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Nerd, Dork, or Cool Kid

 
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2004 06:36 pm
Dys wins the prize for the most poetic entry ...

that's a short story, there, in three lines. <smiles>
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2004 07:15 pm
I never got myself mapped properly in high school.

After a miserable boy-with-glasses primary school time, I landed happily at a Montessori school, like I'd been liberated, and spent the first year or two with a pretty tight group of friends - pretty mainstream, different kinds - just this group. Then I fell in love with a girl who liked the Cure and Siouxie, and started hanging out with the people 'outside', punks and wavers. But I wasnt really tough (or miserable) enough, I think, though back in class things were getting bad enough. No matter, cause flunking year-end and having to repeat the class meant a second liberation, and I fell in with this loosely knit crowd that was like, alternative, but happy - offbeat and relaxed. It was more like a continuum of different groups, I thought, spanning a coupla grades and classes up and down, ranging from a little hippie lady and a chess nerd who was in the classical Greek choir to a beer-guzzling Dirty Rotten Imbeciles fan and a life-lovin' squatter girl (that girl changed me) - and some of 'em hardly knew each other. And then there was skipping classes with random people in the canteen and this kid I swapped hip-hop tapes with. It felt more like just kinda sloshing around from these people to those depending on who was around.

But at a high school reunion a buncha years later, these two girls from a few grades lower that I didnt recognize stopped me and set me straight. We'd been like this clan, they explained, and we'd been cool. Oh, OK. We'd even had a name, apparently; cause you had the "kakkers" (young republicans, say) and the "altos" (punks, wavers etc) - and then you had us, the "vagen" (vague ones). Heh.

Oh, and then came exam year for which we were deported to the affiliate building, away from the rest of the school, and so social life was back to playing cards with a few mostly nerdy friends. And then university, with the same kinda cycles this way and that. And somewhere along the line, something went all wrong, and here I am now posting on A2K ... <sad wink>
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2004 07:39 pm
I was the keen girl in high school. I was everywhere.
Year book editor three years running. Chair of the honour pin committee. Chair of the orientation committee. Chair of the elections committee. Ran the timers for most of the volleyball and basketball tourneys at our school (I was/am waaaaaay too klutzy to be a jock - but I wanted to help). Did volunteer work at the local hospital - and organized the canvassing for more volunteers at our school, and the local mall. Played clarinet in the band (none of the specialty groups - my independent sense of rhythm didn't click til a bit later). I dropped out of choir the first year. I don't even want to think about it all. Took extra credits the first few years, so that the final year I only needed to take 3 courses, but I signed up for triple maths, chemistry and physics. Skipped out with the 'girls' to go to the Jiffy Grill where we smoked cigarettes and drank coffee (well, they drank coffee, I couldn't do it - ginger ale for me <sigh>). Organized a school wide telegram to the White House protesting the Vietnam War. Involved in organizing a screening of All Quiet at the Western Front, followed by a Q & A with one of the Canadians who was in the final Hanoi airlift. You think you saw me everywhere? You heard me too. On the morning announcements. I was always handing announcements in, and whenever someone didn't show up to do the announcements with the principal (Smilin' Jack, nice man, the hamburgers know him now) - a secretary would say, c'mon Beth, you know what to do. Uh huh. Into the principal's office again. Say the Lord's Prayer over the P.A., sing O Canada, listen to the principal do his announcements, and then read all the student announcements. I'm not sure why I thought I was invisible in high school.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2004 08:14 pm
fishin' wrote:
eoe wrote:
Seems like many a2kers overcame the strict caste system in high school and moved in between various groups. What do you think that says about you then? And now?


That we're all just verra confused and wandering through life aimlessly???? Very Happy


LOL! Yeh, I'll go with that one ... <grins>



And yeh, little k, yer normal .... enough. <heh>
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2004 08:17 pm
{grin}
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2004 09:21 pm
What? No prom queens or BMOC's in this group? Come on. Fess up. I wasn't prom queen but did make court.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2004 09:25 pm
I was voted best artist.

I came in second for best dressed.

That's about it.

Smile
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2004 09:33 pm
I didn't go to the prom.
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2004 09:34 pm
Why not?
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2004 09:35 pm
I'm of the generation that didn't have a prom for political reasons. My graduating class collected the money that would have gone toward a prom and bought our school a native plants woodlot for the corner of the property. Oh my!

I noticed that it was starting to look like a small scrub forest a few years ago. Rather ugly. We didn't know about landscaping with native plants 25+ years ago. They tore it out last year. <shrug>
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2004 09:40 pm
I didn't go to prom, either. Was going out with a guy who was Too Cool for Prom. I had mixed feelings, but most of my friends weren't going, didn't press the issue. If I'd been single, I probably would have just gone by myself.
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Brand X
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2004 10:05 pm
I didn't go to prom either.
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2004 10:21 pm
I did. Doubled with my cousin and her boyfriend. Had dinner at the 95th, atop the John Hancock building in Chicago. We ordered some funky seafood glop. My cousin and I laughed until we cried some years later, remembering the smell.
A classmate was killed the night of our prom. Accidentally shot, playing with a gun, or so the story went.
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Brand X
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2004 10:48 pm
Funky seafood glop isn't one of my fav cuisines either. Too bad about the death in any case.
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OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2004 10:53 pm
At that restaurant; even the funky seafood glop is pretty damn good.
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Brand X
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2004 11:04 pm
Ah, you're just a cheesehead.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2004 11:59 pm
I went to a small strict catholic girls high school in the fifties. We had just moved to the city and I didn't know anybody to start with. I took two buses to school unless I could get a ride with my father and two back. In my junior year I started working after school and on weekends. I was always out of the key popular group, but not way out. I also bounced around making friends with different people in different groups. That is where I learned about human nature and seating, a matter I tested out way later in landcape architecture classes, where in one class I purposely tried sitting in different places each week. Boy, you want to disturb the room, try that, even as an adult.

I was in the nerd classes. There were five of us in Latin IV...

As I've explained somewhere on a2k before, I was recruited to be a nun, and was going to join the summer after high school. I had crushes on people I read about, the quarterback for Notre Dame, Paul Hornung, being one of them. I prayed very hard for him. If you know about his career, you'll know it didn't work. I was the shyest girl on earth, and didn't really pull out of that until later in college.

In the summers I read like a fiend. I have never been athletic but did follow sports quite seriously. (As an adult I've jogged and done a lot of swimming, lots of walking, but can also stop and vegetate for years at a time.)

Because we had the world's ugliest uniforms, I know you don't believe me but they were, the only way to show style at my school was having the right white bucks and the right socks. White socks with angora cuffs were esteemed. I had the wrong white bucks, and certainly the wrong socks.

The uniforms were, at least the first two years, wool a-lined brown and yellow plaid skirts with, cough, chartreuse short sleeved blouses and brown sweaters. In the last two years, the uniform maker started supplying some sort of synthetic material brown and yellow plaid skirts, pleated somewhat. These were even more depressing than the wool ones. The blouses took a lot of washing to get to fade properly.

High school took forever.
0 Replies
 
Smiley
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2004 02:15 am
The brains thought I was a stoner.
The stoners thought I was a chorus fag.
Show choir folks thought I was a jock.
The jocks thought I was a brain.
Teachers gave me A's mostly because I looked good
and they didn't want to look bad.

Nobody knew. Nobody cared. Nobody was spared.
Summer classes at MIT, watched my friends OD,
wished I could get a girl, but drank til we hurled.
I don't know what it was that we smoked
but it certainly wasn't love.

National competition this, President and #1 in the State that,
varsity creatures, valedectorian speeches,
perfect 800 scores and transcripts galore. It wasn't enough.
Smiling for the camera wasn't enough to find any friends.
Useless bureaucrats, fire-bombed car, lonely dreams, camping far.
I'm glad some of us made it out alive, but I saw in their eyes
in the desperate, pleading stares, that many didn't.

I asked them not to list me in the yearbook.
Skipped the prom, and had my death certificate
handed to me on graduation day,
the day we all wore black,
then took a deep breath and never looked back.

Good luck, y'all. Take good care.
0 Replies
 
kitchenpete
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2004 08:02 am
OK - so the whole highschool experience is something I wonder about but didn't take part in.

I attended an English "public" (= private, prep) school, founded 1548, for the record. All boys, one of the most successful schools in the country (exam results, university entry etc. top 5 every year).

I had previously been a nerd, studying hard to do well in the scholarship exam to get there, but woke up to the idea that I was physically ahead of the other 13 year olds and so got on with sports, ending up in the school 1st XV Rugby and 1st VIII for rowing.

Somehow I combined this with enough studies to win the Biology prize, gave away the Chemistry prize by swapping multiple choice answers with my friend who won it (I ended up second...grrr!) and got a place at Cambridge with (almost) perfect exam results along the way.

I knew who the geeks were, but didn't hang out with them. I knew the jock-like crowd (especially the Rugby players) but never really bought into that. I knew the artistic types and those who were out at night clubs by the age of 15 but didn't really get involved with them outside school, as I was a boarder and most of the school were day-boys.

I was probably more confident in myself than most - I never had a problem with expressing my opinion, no matter who was contradicting me. I played the teachers' game and they let me be naughty at the fringes, provided I was never caught...like sneaking out to the pub at the age of 15!

I coached rowing to the daughter of the High Master (principal) in my final year. She had obviously asked him about me because she said "you're a bit of a golden boy, aren't you?". Oh, I didn't mention that I played the violin (though not brilliantly, because of all the time doing other stuff - only 2nd violin in the orchestra!) and was appointed to be Prefect and Head of House (boarding house).

The last role was probably the foundation of my leadership skills learning experience. I was very much focused on the "pastoral" side of the role - ensuring that the boys junior to me got to know which rules were OK to break and which were not - smoking OK, smoking weed in school grounds, you'll get expelled - for example.

I guess I was never part of any group but got on with all of them by just being myself - complex!

So the cool kids came to my 18th birthday party, along with the jocks and the others - in fact, one went off to get some records to DJ, as the guy we'd hired was playing such crap - the same cool kid who's now running the Grand Theft Auto (computer game) empire and is already a multi-millionaire, bizarrely. Never see him now, of course!

Thanks for letting me reminisce on all that. I think the thing I missed most was having girls around me as a teenager. On an exchange to Germany at 16, I was in a "normal" Gymnasium school and it felt SO much less artificial to be separated by gender. That's funny old Britain for you, though - the best schools tend to be single sex!
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2004 10:27 am
Great stories!
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