I was thinking in the shower this morning. I do my best thinking in one
of three places - in my car, in the shower, or going to the bathroom. I
think I might have some sort of epiphany if I drove my car while sitting
on a toilet seat and driving with the windows down in the rain.
Anyway, I was thinking in the shower this morning about how my 10 year
high school reunion is coming up next year and I’m really just not all
that excited about it. I don’t feel like people generally liked me in
high school. I was that nerdy/brainy kid that didn’t have any friends
and got picked on a lot.
Yeah, you’d hardly believe it now, right? Me being a programmer and
all. But it’s true.
I was in the drama club, I was one of the network admins (remember
Novell circa 1990?), and my first kiss was
when I was a junior. I never went to any parties or [American] football
games… but then, I was never really invited to any parties, and I
still hate football.
I was also one of the two valedictorians.
(I gave a speech at graduation. Actually, I had prepared two different
speeches - one was the sweet and sugary “we are the future” speech, and
the other was a lambasting for how stupid everyone out there really was,
regardless of what they might think. My counselor urged me to give the
attack speech, but we both knew that would probably ruin some peoples’
graduations, so I gave the sugary one.)
I started wondering about why I had such a shitty time in high school,
and I don’t know if it was any one thing. I’m not a socialite. I don’t
like large groups of people that I don’t know. I’m not coordinated in
the least, so school dances were out; besides, if you can’t get a date,
and none of your friends want to go, what’s the point?
My mom was ultra-overprotective, so I could never stay out past
midnight, regardless of the day (Friday? Saturday?) or who I was with
(the entire drama department - probably 30 people) because I was
definitely going to be mugged, raped, and killed (presumably in that
order). I still have conversations with her about that, and I think that
much of the money I spend today is used in an effort to reclaim some of
that lost childhood. I understand what her side of things was, and I
don’t blame her. I just missed the ability to really have any fun in
high school, and I like to believe that was a significant contributor.
Either way, folks didn’t like me. I think that was sort of
reciprocated, too - I didn’t like them, either. That makes us even,
All that adds up to me not being terribly excited at my approaching 10
So then I started thinking about when the last time I was actually
happy in school was.
In fourth grade, I was on top of the world. I had friends, I was
reasonably popular, and everything was good. Even the teacher (Mrs.
Stiles) rocked, which is not something I can claim for later educators I
Fifth grade was pretty good, but somehow I just feel like my interest
in education peaked in fourth. I skipped the sixth grade (because I am
the smartest man
at which point I transitioned directly from grade school to junior high.
Of course, that means I left all of my friends behind. Not so cool.
After seventh grade my family moved, so once again, friends out the
window. I think this is where the downhill really started as far as
education is concerned. These were the years that I think I needed the
stimulation that I received in first through fourth grades, but instead
got pushed through a slow meatgrinder of learning that taught me naught
but that education is not supposed to be fun nor challenging.
This further started me thinking… you know what I’d rather have than
a 10 year reunion for high school? I’d rather see where my friends from
fourth grade are now. How different they’ve become, what they’ve done
with their lives.
Somehow, I don’t think that’s going to happen.
I do know where my best friend Phil from those times is… Phil’s
family moved to Mexico around the time I was in seventh grade. Phil
turned out to be an avid mountain climber, and a few years back I got
wind that he died while climbing a mountain - I believe in the
I never really kept up with him too much after he moved to Mexico, but
sometimes, just sometimes, I really do miss him.