Tuesday, October 11, 2005

High/Low: High School

I got an invitation this weekend for my 15 year high school reunion. (Yes, I realize that dates me) Against my better judgment, I’ve decided to attend this “What was I thinking?” event. I will admit a small part of me wants to throw around the “I work for CSI: Miami” phrase. I know there is one chemical engineer, and a Nike shoe designer, so there’s a little competition for the coolest job. Besides that I know for certain how this will turn out. Nobody I really want to see will show up. I’ll be stuck hugging people that never liked me in high school. All the questions will be on the subject of how my Dad is doing. At least four people will make drunken fools of themselves. And, I’ll spend the rest of the evening listening to people trying to justify their lives. But I’m not about looking toward the future. I prefer dwelling on the past. Here are the highlights and lowlights of my high school years.

My father being a teacher didn’t really pay off till my Junior and Senior year because that’s when I actually had him as a teacher. It’s nice knowing exactly what the teacher is looking for when he assigns papers. Yes, this meant I wasn’t invited to all the parties my fellow classmen threw. But, having my him as a teacher for 3 electives (Creative Writing, American Novel Class, and World Novel Class) during my Senior year made up for it. HIGH

During Christmas break of my Junior year I had major back surgery. In fact I was administered to the hospital on my birthday. I was out of school for over a month, which kept me out of the loop on all school gossip, activities, and the school play. LOW But, I completely milked it for sympathy as long as I could. The added bonus of my crush at the time dropping by while I was stuck at home made everything bearable. HIGH

In an odd state of mind I volunteered to be a shepherd for the downtown Columbus Christmas Pageant our school’s church put on. It was one of those huge events with Camels, three hundred person choir, thousands of people every weekend night for three weekends, and me trying to walk a sheep along a four foot wide platform over the orchestra pit. Did I mention I was dressed as a shepherd? There was also when the sheep kept trying to eat the manger. But, this wasn’t a low. Thanks to this whole event, I was able to finally realize that you can just talk to the ladies, and they won’t mind. I was actually able to get over my shyness and make a couple friends in the angel choir. HIGH

I took a $50 dollar dare once and proposed to my Freshman English teacher (Miss Dixon) in front of everyone. She politely said no of course, but I did shoot to the top of her favorite students list. HIGH

During another bout of “I should get involved” illness, I agreed to run for Vice President of the student body with my friend Craig running for President. I don’t know why I agreed, or why he even chose me, but we lost. Yes they had to have two recounts and a re-vote because it was so close, but I gave a painful speech. I’m certain I lost the election. Also, when every single teacher voices their support for you and your running mate you know you’re screwed. LOW. Looking back at all the work being Vice President would have entailed, it’s really probably a HIGH.

Puking for hours in the toilet after the Prom, LOW

I threw a Senior party at my Mom’s house. I did the whole banners and flyers thing at school, and only my circle of friends showed up. That wasn’t really the low point. The low point was when my Mom, half-sister and myself were trying to setup the grill on the makeshift patio. My step-father was using the backhoe to raise the grill up to us. Sure enough he hits the patio and sends us down a story onto a pile of bricks below. That’s a perfect way to ruin any party. LOW

Wasting money on a class ring, LOW

I finally got a speaking part in the school play my Senior year. The play was “Flight into Danger.” Yes, it’s what the movie “Airplane!” was based on. Only this play wasn’t a comedy…intentionally. I played the Rex Kramer character. Notice the similarities? Anyway, being a fan of “Airplane!” it drove me nuts that we had to play this so seriously. My lines consisted of “Lower the flap 40 degrees, raise the rear flap 20 degrees” or “Keep it a 24,000 feet.” It stunk. All the semi-funny lines were given to the actors on the plane. On the final night, there was a moment where the lead character’s wife is whining and complaining. Distracted by how annoying she got, I forgot my lines. There’s that long pause while everyone looks at you to say something. I replied, “Will someone please shut that woman up? I picked the wrong week to quit drinking.” The laugh and cheer that followed was the biggest of the whole run. I thought for sure I was in trouble for mentioning the drinking line, but I got nothing but praise. It was my one brief moment in the spotlight, unless you count the shepherd thing. HIGH

For one semester I was the assistant to our History teacher, Mrs. Baeslack. I earned credit to sit in her office for one period and grade papers. Genius! Mrs. Baeslack was certifiably crazy. She could change from happy to sad to angry to laughing in a second. She did though look to me as a project. Rather than grade papers she actually tried to hook me up with some of the Junior ladies that were in the class. Like I said, she was crazy. HIGH

Finally graduating and getting the hell out of there was definitely the biggest HIGH.

Do I hope to capture some part of my youth at the reunion? No. Do I want to brag a little? Probably. Am I looking forward to it? Yes...with reservations.


MOL Junior said...

they have FIFTEEN year reunions? do they have 18 year, 5 month reunions to? weird.

i love going to reunions cause the cool people have dead end jobs and wheels off lives (divorce, etc) and the dorks have cool jobs and hot wives. rub it in, bradford! (and the chemical engineer has nothing on you by the way).

looking forward to hearing how it goes.

Bradford said...

I thought the 15 year didn't really happen either. But, we also had a 5 year reunion, which is clearly pointless. I guess I need to find/buy that hot girlfriend or wife.

faith said...

^^ the girl down the hall?

but your cool job does trump alot of other jobs.

Be really nonchalant about it too, like it's no big deal...it will kill them!

bobby said...

The backhoe story had me chuckling hard in my cube, then the glory of the surprise Airplane! line sealed the deal! How come we've never heard these stories before? I want to hear them LIVE.

At my ten year reunion, when I saw the football players with beer bellies pathetically watching old tapes of high school games, I knew my work was done -- and I didn't have to lift a finger. Meanwhile, me and my old buddies laughed all night. It was great.

Bradford said...

Bobby, I'm just glad I still have stories you haven't heard.

Tim said...

Brad in stage makeup. That's a keeper.