Thursday, June 10, 2010
So yesterday was June 9th, which was the thirty-third anniversary of my graduation from Alliance high school. Whoa. How is it possible that I’ve been out of high school that many years? I mean, after all, I’m only…um…38 years old! I tell ya – I must’ve been a veritable genius and graduated while I was still a toddler!
Don’t buy that, huh? Okay, so you do the math then. I’ll wait…
…Yep, you’re right. I’m officially old. Oh well. It’s wayyy better than the alternative.
When I was a shiny brand new 17-year-old high school graduate, I thought the life ahead of me was going to stretch on forever. Not so much. It’s amazing – and a little disconcerting – how fast time passes.
I loved high school, though. I loved my classes, especially literature and writing (not surprisingly). Well, okay, so I hated Math (also not surprisingly). And I wasn’t too crazy about Driver’s Ed because I constantly crashed while driving in the darn simulator.
And I also loved my friends. Well, except for that one guy who made fun of me for…well…never mind…! I even loved the whole learning thing, although the intervening years may have colored my perspective a little. Perhaps I really didn’t enjoy studying for exams in subjects like Geography. All those states in the middle had me a little confused about what was where.
Anyway…I made it through and, for the most part, I loved high school.
I am a little surprised that I enjoyed it so much, though. Why, you ask? Well, because I was pretty shy back then and I hadn’t gone to grade school with many of my classmates because they went to the public schools in Alliance while I went to the Catholic grade school in town.
So 9th grade was a scary time where I had to meet all sorts of new people. Fortunately, there were a few key friends who opted not to go to St. Thomas and thus came along for the ride at AHS, some of whom remain friends to this day. So that helped.
The biggest challenge, however, was not in learning the ropes of a new school. No, it was picking out a brand new outfit to wear every single day! Talk about pressure. I mean, for the entire eight years of my schooling until that point, I wore a uniform and didn’t have any choice in what I wore to school. Navy plaid skirt. Check. White blouse. Check. Navy knee high socks. Check. Oh, hey…wait just one minute! I DID get to choose between the navy vest and the navy sweater. Oh well, then. I feel better.
Actually, I’d have to say that the lack of uniform at Alliance High was one of the primary reasons I chose to attend public high school rather than the Catholic high school. Well, that, plus I didn’t want the long commute to St. Thomas. It would’ve been hell (haha) had I missed the school bus.
I’m not sure my parents knew the main reason I chose Alliance High, although I think they were happy they got out of paying tuition for four more years, so they were willing to let me make my own decision in the matter.
In retrospect, wearing a uniform might not have been all that bad because it would have eliminated early morning decision making. High school was the only time in my life I religiously got up at 6AM every single day to primp. I am not now nor have I ever been a morning person – and 6AM is not a good wake-up time for a non-morning person.
I didn’t think, however, that I had much of a choice since sharing a bathroom with three siblings necessitated getting in and out first. If I overslept, I might have had to wait in line and then wouldn’t have had time to shower and wash, dry and coif my hair, which for a high school girl is an absolute requirement. I don’t remember if that ever happened, but if it did, I probably called in sick that day. Just guessing. (Yeah, like my parents would’ve allowed me to call in sick for something like a bad hair day…)
Anyway, with the passing of years, I have come to appreciate that time in my life when Geography exams and bad hair days were the worst of my worries.
With the advent of social media outlets like Facebook, it has been a lot of fun reconnecting with so many high school friends, and I’ve enjoyed reading about what has happened to them in the intervening years. It is, however, a little freaky to think of some of them as grandparents when I last knew them as teenagers! But that’s what time does – it rolls on. And it does soften those teenage angst moments and memories. So to that guy who made fun of me for…well, never mind… - I want you to know that I’ve forgiven you!
Happy 33rd Anniversary fellow classmates of the Class of ’77. I hope all your dreams have come true!