Um, er (scratches head). OK, as much as I break out in hives when I think about high school, if I look past the bad stuff, there was fun to be had.
1) First Love: I’d had plenty of crushes, starting with John Simpson in kindergarten, but it was in high school that I first uttered those magic words, “I love you, too.” Dave Keenan–aka Keen Bean–was a kindred odd duck! We still keep in touch, and he’s now a math teacher at our old middle school and goes by the alias of Mr. Keenan these days.
2) Movies: We went to the movies a lot! We cheered the great ones, loved picking apart the bad ones. Rocky Horror Picture Show and Eraser Head midnight showings–Star Wars, Indiana Jones–it was all good. (Except the time my friends took me to see Nightmare on Elm Street, which they assured me wasn’t gory. After the first blood bath, I hung out in the lobby on the payphone until it was over. I just don’t enjoy seeing people tortured to that extent. ) There was Molly Ringwald and the Brat Pack. John Cusack–sigh. Gremlins. Mr. Keenan and I spent our first date viewing Sophie’s Choice–um, I don’t look good after I’ve been bawling my eyes out: red nose, puffy eyes, blotchy face, but he still asked me out again. MTV and videos were born and Richard Simmons was a star. Hee.
3) Thespians: I was too shy to try out for a play, but I hung with the theatre group who shared my love of musicals and such. I lived on Long Island and we were able to take a quick train to the city and see shows: A Chorus Line, Little Shop of Horrors, My One and Only. We partied a little too hard, but it was tons of fun hanging out with this diverse group!
4) Inside Jokes: You know the kind you share with your group of friends–the all out, crying your eyes out because you’re laughing so hard kind of jokes? That was fun. (Although in hind site, the time the substitute who kept reading the affirmations taped to her wrists in a not so quiet voice, who had to be driven home mid-day because of the abuse she got from her classes, was probably not something we should have laughed about for a few years.)
5) Awesome Teachers: For every teacher who spent an inordinate amount of class time talking about how the system had failed us, them, and the universe instead of teaching, there were a few great ones who inspired us and gained our respect. Everyone knew who the good teachers were and we loved them for making those forty minute periods inspiring and reminding us what school could be like.