This year marks 20 years after my high school class graduated. There’s a whole reunion and everything. And, no, I’m not going.
Aside from the fact that I’m all the way across the pond, I’m really not interested. Granted, I have some nice people who I wouldn’t mind saying “Hello” to if I saw them, but spending all day at the beach, or the park, and an evening of drinking (and putting Steve through the whole thing) isn’t something I’m into.
You see, I was not typical in school, I guess. I hated it. I don’t mean, resented going, I mean from Second Grade on, I detested school. I hated that I was locked in a prison every day, doing what someone else thought I should be doing.
The whole cast system annoyed the crap out of me. Preppies, and goths, and in-betweens (me) and band/choir girls and, ugh. My whole mission during my high school days was to be left the heck alone. I skipped school constantly, I hid out in the library and read Seventeen and YM magazines, writing to the editor on recycled notebook paper about how grunge was not a trendy fashion choice.
I distinctly remember members of the SGA in the library one day talking about anyone who wasn’t in upper level classes not counting at the school. (Hello, Breakfast Club much?) I was in upper level classes (except math) and I couldn’t care less about Student Government, or who was Prom Queen.
I didn’t go to prom. I never had a boyfriend and everyone of my gal friends did, so I didn’t even consider going anywhere stag with no one to talk to. I did the freshman and sophomore dance thing with all my freaky friends (bless them) but my wearing Doc Martins with a lacy party dress was a discussion the next week at school. (And, oh, how I loved to make the normal people wonder.)
Anyway, so all this week, my friends on Facebook have been posting graduation and school trip pictures and going “Oh, wow, I feel old. It’s been 20 years?”
I left school, got my diploma at night school and went straight into community college that was included in the university’s four year degree program. For the last part of my high school year I was just gone. I would still see my friends, but I was in no way going to attempt the whole “Oh, let’s get your college applications ready.” I had bad grades. I had no idea what I was going to do in the future. I could read books and write on my own (though I loved my English and Creative Writing classes, obviously.) I didn’t miss school and once I left, I never wished I’d been involved with all of that.
Later, in college and after we all started teaching (pretty much), my friends from other schools would go on about the overnight slumber party at the school and the overnight Disney trips. I never did any of that and I’m sure if they’d have invited me to partake in any of it, I wouldn’t have bothered. Any of my friends, a lot of them a year or so younger, wouldn’t have been there either, so, yeah, not interested.
This is why I became a teacher. I understand how much it sucks. I was never good at being a high school teacher because I saw through the busy work and arbitrary rules set for students because it was “in their best interest.” Even when I’m at the elementary schools now, I feel bad for the kids who are always told to stay on task, do their work, and not do all the fun things I use to do like look out the window and write stories during a math lesson.
I’m so glad to be out of school, I can’t even tell you. And that’s why I write the kinds of characters that I write. The preppy, happy, always involved in things kind of girls is not who I knew and not what I was a part of. The ones who hated authority, who wanted to do their own thing – that’s my kind of high school student.
This is also why I stick with Facebook. I like that all that old school crap is over and I can talk to people from my old high school as adults. I can share travel and cat pictures and know how everyone is doing back home. It could be 20 years or 200 and I’d still not look back to reminiscence.