Tuesday, December 9, 2008

High School High

My ten-year high school reunion is coming up next year, and in light of that momentous event on the horizon, I thought I would post a few fun anecdotes about my high school/high school experience.

Tenth grade had some bright spots.
My habit of wearing second-hand men's shirts was not one of them.

My high school did not have walls.
OK, this is a slight exaggeration - my high school did not have walls upstairs. Downstairs we had normal, structurally sound walls. However, when my school was built (in the '70's), walls were, like, totally out, man. Instead, the planners decided upon a concept called "the great room." In the great room, walls were completely unnecessary. Instead of all that division, you'd have little groups of students scattered here and there, all learning together and in harmony.

I'm not sure how long this concept actually lasted, but my guess would be not very long at all.

By the time I entered high school, the great room was divided into classrooms with the help of wheeled dividers, giving each classroom a sort of cubicle-meets-mobile-home feel. The dividers extended neither all the way to the ceiling or all the way to the floor, meaning that bored students were constantly throwing things over and under them. Also, if a teacher wanted to watch a movie and turn off the lights in their room, inevitably their light switch would control half the lights in the room next to them as well.

As you can probably guess, this made for an excellent learning environment.

My high school chemistry teacher had a bullhorn.
Mr. Krause used the bullhorn to do things such as read out exceptionally dumb test answers and to ask people if they rode the short bus to school that morning. He also invented a card game that involved collecting cards to make compounds, which could be negated if someone held and threw down the "yo' mama" card. The caveat? You had to yell "Yo' Mama!" when you threw it down. Not your mama; yo' mama.

I engaged in a year-long battle with a parking lot monitor.
Yes, my high school had an employee whose full-time job was apparently to make sure no one parked up the hill when they were supposed to park by the football field. Rex (that was his real name) was also in charge of catching potential class-skippers when they made their way to their cars. Rex and I duked it out my senior year when, due to some glitch in the system, I was not assigned an "upstairs" parking spot like most seniors. I happened to have physics class with Andy Newman that year, who had an upstairs spot and then somehow ended up without a car (the details are blurry. I wasn't much for circumstances - I just wanted the spot.)

Rex knew that spot wasn't mine, but once my Ford Tempo was ensconced in my space with my tag hanging from the mirror, apparently there wasn't much he could do about it. So he took to parking his stupid patrol truck in Andy's spot so I could not park there. My solution was to get to school earlier. Rex compensated by taking my spot earlier. On this went for six months until by March, I was the only senior arriving at school a full 40 minutes before the first bell rang.

What can I say? I wanted that spot.

I put my elbow through one of the few walls we DID have upstairs.
I remember this very clearly. I was in speech class in 11th grade. I leaned my elbow against the wall, and my elbow went through it. Needless to say, I was a little surprised. I raised my hand, and the speech teach - Mr. Wood - asked me what was wrong, and I told him I had put my elbow through the wall. He responded by telling me not to worry about it and stapling a piece of brown construction paper over the hole. Problem solved.

We had a safety officer who wore a pair of scissors in a gun holster and drove a minivan he had fashioned into the "safety mobile."
Senior year, he also gave us what might be the best spring break safety speech in the history of high school. He told he knew what we did behind closed doors - how we "sparked those doobs" and "smoked the marahoochie." He also told us he was going to warn us with two words our parents were too scared to say to us, but they were two of the most important words spring breakers could hear..."and those words are PUBIC LICE."

There are many, many more interesting tidbits I could share, but I'll post those closer to the reunion. Did your high school have any weird characteristics or employees?


Anonymous said...

Ron Weidbush is still the "safe school principal" although he is now heavily medicated.

gerg ikserup said...

eye r ublee stoodent

Mark said...

Ahhhh, the good old days when all we had to do was worry about the parking lot attendant and when we were going to eat lunch.

Boy has the high school changed since we graduated, no more great room they actually have class rooms.

Adelle said...

WAIT - there are WALLS in the great room? STFU. No effing way. Unacceptable. How on earth will everyone get notes to people in other classes during class hours with WALLS?! BOO.

Becky said...

My cousins went to that school and I never once heard that there weren't walls in part of it. That's nuts!

I think my high school experience was way less entertaining. Though, there was a guy found in one of the soundproof music rooms jerking off. We called him "Right Hand Ron" until he graduated.

Kerri said...

AHH old YHS the way it was... the practice rooms (makeout rooms is more like it). the great room where class would get interrupted when a fight broke out because everyone could hear if not see it. and best of all for us the really really bad My-so-called-life fashion....
i don't miss it....not one minute of it. And the walls in the great room are just plain freaky.... dont forget the new skylight and the fact that senior circle is gone now too.