Thursday, August 31, 2006

High School

This has been a weird flash-backy week for me.

First, a couple of days ago, I suddenly thought about a scrapbook I'd made in high school. It was a senior composition class assignment: create an "all about me" project. It could've been an essay, or a collage, or whatever. There were specific questions that we had to answer, but other than that, we had freedom in how we decided to execute it. Mine, of course, was a scrapbook. I decided to search for it, and was shocked and stoked when I found it. Reading through its pages, I was astonished that I'm really not very different now than I was then. I still have the same basic personality traits, the same weaknesses and strengths, the same likes and dislikes. I wrote that one of my favorite pasttimes was scrapbooking. See, even back in the 1980s, before Creative Memories, before Heidi Swapp, before Creating Keepsakes and Basic Grey and Becky Higgins, I was a scrapbooker. Before it was cool.

The most amazing thing, though, is that the visions and dreams I had for myself back then have all come true! (well, if you consider my scrapbooking career as photojournalism. It's not exactly what I had in mind back then, but it certainly could qualify now - in a way!)

Well, hold on. The MOST amazing thing was that I thought about it and found it on what is almost exactly the 20-year anniversary of its creation. When I turned to the last page, I almost fell outta my chair. It reads, "Give me twenty years and I'll reflect back to my high school days and discover that I truly was... in love with life."

Yup. I was. Still am.

Tonight, I hung out with High School Dani. It was OPen House at her school, and I totally loved seeing myself in my element her in her element. She is just like I was. EXACTLY!! Every other person in the halls knew her. She was loud and crazy and bubbly and energetic and crazy. Truthfully, she was driving me NUTS, but I loved it. LOVED it. Walking the halls of her high school brought back a flood of memories of my own alma mater and its hallowed halls.

There are lots of differences: mine was built in 1983 and was thoroughly modern. Hers was built in 1936 and still boasts Art Deco features throughout the interior. Mine housed 800 students; hers is more like a small town, with 2500 students. It sprawls over 24.6 acres and its roof covers 235,440 square feet. Mine was predominantly white and black, with some Hispanics and a few Asian students. Dani's is a rainbow of diversity; I doubt there's an ethnicity that's not represented in the yearbook. There are computers in every classroom and Dani's teachers encourage emails from parents. My school had 2 computers in its computer lab. Not even the counselor's office (where I spent 2 hours a day working as a Senior) had computers. And my parents didn't know any of my teacher's names, certainly never went to Open House (did we HAVE Open House in high school?) and definitely never communicated with them.

But there were also similarities. The hand-written posters on the walls, the drumline which played at the beginning of the assembly (I have ALWAYS loved the cadence of a high school drum line), the choir which sang national anthem a cappella (I cried as soon as the very first note rang out), the crappy sound system in the auditorium, the craziness in the halls between classes, the bells.

As I passed from class to class, following Dani's daily schedule (but in 10-minute increments instead of 50-minute ones), I was overcome with two emotions: 1) astonishment that my KID, my little pig-tailed girl, my firstborn sweet precious thing, is a sophomore in high school, and that she is so much like I was; and 2), complete delight that my KID, my little pig-tailed girl, my firstborn sweet precious thing, is a sophomore in high school, and is so much like I was. I am.

I love that girl. Love her. I'd be her best friend if I weren't her Mom. Wait. I think I already AM that.

*happy sigh*


Christy said...

Hey Stacy- great post. I am so happy that you and Dani are......... happy. My high school years were the start of 5 years of depression and misery. I love to hear about others who made it through and love to tell about it. Careful, don't blink.... you'll be checking her into the dorm at University all too soon!

Dirpus said...

Here you go Stacy. Close your eyes and reminisce. Let's go marching.

Beth said...

Yep. Drums do it for me every time. LOVED the high school band, but the drums were my favorite. I wish I could find a band jamboree event around here where all the local HS bands play. That would be my idea of heaven... sitting in the bleachers on a chilly fall evening, cup of cocoa in hand, listening to the bands.

Oh, and I cry at the national anthem, too. Every.Time. My husband laughs at me.

"Patriotism swells in the heart of the American bear." (Fozzie, The Muppet Movie)

Nancy D. said...

I hear ya about the cadence. Four years of marching does that to a person.

Back to School Night isn't for a couple more weeks here. Tonight is the back to school dance.

With boys.