QotD: School Days/Daze

What kind of student were you in high school?

"Days/Daze" is a little tired.  Stop it.  Besides, it  implies drug use, and I was a clean kid, my friends.

We'll get grades out of the way – straight A's, with the exception of mathematics; but by then I had reached the point where I didn't expect to do well in that wretched subject.  It had become a part of my academic personality.  So be it.

I was slapped with adolescence and wore it as gracefully as I would a soggy fish.  I was prone to depression and guilt.  I wrote dour and obvious poetry – still, it got published in the school creative writing magazine.

I drew – relentlessly.  I still have the yellowing pages of these attempts at happiness, at escapism, because I can't find any other reason for such untiring creativity.

I was on the school tennis team.  My 'action' photos in the yearbook would be a source of joy to all of you, but I will have to disappoint, so please put your cameras down.  I'll just say that I had long hair, I did indeed have a white tennis outfit on, and I was in full-on make-up.

I was shy and therefore pretty much ignored.  I was desperately self-conscious.  I recall being deeply, deeply shocked when a history teacher of mine said that self-consciousness was really only an extreme form of egotism.

There is a memory that pretty much defined my time in high school; a microcosm of the handful of years I spent at Fairfax High School, once known as the knifing capital of the LAUSD:

I was sitting in the courtyard of the school, reading.  I was alone, and I'm under the impression that it was early in the morning.  Suddenly I heard footsteps coming in my direction.  I wasn't frightened – but I feared for my blessed isolation.  I remember thinking devoutly to myself, "Please keep walking, please keep walking…"

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10 responses to “QotD: School Days/Daze

  1. I remember feeling a lot of similar things in High School. I've never heard that line about self consciousness being an extreme form of egotism. In my case it may well be true. πŸ™‚ Still, that's a terrible thing to say to a High School student.

  2. I've yet to meet anyone I've liked who says s/he liked high school. I think most of the smart, sensitive people were depressed, self-conscious and shy, but they all went on to do brilliantly in adult life. The smart, outgoing class president types and the popular but mean ones dropped off the map. I imagine they became lab techs, real estate agents and pharmaceuticals sales reps, for the legal and illegal kind.

  3. This is a departure from your usual blogging style. I like it! Please share more snippets from the life of Ms. Aubrey!

  4. This brings back so many memories of middle and high school….self conscious and somewhat uncertain times. I am glad they are behind me. They were filled with teenage angst. I am glad I survived. How about you?

  5. lol, I was the same with Maths. They just kind of realised that I wasn't ever going to get it. I remember one school report saying that I failed to grasp the basic concepts. And I still haven't.

  6. I did enjoy high school but I do wish I had been somewhere more challenging. My small K-12 country school was adequate and I had great experiences outside of it serving on boards and committees and such.
    My senior year was a big waste of time, I ran out of college prep courses to take. The only exception was Latin, brought into our podunky school through the modern technology of 2-way television and broadcast to us from the large school in the county.
    To get to Michigan State and be just another anonymous student was a relief from being in all the same classes with all the same kids since Kindergarten. I spent my entire school life already having been defined, with no room to be anything else. Which was actually okay, because I liked who I was.
    Please go on with your story! What happened? I'm intrigued!

  7. I loved the way you wrote this, I kind of stole your format. I hope that's okay.
    I wonder, just how common is that phenomenon – because I was (and still am) exactly the same way. Do-not disturb my zen moment. I get so annoyed when I'm in the zone and someone walks into it.
    I don't know about the egotism thing; I was led to understand that people who are insecure and then try to stick up for themselves, are unusually aggressive at first.

  8. MoonCat – Call it tough love, I guess; though at the time I certainly did not appreciate it.
    Hangaku Gozen – I think each high school student was only allotted one non-moronic teacher – perhaps two. I still think about my art teacher, dear Mr. Nastasia.
    Waterbaby – I'm glad you like this, Wbaby, but it's not so easy! Snippets sometimes cut too close.
    Freedom Smith – I appreciate – and am amused by – my angst. Everything I went through made me the creature that writes this now. But I do agree – survival is best.
    cat – My counselor once called me into his office – I was pulling straight A's, except in math. He was worried that I was being hassled by the math teacher or by the students in that class. Why else would I be doing so disasterously?
    AmyH – Latin? Latin??
    What happened next was college. And that is a book best left unopened.
    Emmi – Yes, I wanted to be left alone. Finish class, and then go home. I was shy, and I was self-conscious…I was worried that people were judging me and that the judgement was not a good one! Egoist or not, it was a wretched way to be!

  9. I really enjoyed reading your post about your school days. Would have loved to see a few pictures – of the art you created those days and of you playing tennis πŸ™‚

  10. Chris Wonchol John

    Dear Mr. Nastasia… I sure miss that man.
    I’m class of 86. I was in the Magnet class. There was a blond girl named Aubrey or Audrey who used to carry around a big camera….

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