Posts Tagged ‘high school’

School is back in session and I thought this would be a decent time to re-post something I wrote for Yahoo about my favorite teacher of all-time and how she completely destroyed my hope of ever having a positive adult female influence in my life.

I only had a small handful of teachers who had a positive impact on me. In elementary school, there was my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Trani, a woman who always praised me and how well-behaved I was. Mrs. Trani insisted there was something special about me. In fourth grade there was Mrs. Hartbauer, a woman who was similar to Mrs. Trani and actually took an active interest in my life. Mrs. Hartbauer also insisted that there was something special about me. It was not until high school when I would have another teacher attempt to make a positive difference in my life. This woman was my 10th-grade English teacher, Mrs. Hill.

Tenth grade was the pinnacle of awkwardness for me and I think that was why Mrs. Hill tried to help me so much. My quiet demeanor and obvious social flaws made me an easy target to get walked over by other students. Mrs. Hill wanted to do whatever she could to limit the torment from life I would inevitably receive.

The English class I took with Mrs. Hill started off normal. It may have been after a field trip where she noticed I was sitting by myself that Mrs. Hill began paying closer attention to everything I did.

The first assignment Mrs. Hill took special interest in me was a brief one about what we wanted to do when we grew up. I forget specifically what I said, but it was something about comedic writing. Mrs. Hill stopped me on my way out of class and asked if I had heard of a local comedy club. I told her I had never heard of it and figured she was nothing more than a senile old woman asking strange questions. Mrs. Hill was in her mid-50s so it wasn’t such a preposterous proposition for me to believe. The next day, Mrs. Hill came in with a phone number for me to contact the comedy club about getting on stage. At the time I had no interest in ever doing stand-up comedy, so when she asked if I called, I told her the phone rang and nobody ever picked up. Two years later I actually did do stand-up comedy for the first time, possibly subconsciously thanks to Mrs. Hill.

For the rest of the year Mrs. Hill and I continued to have a very strange relationship, not one that ends with her in an orange jumpsuit. We bonded over the fact that I lied to her about having been to Buffalo. I owned a Buffalo Bills t-shirt for some reason and since Mrs. Hill was born in Buffalo, we became friends who would talk about different places in Buffalo, none of which I had ever heard of.

One of the final assignments we had that year was an oral report. The goal of the report was to teach our classmates how to do something. Lacking self-esteem in my bloodstream, I had no clue what I could have taught my classmates. The most beautiful girl in school sat two seats behind me. What did I know that she didn’t?

Mrs. Hill asked me what I would be doing my report on. I told her I had no idea and she suggested I do one of the examples, how to make a BLT sandwich. As a fat kid I took offense to this. I didn’t tell her I was offended though. Instead I said it would be tough to get the materials needed. My parents had separated a year earlier and even though my dad was around a lot less, I could have easily asked him to get me the ingredients for a BLT sandwich.

Of course as our relationship was, I lied to Mrs. Hill. I told her that my parents would not buy those foods for me. I think at that time Mrs. Hill believed I came from an abusive home where I was given a box of crackers to eat each day to survive on. Mrs. Hill was kind enough to offer to actually buy me the ingredients I needed. I told her not to because I have always been someone not to ask for favors. If Mrs. Hill had gotten me the necessary foods I might owe her something. I would be expected to help her move a dead body somewhere down the line.

I ended up doing my report on how to get rid of a stuffy nose. It was actually pretty good and a lot different from the others. Mrs. Hill had a big smile on her face during my report. Even better, the prettiest girl in school was leaning forward against her desk, unable to take her eyes off me throughout. She was amazed that sniffing salt water could clear out your nasal passages. For a few minutes, I had earned her attention.

My favorite thing about Mrs. Hill was how much she encouraged me to continue with my writing. My ninth grade English teacher Mr. Kane told me I was good, but Mrs. Hill practically begged me to join the school newspaper. I had no interest writing stories praising the corrupt high school government or doing coverage on how the cafeteria tater tots were no longer poisonous. Her encouragement of me meant a lot and I was lucky to have her as a teacher.

Unfortunately the story doesn’t stop there. The next time I would interact with Mrs. Hill would be two years later in twelfth grade. My English teacher that year was out sick so they had Mrs. Hill come in and babysit us for forty minutes. I had not seen her in quite some time and I knew she would be a little curious how my life had been going. I looked drastically different by then, having dropped a ton of weight, but I was still clearly me. Mrs. Hill would have so many positive things to say to me. She would have herself to partly thank.

An assignment was given to us and since it was late in the year and most of the class had committed to going to the local community college, we had little reason to care about our GPAs. Instead of doing our work for the day we goofed off. Mrs. Hill thought she would authoritatively walk around the room in hopes it would get us to do our work.

I was seated in the second seat closest to the door. Only a girl with the last name Adams came before my name, Tim Boyle, alphabetically. Mrs. Hill made her way across the classroom and over to me with her familiar friendly smile. We made eye contact and her smile grew even larger.

“Are you finished with your work, John?”

There was no mistaking it. She was looking directly at me. My favorite teacher had just called me the wrong name.

My eyes puffed out. My bottom lip dropped. For a few seconds my heart stopped beating then spun around in a circle. My name wasn’t John. In fact, it never has been. I have always been a Tim, Timothy, or Timmy; among other more insensitive nicknames.

“My name’s not John,” I said a little disappointed.

Mrs. Hill’s mind crossed over itself. Then she remembered who I was, “Matthew?” she questioned.

I shook my head. This guessing game would have gone on forever. Mrs. Hill, the one teacher in high school who made a positive difference in my life, forgot who I was even after two guesses. She walked away to the next aisle, never to interact with me ever again.

Out of all the things Mrs. Hill taught me, the most important was that nobody cares about us as much as we may think they do. Thanks for the terrible revelation.

peggy hill

It has been a full month since I last blogged here. A lot has changed in that time. I’ve become a Born-Again Christian, sinned on my first day so I gave up and went back to a life of wickedness, ate some food (to survive), bought a new pair of shoes, ate some food (for pleasure), and slept once.

I could go into more serious detail on what I have been up to although my interests lie elsewhere at the moment. Instead I’m going to slowly and painfully re-post old articles I wrote for Yahoo Voices over the last year. This first one is about ten things I wish I had done in high school.

Ten Things I Wish I Did in High School

Life is full of regrets. One period of my life I regret a lot are the four years I spent in high school. There were so many things I wish I had done and never did. Here are 10 of them.

1) Throw a Big Party: It is the dream of every high school kid to be popular and well-liked. I consider being popular and well-liked two different things because they are. My parents never let us have friends over due to the fact we lived in a very messy house. I should have taken advantage of having a messy house. When my parents were away, my mother in the hospital for depression and my father away doing things I am afraid to realistically confront without a therapist nearby, I could have had the entire school over and not had to worry about cleaning up the mess. I am a terrible person for not realizing this until now.

2) Ask a Popular Girl on a Date: There were more dates in my date and raisin oatmeal I had for breakfast this morning than ones I went on in high school. At the time I always thought the girls were cruel. Now I know the girls were probably too intimidated by my awkward silence and excessive weight. My facial eczema made them think I was already taken. I probably could have gotten a pity date at one point if I bothered to try. I was a really nice kid and they all knew I would have done their homework for a year if they went to the movies with me once.

3) Join a Sport Squadron: In middle school intramurals I was a beast when it came to flag football. In high school they stopped using flags and instead started using steroid filled shoulders to stop a running back. I was on the high school football team for approximately two practices before I realized I was going to die of an asthma attack before the homecoming game. The cruel part of high school sports is not everybody can make every team. For sure I could have been decent at football and the wrestling team was always looking for fat kids to fight fat kids from other schools. Who knows how much different my life could have been if I had a suffered a spinal cord injury during my teenage years? I might have more character.

4) Start a Food Fight: I may respect food too much to ever throw any at another person. I try not to waste food. When a waitress at a restaurant brings bread over, I make sure I eat every piece. A school food fight though could have been epic. To shout those famous words “Food Fight!” then be the first one to fire off a cardboard pizza at a classmate would have made my every tear I have shed in my life worth it.

5) Beat Up a Bully: I stood up to enough bullies and threatened one, but I never gave one a good pounding. There were few fights in my high school career between anyone at all. I think by that point kids settled their differences by saying insulting things on MySpace instead of with their fists. What happened to us?

6) Flirt With a Teacher: There are always films or moments on television shows where a cute new teacher shows up and romance becomes a possibility. I’m not saying all of my female teachers were extras on The Walking Dead. All I am saying is that none were worthy of a plot point where she has to eventually sit me down and tell me that our age difference is too much and she would lose her job. Why can’t life be more like television? I want a sexy chemistry teacher to ask me to stay after class to help balance equations.

7) Get Carried on People’s Shoulders: Whether it comes after winning the big game or because my performance in the Battle of the Bands was so tremendous that people wanted me on top of them, getting carried on people’s shoulders is something I really missed out on. In fact, I don’t remember seeing any kid in my school ever get rewarded with this. The administration frowned upon any form of public affection. Their plan worked out and now everyone I went to school with is a cold human being, fearful of being touched by others.

8) Discover Something Unique About Myself: The only thing unique I discovered about myself was that I could eat pizza for breakfast every day for a year and not put on weight. I would have rather discovered that I was Superman or could stop time. Most of my high school lessons involved making me more pessimistic. All of the studying, hours of doing homework, and working hard on essays only got me into a community college. Go figure. Money means everything.

9) Have a Fun Nickname: I had plenty of nicknames in high school. None of them would be appropriate to repeat in front of a vulgar sailor because they were so mean. Let’s move on before I start crying.

10) Win: It doesn’t matter what it is. High school for me was spent losing a lot. I was basically the school’s 1962 New York Mets. So much of high school is about winning, and I just didn’t do it. I never won the girl. I never won in sports. I never won when my final average was a 79 percent where the teacher should have totally rounded up and given me the B, but he didn’t because he was a spiteful man with a lazy eye. When high school finally ended for me, it was like a dying light bulb. There was a flicker then it was over. There was no walking off into the sunset knowing I had been accepted into my dream school or anything triumphant like that. High school ended and with it went my chances at being a high school legend. Well, I guess I did win. I got out.

fancy

(I also regret not going to this high school where random fat black guys can sit next to the popular girls while drinking their orange sodas and not be asked to move)

Audience participation is needed for this post. Please answer the below question to whatever extent you can.

What does it take to be a cool high school student?

Be as detailed as possible, as stereotypical too. Things like having the shiniest car, the coolest pencil-case, or girlfriend with the biggest breasts are all similar things I’m looking for. This will be very helpful to me so answer to your heart’s content.

Oh and if you haven’t already check out Yesterday’s Post. More people have snatched up free copies than I ever expected and a good majority are complete strangers. This let’s me know people care, are interested, and are incredibly cheap. Be sure to leave a review, unless you hate it. But if you hate it then it means you hate this blog because it’s pretty much the same style of storytelling.

jeff spicoli

Right now I’m at the craziest Super Bowl party imaginable. It’s so crazy we’re not watching the game and it’s just me at home eating an apple. Nuts, eh? For the sake of nothing and posting something here are two old things I wrote about football. Consider it Super Bowl foreplay.

Quarterbacks (all about why I’m better than Tim Tebow)

High School Football Experiences (all about how I avoided getting raped)

american-football-01

During my time receiving cancerous rays from computer screens I have made many Internet friends. Don’t feel special WordPress bloggers, I’ve been making Internet friends ever since I was 13. I have more people willing to click “subscribe” to this blog than are willing to become friends with me on Facebook. More people will comment on this particular blog post than will spend my birthday with me. The Internet is where I seem to make all my friends these days. For a guy who carries around spare deodorant in his car I can’t be too smelly. It’s Axe too because that’s the one women murder themselves over you for.

(She smelt me once and fell in love. I turned her down. Her life is no longer worth living)

Sometimes an Internet friend becomes more like a real friend. I’ve talked to a few WordPressers outside of the blogosphere and some I consider a regular friend. Things remind me of you and I’ll even explain to police officers how a particular blog post of yours is what inspired me to light the fire. Most of us will never meet in person which is fine, it might be better that way. I do remember however one instance many years ago when I made an Internet friend who I accidentally ended up meeting years later with lackluster consequences.

When I first got the Internet I did whatever I could to find as many people I could instant message as possible. I searched AOL profiles for girls who went to the same school as me and baseball players who I could bug about nonsense. I actually did used to talk to a few baseball players online. The one I talked to a few times ended up having to retire and got a job at Old Navy. With the girls, I always kept secret who I was. If they knew it was the weird fat kid from gym class they’d insist the Internet was not a safe place to be.

(This kid is reliving my life)

I began talking to one girl who actually responded well to me. She went to a rival middle school. I don’t remember what it was specifically that made me instant message her. I think I was feeling courageous. We’ll call her Does Dallas because her real first name matches the main character in an old film about a woman who goes out and “Does Dallas.” I don’t want people to be able to figure out who she is as her privacy is very important to me.

(I changed my mind, I don’t care)

I’m not sure what we talked about exactly but Does Dallas actually would instant message me first a few times. I hid no secrets from her. I was exactly who I was in real life and she was responding well. She told me her sister got a new camera and she would send me her picture. Did Does Dallas have intentions with me I could only fantasize about? She sent me the picture and I was amazed at how attractive she was. All this really meant was I could never send her a real picture of me. Onto my computer, in search of the picture of a shirtless British kid I would send girls claiming it was me, I went.

I told Does Dallas how a classmate of hers was on my baseball team. We’ll call him At Night since his real first name is the first half of a Nickelodeon programming series taking place “At Night.” Well, a lesson was learned by me. At Night did not have kind things to say about me. Does Dallas came online and said how At Night told her about me. I asked what he said. She did not make it clear but the fact Does Dallas never spoke to me ever again does not bode well. At Night was a dweeb who asked a girl out once and when she said yes he thanked her. This was the guy who was cock-blocking me?

(“At Night” was a travesty to other men with the same first name. I won’t say it. I swear I won’t let you know what his name was)

Fast forward to high school. You don’t have to fast forward but I suggest you do to avoid the anguish in between I suffered from many other people. As rival middle schoolers do, they sometimes attend the same high school. Guess who I happened to share a graduating class with? Does Dallas, that’s who. We never had class together, but one time during a field trip she sat across from me. I wondered and still do if she remembers how she had fallen for me online. At the time she was pulling off the “hot nerd” look. I remember her wearing tight black striped pants on the bus ride to see Julius Caesar, the play not the politician. I was at my fattest and sat next to the fattest black chick in class. The two-seater was not made for two offensive lineman which is what we were voted most likely to grow up to become.

I never had a real conversation with Does Dallas. She was smart which leads me to believe she always knew exactly who I was. People always do that. They ignore any connections they used to have to you no matter how silly the circumstances were. The closest I ever came to talking to her was one night during senior year. My friend had a huge crush on her and they had planned to hangout. She cancelled. He asked his best friend to hangout. The best friend cancelled. I had nothing going on so we went out to what his best friend was REALLY up to. Parked in front of the house was Does Dallas’s car. We snuck up along the fence and my friend caught the love of his life in the hot tub with his best friend. Then her head went under water and his best friend’s eyes rolled back into his head. Use your imagination.

Long story short, thank you current Internet friends for not owning hot tubs and inviting girls I have crushes on over to your place or something like that.

I consider myself an expert when it comes to several things. One thing I am not an expert at is knowledge about yearbooks. That’s kind of a silly thing to be an expert at. Become an awesome fencer or the fastest person at saying the alphabet backwards. Those are real talents that will actually get you somewhere. Not like extensive yearbook knowledge which only leads to drugs.

(Yearbook Expert/Junkie, Bubbles)

To first understand the title of this post, you must know what a yearbook is. A yearbook is defined as “a piece of shit book produced by a biased organization full of censorship.” That’s a little harsh. I prefer to call it a booklet full of good memories, friends, and a couple of boogers. Most schools produce a yearbook for children each year of their existence. It’s nice and they don’t only do it for the money even though it’s only the graduating class that is ever featured.

I own three yearbooks. One from my 5th grade year, one from my 8th grade year, and one from my 12th grade year. I only would get one when I was graduating. I don’t know where my 5th grade one went. It had cardboard covers. It’s the one yearbook I wish I had most. I would like to see what the dead kids I know wish they had grown up to be. If it was dead then I would shit my pants. My 8th grade yearbook isn’t bad. My picture I don’t look too grotesque and I even have 1 or 2 hot girl who signed it. One of them drew a heart. The other didn’t even know my name I guess and wrote my screen name instead. Shit. All that time spent looking down her shirt in home room for nothing. She has the first nipple I’ve ever seen in person. She has no clue either. Don’t feel bad though for me being a pervert. She told someone who she wouldn’t date him because he wasn’t in good enough shape. Now she’s fat. That’s not karma, it’s the effects of alcohol and excessive pudding consumption. My 12th grade yearbook is pretty pointless. I didn’t bother going to get my picture taken. They wanted me to show up at 7:30 in the morning during summer. Yeah, what the fuck? I’ve waited all these months to sleep in and now I need to not only buy a suit, I have to wake up early and look nice for your damn photograph? No thank you. I bet they hired that same photographer who would say “turkey toes” to get us to smile. That’s smile entrapment. How can you not laugh saying turkey toes? It’s alliteration. The funniest formation of words are always alliteration. Big brown baby badger butt. Hilarious!

(Actual turkey toes. Not nearly as much fun to look at as it is to say it)

No matter where you went to school your yearbook is the same. I’ll stick with high school because most of us are too stupid to remember anything before that. I know I am. Every yearbook has colored photos of seniors and the rest of the class gets tiny black and white ones. It’s kind of degrading really. Seniors get to live in a Wizard of Oz world while the rest of the younger students are forced into a Schindler’s List scene. The younger kids also don’t get to vote on who they think is cutest, smartest, or most likely to be assassinated due to their politics. I tried rigging the votes my senior year by stuffing the ballots with the worst possible winners imaginable but those pesky administrators caught on. Or my compulsive lying friend lied to me. I’ll go with that one. I am much more likely to believe that a 17-year-old would lie to me over thinking a vice principal can count past his weekly earnings.

(Image taken from my high school yearbook of our marching band leading a visiting team’s mascot to her death)

I look through my high school yearbook now and don’t have many fond memories. There’s a picture of the “Whacky Races” an event I had no desire to attend. Then there’s the fashion show. Hey, that girl is ugly. She shouldn’t be allowed in the fashion show! There are pictures of people I don’t like walking, there are pictures of people I don’t like sitting, there are pictures of people I didn’t even know went to my school playing a guitar. I must not like him either. I remember everyone I meet. Who the fuck is this guy? I’d scan the picture on the Internet but it’s illegal to do. The yearbook company owns the rights to the pictures. Yeah, ain’t that something to kick a can of shit about. They can take a picture of you without your knowledge, throw it into a book, and there isn’t a thing you can do about it. I love you America!

Perhaps, in many years from now, I can look through my yearbook with better memories. Or more likely I’ll throw it away. Or that random freshman I asked to sign it might become famous and then I can sell that page at least. Either way, if you are reading this chubby black girl who had a crush on me back in 8th grade, I did what you told me to do in my yearbook. I stayed cool. I did it for you. I hope you had a great summer like I suggested. Even if you are a lesbian now.