|My Sophomore yearbook picture, age 15.|
At 15, I was a sophomore. I’ve been trying to remember who I hung out with and what classes I had that year. I remember that orchestra started at 7am. I had sophomore english, biology, geometry, german 1, and some history class. Can’t remember which history it was at all. I only remember my freshman history class because it was the first time I learned about the Mayan culture and I was mesmerized, and government/ economics my senior year (which I cut almost once a week once soccer started).
I remember a friends mom would pick me up in the mornings because this friend and I both had orchestra. And because I had O period, I didn’t have 6th period so I got out early, until sports started. I don’t remember how I got home, until I got my license and started driving myself in January of that year. The school was 7 miles away, and the buses were cut years earlier due to budget issues.
I was in the best shape of my life that year. I was on a league soccer team outside of school. I went out for the swim team. So I would go to swimming for 2 hours, then go to my league soccer practice for another 2 hours or so. Sometimes I would play roller hockey with my brother and his friends at M&M prison (my old middle school) before soccer practice that was also there. That year I also played soccer and softball for the school. I was always playing something because one sport would start a few weeks before the previous one ended. So I was in great physical shape that year.
It was the year I also grew my bangs out. It was the only year I ever did not have bangs. To this day, 20 years later... the bangs are back to stay. I never really fit in at high school. I wasn’t popular, but no one really was there because there were over 4000 students. I didn’t have a click or group of friends that I stayed with all four years. In fact, every year was different with different friends at break and lunch. I tried out the Christian club people freshman year and didn’t like them (a bit to high and mighty), I went to chess club with a friend whom I’d known since I was 2 years old from church, but was bored because I don't like playing chess unless it's Battle Chess! I also tried hanging out with her skater friends. I went to science club, I liked blowing up balloons with the bunsen burners and roasting marshmallows. I didn’t fit in with the “sports/jocks” people. I didn’t fit in with the churchies, I didn’t fit in with the science nerds, or the skaters, or the arts kids, or any other group. A lot of the time at break (15 minutes) I would just walk around campus. I know I spent some time with my friend that I knew since age 2. She was a Junior and let me hang with her and her friends. So when I couldn’t find anyone I knew I would find her. My childhood best friend with whom I went to school with since kindergarten had found her place and people with whom she could hang out with at break and lunch (the hill). The friends who I ate lunch with my freshman year... were no longer friends with me. So I leaned on my church friend. We had never gone to the same schools until high school. We had orchestra together. And once I got my drivers license in January of that year, sometimes I would go pick her up and we’d go to Denny’s for breakfast instead of going to orchestra. She was also on the softball team with me that year. We would sit on the bench during games a practice our sunflower seed spitting.
I went through my closet looking for any writing I had done that year. I don’t have any. I have stuff from middle school and every year of high school, except sophomore year. I couldn’t remember why. Then I got my yearbook out because I was also looking for a photo of me from that year and couldn’t find one. I had Mr. Shin for English that year. I hated that class. I don’t remember any assignments or books I read that year. All I remember is that it was second period and there were a bunch of f$cking idiots in that class and Mr. Shin had a hard time controlling them. And one of those f$cking idiots set off a stink bomb once and he made everyone stay in the classroom through break because no one copped to doing it. That’s all I remember of that class. I hated it. I loved freshman english. I didn’t like my junior english teacher but he challenged me to think for myself and not rely on what I was told to think or believe. I loved senior english. I had the same teacher as my sister did 8 years earlier, and she fostered my love of writing.
So honestly, I don’t remember a lot of high school, and a lot less of my sophomore year. I didn’t fit in anywhere, but was never bullied. I don’t think I got shat on by a seagull that year. I turned 16 that year and got the 1988 Mazda 323 stick shift. It was my mom’s car, and then it was my brother’s car. That year he bought his first car on his own, a Jeep. So I got the Mazda when I turned 16. It smelled like my brother’s armpit sans deodorant. He had always left his stinky hockey gear in the car. And I remember when he drove me to school my freshman year (his senior year), I sat in the back with his surf board and his surfing buddy for the day in the front. He’d drop me off and ditch that day and head to Santa Cruz. He’d come back to pick me up... some days a bit later than others. I never really saw my brother much during school my freshman year, but I sure was glad he was there. But back to my sophomore year. It was the year I got my first job too, at the video store that my sister had worked at when she was in high school. Having older siblings was cool. They got you jobs and cars and free rides to school (even if mom had to pay him). Because of the job at the video store I started watching a lot of movies and playing video games. I got to take home the Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, or the Sega Genesis. I like playing Lolo, Sonic, Mario, a beach volleyball game, and a space racing game, and many others, but Lolo was awesome. He was a blue ball that was trying to save Lala, a pink ball from some evil dude who locked Lala in his castle. And Lolo had to solve these puzzle type games. My boss at the video store was so obsessed with beating the game that he racked up $100's of dollar phone bills calling the Nintendo help line. This was back before the internet people!!
What I learned that year was that I wasn’t as cool as I thought or popular. I wasn’t a great swimmer or soccer player or softball player, but I was good enough. Playing violin in the orchestra was still fun, and I looked forward to our concerts, again, I wasn’t great, but was good enough. I was still taking private piano lessons. I learned to drive. The day I got my license I stalled it on the hill at the corner of Landess and Piedmont, and hit the bumper of the car in front of me in the drive thru at McDonald’s... and stalled it. I was conscious of my self-consciousness and self image. I still went to church and youth group, but I didn’t fit in with them either. I knew my family weren’t rich or poor. I knew I had it pretty good. But I also never took it for granted. I got myself up every morning. I made my own lunch or saved a few dollars and braved the chaos that was the snack bars. I did my own laundry. I did my homework. Got good grades. And that’s about it. I sure as hell didn’t know what I wanted to do or study in college yet.
So that was me, sophomore year, 15 years old. Junior year was the first stamp in my passport (German exchange program. I spent 6 weeks in Germany, it was awesome). It was also the year I started to think for myself. Senior year had it’s moments, but I couldn’t wait to graduate and get away from all those stupid people. I also never dated in high school. I had a few crushes but I thought they were above me or unattainable, so why even try. I didn’t go to prom either. But I had no desire to. So there you go.
Maybe the next post will be who I was at age 20. Oooooo, so exciting. Not really.
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