Unlike Susan, I didn’t breeze through high school—I avoided it as much as possible—even failing an 8th period Psych class because I cut too many Friday classes to play—well, I’m not going to say what we were playing in case my dear son stumbles upon this, but read on for four words (I’m cheating) that best describe me at that time.
1) Anxiety: The Gods laughed when I was born to an extroverted Leo. My mother can talk to ANYONE, ANYWHERE about ANYTHING. I grew up crying as she dragged me to meet the new neighbors. I shuddered knocking on the door of my classmates’ houses on their birthdays fearing I had the wrong day or the wrong present—and talking on the phone was beyond painful. Once I hit high school—well, middle school if I’m being honest—things just got worse. Who were these people roaming the halls? Why where they looking at me? What were they thinking about me? Why was my mother pushing her painfully shy daughter to try out for cheerleading???? Have any of you read the picture book, Wemberly Worries? That was me!
I’m sure many of my classmates where having the same feelings, but then it felt like I was the only one. I’m still a bit socially awkward at times, but I know I could do high school over again and rock—only I’d never do it. I like me, now. I can even call for pizza and hair cuts, though babysitter’s scare me.
2) Slacker: Elementary school was a breeze. I never studied, although all projects where done at the last possible second, but I was golden. Seventh grade and on, I had a really hard time keeping up. My grades where all over the place, and I couldn’t concentrate on my work even though I really wanted to do well in all of my subjects. Flash forward to the present, and Inattentive ADD is diagnosed. It’s the opposite of ADHD—if you have it, you tend to sit quietly in classrooms, only getting in trouble for reading too much or daydreaming. But like ADHD, concentration, focus, and organization are real problems. I’m dealing with this with one of my kids now and I feel for him. Type-A teachers have a very hard time accepting the fact that we want to get the work done and turned in on time—really we do, but it’s hard, and it definitely had a negative impact on high school.
3) Book Worm: Despite all the trouble I was having in high school, I never had a problem losing myself in a book. I loved all of the authors I read then—Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Annie Dillard, Piers Anthony, Anne Rice, Kurt Vonnegut. I’m so glad I can keep losing myself in the YA books that weren’t around then.
4) Let’s Party! One of the many downsides of social anxiety is the um, self-medicating. I couldn’t imagine going to a party without loosening up—so to speak. This is something I wrote about in Uninvited—my un-vampire book. It’s the feeling that you don’t want to repeat last night’s behavior, and then as the next evening comes, faced with the same feelings, people and places, you fall into the same behaviors. This was high school.
5) On a brighter note—the winners!!!
Best Poem: Karen aka Ravelda Karen gets the witch ball!
Best Poem as chosen by my kids: Yawriter gets the Ice Bat
Best Poem Runner Up: Via Bloomington will get a book.
Random five winners:
1. lilfix from the blue boards
2. Angie Frazier
3. Jackie M.
Email at jamm at snet. net with your address and I’ll mail the books out on Monday.