Thursday, October 18, 2012

Flying Eighteen

Business up front, party in back.
The October Memoir and Backstory Blog Challenge continues...

Flying Eighteen
After the high of my junior year in high school, my senior year had the portent of being epic. My final hurrah before leaping into the great wide open of life.

Cinderella at the Sock-Hop
The first school activity that year was a dance to welcome everybody back to another exciting year of school.


During the course of the night, I danced with a beautiful blond girl. It was a slow dance and holding her in my arms felt amazing. Anyway, the dance ended and we went our separate ways. I didn't know who the stunning Cinderella was, but felt desperate to know. Unfortunately, I didn't see her the rest of the night.

Fast forward to the next day. My friend and I head up to the school to get our schedules and do all the school pre-lim stuff. As we're standing in line, Bill says, "Hey, my sister said she enjoyed dancing with you last night."

I'm about to tell him I don't even remember seeing her there... when the other shoe drops.

The duckling, who never was ugly to begin with, had turned into a swan. No more kid sister here. She was a high school freshman now. The rest of the day I was in a state of shock. Heidi was still too young to date (we didn't date until we were sixteen in my church) and she was my friend's sister to boot. I still regret not getting to know her better, but she eventually married a German fellow I came to know and like.
The Intellect Behind Pooh

The Plays The Thing
My thespian skills are given a great workout this year, despite the fact I'm not trying hard enough. I'm cast as the Stage Manager in Our Town. My director, Ms. Pond, lets me know she picked that play specifically for me, knowing I could pull it off. I almost shame myself and quit 2/3 of the way through because I haven't spent enough time working on my lines. It's my beefiest role to date and I'm embarrassingly flippant about it.

I've got a heavy school load with AP History and AP English and my homework is suffering. I have to drop AP English and only pass regular English thanks to the help of a friend.

Our Town comes off well, but I still regret not performing better. Right after that, we gear up for Winnie The Pooh, where I'm cast as the know-it-all, Owl. We perform it for the local elementary schools and have a blast.

At the end of the year, I'm awarded the Departmental Award for Speech and Drama. I don't feel like I entirely deserve it because of my performance with Our Town... but I take it. Ms. Pond was great and I regret not having done better.

The Creative Type
One day, during my psychology class, the teacher brings in a palm reader. She explains to us what she does and how it tells certain things about us. She says she refuses to use her knowledge for predicting the future, only for telling us about ourselves. Most of us are skeptical, but her information ends up being surprisingly accurate.

Accepting the Departmental Drama Award
I'm one of the few chosen from the class for a closer reading and she looks at my hand. She says, "Huh. I can tell you're a really creative type, but you're really secretive about it. You probably go home after school and write short stories, but don't show them to anyone. Am I right?"

I'm pretty sure I crack my jaw when it bounces off the desk. "How the heck..."

She laughs and moves on to the next person. I don't know how she was that accurate, but she was.

This was also the year Mountain Crest High School has its first Creative Writing class. Mrs. Churchill is awesome and influences my writing to develop. Our final project is a fourteen page short story and unbeknownst to us, she has a college writing professor look at them. I'm one of two in the class that the professor recommends as 'suitable for publication.'

In addition to getting the Departmental Award in Drama, I also lettered in Debate by performing in Dramatic Interpretation and Improvisation at the competitions. I did 'alright,' sometimes placing but never taking any awards. Someday, I still want to win an Oscar...


  1. The ugly duckling has now turned into a swan! Love it. Loved reading all of this. And you were a debater? Verrrry cool. Great post. :D

  2. Does every high school drama club perform Our Town? Mine did too! Sounds you had a good senior year, even if you were a bit of an underachiever. At least you had the guts to pursue the "arts" at that age. Many guys wouldn't have had the nerve.


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