Monday, November 24, 2008

Four years, process of elimination

I thought I'd try to do the high school meme, and I went and found all these photos of myself from high school and tried to sort it all out. What was my focus? What was I doing? (Enjoy all the '80s hairdos, friends!)

I think I didn't really have much focus; I was involved in so much at the outset, that I can almost define my experience by what was eliminated. When I started high school, I was taking classes in art, drama, band (clarinet), chorus, and piano, and also training in soccer, swim team, dance, and cycling. To her credit, my mom drove us around to all that! I can't imagine driving a child (actually two) to all those activities! My sister had just as much going on—we are close in age, so our parents normally just lumped us together in the same age group for sports.

The first things to go away were the sports. I didn't continue competitively with high school swimming and soccer teams, although I did get my lifeguard certificate and worked at a YMCA for a while as a guard and an aquatics instructor (and yes, with that hair). I did one parade in the marching band and decided that wasn't for me. I'd been in private acting courses throughout middle school, but only performed in one play in high school; I didn't stand out and abandoned it after a few auditions didn't land me any further parts.

What was left? Chorus? I was an alto and not that vocally talented. Piano lessons, which I dropped at age 16, when all the practicing (two hours a day) was hard to maintain with a heavy load of homework and remaining activities, mainly the dancing, clubbing, music, boys, friends, art, and bicycling. I loved, LOVED the dancing! I took jazz dancing lessons at a local ballet studio and was very responsible about making all of my classes; I even went all through the summer sessions. I rode my bicycle to class and adored the instructor, Mrs. Lang. Somehow, all the quitting and abandoning stuff backfired here, though. I chose to continue with dancing, but my parents pulled me out of it, because they thought I wasn't going to the classes.

I filled the gap by going dancing at nightclubs, focusing more on listening to music (industrial/punk/goth/club), buying albums, and going to shows in Chicago. The art part was easy! I expended little effort in classes and whatever I did, the teacher gave me an A. Sometimes I got triple or quadruple As, which was pretty ridiculous—hard to take seriously. I won a couple of competitions with my artwork and participated in art shows. The portfolio I developed really opened doors for college admissions! (BTW, this bizarre tree painting did NOT go in my portfolio, but was fun for display in public.)

Outside of the classwork, my most memorable high school moments were dancing at clubs with boys, wandering around Chicago with boys and friends (I was kinda boy-obsessed and dated a lot), and cycling trips with my family. We went bicycling almost every weekend! We travelled (by car) to go on week-long cycling tours in Vermont, Wisconsin, southern Illinois, Indiana. I
didn't have a car (though plenty of kids did), so bicycling got me where I needed to go.

What did I stick with? If you read my blog, you already know. My apologies for such a rambling post, but it's getting close to the midnight hour here & I've gotta get something up!


  1. You rode your BIKE to another STATE? I live in the middle of Colorado. I have to drive multiple hours in any direction to leave the state. Never mind on a bike.

  2. Sorry, Cat, that was probably sloppy writing. I think I cleared it up with a little editing. We'd DRIVE to Vermont and then bike for 30 to 60 miles every day. On the weekends in Illinois, we'd drive to a semi-rural area then bike for 30 miles through wooded areas or empty interstates.

  3. er... ah. hmmmm.

    You sure about this, monkeyrotica?

  4. you had the romantic lead in the High School play, HARVEY. Seemed like a pretty big part to me.

    I am anxiously awaiting pictures from Rosie's party

  5. Oh my. I can't get past the hair!!!

  6. Yep, Ben, Monkey's seen all these photos and more, and still was okay with the match. The hair was the thing to do with my peeps at the time, y'know? Anybody else remember 1986?

    Mom, right, there was Harvey and that was pretty much it. I auditioned for he next few big plays (Guys & Dolls and No Exit), but wasn't cast. And, okay, I'll get photos up soon!

    Christina, it is pretty distracting isn't it? Especially with that bizarre red backlighting!

  7. That first picture? That's how I feel ALL THE TIME.

  8. SO adorable. We would have caused so much trouble together if we knew each other in high school.

  9. Wow, the hair. Just wow.

    Ummm. I'm speechless.

    The photo with the hair whipped up and sprayed white (grey?) and the make-up...was that for Halloween? Seriously, I'm not trying to be an a$$.

    Hipster mom indeed.


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  11. Kelly, trouble, yes! Although I was more about, "let's mess with people's heads!" than "let's skip school and smoke weed!" But, you knew that.

    OTC, no, it was not Halloween. But your comment reminds me of a song popular in clubs at the time. Heh.

  12. the hair is priceless. love it!

  13. O, why can't I live a life for me?
    Why should I take the abuse that's served?

    That goes up to facebook.

  14. Those are freaking awesome pics.

  15. Hey, Thomas? Was I wearing my hair like that when we dated? I think I was still spiking it in Freshman year of college...

  16. Yep, you had the tail and spiky hair. Much products and CFCs involved but I always like it and thought it looked cool. Then again I gave myself a bad mohawk thingy/ military hi and tight freshman year after we lost to Miami in football so what do I know about hair (esp. now that I'm uber bald)?


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