August 2, 2006

Time's up ... High school reunion is here

My 10-year high school reunion is just around the corner ... seriously it’s on Aug. 12. I am quite excited to get back and see all of the ol’ gang but a little sad that George can’t be there.
High school for me was fun ... well once my parents allowed us to go to school instead of being home school. You see, when it comes to schools I’ve tried them all. I spent my elementary years in private schools, junior high school I was home schooled and high school my father and (wicked) stepmother allowed us to go to public school. There are pros and cons to each, but living in a family of 12 kids, I definitely agree you should not home school unless you have a firm understanding of educational needs ... or in the case of my stepmother, a high school diploma.
We were given workbooks with seven pages to do each day. We were sent to our rooms and told to do our work, but it was never checked. I still don’t understand how we were able to get through school since there was no one really accountable for us, but since it was not state testing years, I guess it didn’t matter.
I promptly finished two years in about three months and with little else to do I simply read a lot. (We didn’t have radio or television.) Since I still had no guidance, I pretty much read what I could get my hands on. I kind of wish now there was someone who could have helped me discover my interests and pointed my in the direction of where I could learn more ... but that was life in our house. Every man (woman and child) for themselves.
I think this ever-present need to fill my life with books as I did back then has led me to be the education-seeking person I am today (as I am currently working on my third degree!)
But I digress ...
High school was a place for me to “see the world” in a way. I was (and still am) naive to things like drugs, violence and other things from the “wrong side of the tracks.” My husband sometimes shakes his head (I really did think Mary Jane was a shoe, not a type of drug.)
My closest group of friends was six others and since I was medium height (at a petite 5’ 1”) we became known as the seven dwarfs to each other and a few others.
I wouldn’t say that I was well know or popular, but others might disagree. We were well known, I played various sports and was in a few groups. I worked as an office aid with my best friend, Jinnie, and Jamie the homecoming queen and class president was also a close friend with whom i spent a lot of time with. But Jinnie was the only one to ever come to my house and even then she never spent the night.
We were a fun bunch I must say, pool parties, slumber parties, football parties. What can i say, there were only a select few ever invited to a Seven Dwarf’s party, but we had a blast no matter what we id.
I think one of my favorite memories was Jinnie and I searching her families’ house for loose change (sorry Papa Danny and Mama Rita) so we could go to Taco Bell. Then her brother Danny hit a rabbit while driving there and we cried about his poor family left behind.
Her youngest brother Vernon was a bit of a cutie and learned he could get pretty much anything he wanted, which often led him to crawling in our bed asking for breakfast.
Then there was the fried pork blood ... on second though, never mind.
I think I spent more time over there than with my own family, but with the constant jealousy from my stepmother who I was apparently in competition with for my father’s affection (in her mind at least), I never wanted to go home. Papa Danny and Mama Rita took me in like one of there own. I miss them so much.
Over the years life took over and Jinnie and I don’t get talk to each other as much, but the bond is still there, as strong as ever. Our lives took different paths, but I think we live vicariously through each other, she as a parent, me as a college student and career woman.
It’s amazing to believe that 10 years have gone by.
I am an adult, I never thought I’d see that day. Funny, how you wake up one day and your whole life is changed. The question is, is it what you expected? Mine turned out better than I could even imagine.

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