I belonged to one of the groups. I always felt like an outsider.

My two best friends probably sum it up, the weirdness of high school. One was a cheerleader and the other a pot-smoking hippy and they both hated each other.

I disliked high school really. My big contribution--I was President of the Art Club for years, I painted props for plays and wrote some editorial for the school paper, all of this when I wasn't skipping school, which was A LOT.

I did my best not to go to school. One year I missed 78 days. No kidding.

I was different. High School never appealed to me. I left home and all that behind me when I turned 18.

I do still have those friends from high school. Even the cheerleader and the pot-smoker! They still don't like each other.

Actually I agree with Tee, I think I was depressed for 4 years. It was a nightmare.

Check out my new blog.

Kirstin said...

At our school we had streamed classes and I was in the 'A' class - the 'intelligent' class. My friends and I were the only ones in that class spending our weekends drinking, so by comparsion we were seen as slackers. Also we were lazy. We did not get involved in ANY school activities. In the 'A' class this is weird, but compared to the rest of the grade we were probably seen as nerdy just because we were there. It's hard to know how someone else sees you!

oneseeks said...

My graduating class was 45 members strong, in 1962...I had run for President of the newly formed Student council...And had lost by a landslide to the Captain of the football team. My first and LAST foray into politics.
My campaign pictures made the high school annual:( " Remember Robert's Platform? ")...But still got soundly defeated.

I was plagued by a slight overweight problem, and stammered badly ( Could hardly speak at times...), but was extremely intelligent, bookwormish, and had an outgoing personality. Played trumpet, then French Horn ( eventually my major in college ), and was Student-Director of the concert band.

My senior year found me forming a rock band, performing what we called ' nigger music' at the time. Otis, Pickett...I learned the 'feel' of blues from this experiment, started playing keys, and eventually became a professional musician and songwriter, because of this early taste of the performing arts.

The ONLY date I had in high school was with Ann Guinn...I found out later that she went out with me because two other girls BET HER that she wouldn't. Left a bad taste in my mouth, to say the least.

That's my story...And I'm stickin to it!!

magnetbabe said...

I don't know where you're going with this, but you have some great material to work with!

Scott said...

Again, I don't know how to respond to each of you individually. I am blessed to have such great answers, and each has given me something to think about.

As to what I'm going to do with this, I want to keep it to myself for the time being. I'm going to start writing if I can start my engine. But for what medium you may be surprised.

mr. schprock said...

Oh my Christ! What a response! Never have I read better comments to a blog post than this. Never ever. Awesome subject, Scott.

My experience in high school (which was so long ago one of my electives was Cave Painting) I can at least say was much more positive than what I endured in junior high. I was gawky teenager with bad acne and I stuttered, so I endured my share of abuse there. So, in a lot of ways, I flowered in high school — at least socially I did. There were two main divisions of students in my school: the townies and the freaks, and (so I thought then) I wisely chose the freaks — they were, in general, more accepting. Suddenly I found myself with a circle of good friends, I started doing pretty well with the girls, and my self-esteem finally trended upward.

Believe it or not, I was a born-again Christian when I was a sophomore, and, once during a public speaking class, I delivered a loud sermon to a stunned class that earned me the moniker of "Reverend" or "Rev," a nickname which stuck throughout high school (incidentally, some people thought what I did took guts). However, my religious zeal was apparently founded on rocky soil, because it didn't last and I wound up taking a far less noble path that involved drugs, skipping school, terrible grades, and eventually dropping out of school. (I know: for shame! for shame!)

Which leads me to this: one of my biggest regrets in life was not taking advantage of the many things my high school had to offer. I wish I had the curious mind back then that I have now. The education I snubbed my nose at would have been so valuable! I enjoyed the friendships I had, but there was a better class of people I could have hung out with whose influence would have profited me better. Every morning before homeroom I smoked pot. Every morning! What good could that have ever lead to?

After dropping out of school, I returned the next year (so I was a year older than everyone else) and missed graduating at the end of the school year by one-quarter of a credit. One-quarter of a credit! And the class I flunked that sealed my doom? Art! (I'm a graphic artist, for crying out loud.) I skipped the class all the time and thought the projects so uninteresting I didn't do them. What the hell did I expect?

So here's high school in a nutshell: socially, loads of fun; academically, I was my own worst enemy.

Flash said...

I was lucky enough to walk in the middle. Playing hockey, I was friends with some jocks, But I also had friends who would be considered geeks. And I guess that helped them, because if it came to "lets beat him up for being a geek", they would say, "Naw, he's friends with Flash. Leave him alone. He's alright"

My high school experience really wasn't bad at all. Sure, I got into the occasional scuffle to defend my name, but in a school of 600, once you showed you couldn't be bullied around, the taunts stopped out right.

My "group" even took in a freshman while we were seniors, which was an "mistake" but we didn't care. It was nice because by the time we graduated, he had made enough contacts and friends with higher ups that the rest of his 3 years were butter.

My grades were average, pulling a C across the board. It was a public school, so no dress code. Arts were really stressed, and my graphics teacher was a blast. After school it was hockey then out on the town.

I didn't do the whole school spirit thing, but I took pride in where I was.

I can never rip on my high school memories. I met friends I still consider "best" to this day. I had some of the most memorable nights during that time. It helped me see where I was in life, where I was headed, and who the real friends were. My 10 year is coming up this october, and although I was often told I couldn't do what I'm doing now, I'm going to go and show them what I am today.

Claire said...

I was a proud member of the Class of '92. Not proud in a school spirit "go team" kind of way, but proud in a "I made it through high school" kind of way.

I started out at a tiny Catholic school, and stayed there until it folded my 8th grade year, so I came into the public school system right at a time when all the cliques were being formed. I didn't know how to navigate the popularity, and while it was hard at the time, it paid off in the end, as I wasn't pigeonholed as part of any one crowd.

I was two years younger than everyone else and learned quickly how to use my intelligence to my social advantage - all the jocks and cheerleaders needed a tutor. As long as I was tutoring them, I was acceptable without being accepted, which suited me fine. I had a sort of status that let me range from interest to interest, without worrying what people thought.

I bowled, I was in drama, I was editor of the school newspaper, I interned, I did every club I could to make sure I got into the college of my choice. But my true friends were the arts crowd. Drama, band, jazz band, orchestra, journalism, any age was fine...sophomores to seniors (no freshmen at this school - they stayed at thee junior high). Friday night football was EVERYTHING in the small town in which I grew up - I was one of the kids who came to the game just to see the band's halftime show.

My hometown rolled up the streets every night. At the stroke of 9, police officers barricaded off Main Street to keep us from cruising...and there were no restaurants (aside from Pizza Hut) or clubs for kids under 21. So we spent many a weekend in each other's basements. My house was a popular haunt because we had a pool table, but when we tired of those, we played improv games and spades. Another girl;s house was the choice for movies - she had a tile basement so we could watch the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" and not worry when it was time to pull out the water guns or the toast.

We had in jokes and a strange sense of humor. Most people in our corner of the world had no idea what Monty Python was - we could quote the Holy Grail by heart, thanks to older brothers and sister who returned from college bearing glimpses of culture of the world outside. We embraced anything new and latched onto it like we were the only ones with a sense of the world beyond us. Given the small town where I grew up, we may have been....

There was, of course, a fair share of drama. With 200 teenagers with hormones a-boiling how can there not be? Homosexuality wasn't accepted AT ALL in our hometown, so imagine the surprise when my best friend outed himself to me by way of a newspaper article. I wanted to write an investigative piece on homosexuality in local high schools, and the source I ended up finding...was him. I was the first person he ever told. Slowly, we spread the word to the rest of our friends, and took turns being his "girlfriend" so his parents wouldn't figure it out. He finally told them when we were in college, and he's now living happily with his partner of 6 years (I love happy endings).

There was always an exchange student in our crowd. It was always interesting teaching someone from another culture about these strange American traditions we didn't really buy into either. Like the prom. I didn't go to the prom with a date until I was in college, choosing instead to go with the gang as a big group. I never wore skirts (backlash from Catholic school, I suppose) so my junior year, the entire football team thought I was someone's college date when I showed up in a fancy dress with hair coiffed and heels. Of course, my senior year there was the boy after whom I had pined for two years who decided that was the night to break my heart, first turning me down when I asked him out to dinner, then ignoring me and finally informing me I was just too ugly for words and would never be attractive to anyone. Not easy words for a 16 year old to hear.

Then, of course, there were my "brothers." I'm an only child, but a band of four guys adopted me as their surrogate little sister. One had a brother about 3 years older than us and he would spend his Friday nights teaching the guys how to play guitar. That's where I learned to appreciate classic rock - I'd sing along as they were learning
Kansas or the Eagles....and when two of them entered the military after high school, we all made a copy of a mix tape with us and originals. That tape has been to Iraq (between wars), Japan, Korea, and stateside with the rest of us. Of course, one copy never left our hometown....the older brother who married right out of high school and has a family. I'm considered an old maid at this point because I never married, and everyone knows, a woman's last chance to land a husband is right out of college, and even those pickings are slim. After all, who wants a woman with an education?

There was so much to high school...I apologize for the length, but the stories basically tell themselves.

Shesawriter said...

I was in a class of my own. ;-)

Moni said...

I was invisible, or at least it felt that way. But, I was in a group of invisibles and they were true friends. They made my high school years bearable.

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

I was wallpaper in high school.

I stayed firmly in the middle of the pack and did everything I could to avoid drawing attention to myself, as did most of my friends.

There was a group of about 5 of us who kept ourselves to ourselves. All the big scandals in high school happened to everyone else.

I hung around on the fringe and watched, retreating into the shadows whenever the educational heat came around the corner, hiding away just in time to see the participant Alpha's reprimanded, then immortalised by the ever dutifull Beta's.

Toni Anderson said...

OK--I wasn't unpopular in highschool. I was a little bit invisible, but my best friend was/is very good looking and always had the 'popular' boys asking her out. So I was forced into more spotlight than I wanted. I fitted in with everyone because a) I was in the top streams, so I fitted in with the nerdy kids and b) I was poor so I fitted in with the rough kids too.

I was asked out quite a lot in school, mainly because I always said 'no'. I think I became more of a competition than any real desire for a boy to go out with me--you know, 'she won't go out with you, but I bet she'd go out with me' sort of thing?
Trouble was I had a real need to get away from my small hometown and travel and I'd seen way too many people trapped to even think about having a real boyfriend.
I had two girls who were the bane of my existance. One of my bestfriends was this goofy, but goodlooking guy who they fancied. They spread all sorts of rumors about me sleeping around which my baby sister overheard and believed. Nice huh?
One of them was in my biology class and I sat next to her for a whole year in 5th year--I think I was born to subtley torture people. She actually apologised at the end of the year.

I'm sure people have a different take on me at school, but that's how I remember it.