Where I write

Where I write

November 21, 2012

If I could do high school all over again......

 I've been receiving clothing advertisements from my Alma mater, James B. Conant High School, in Hoffman Estates Illinois. First, could I really at my age wear a shirt that says Cougar?  I'm tempted, though. Maybe because I have a wish. I wish I could do high school all over again. Imagine that. I had it made in high school. I had free room and board, free classes, free books, a cheap lunch in the cafeteria and I got to see my friends every day! My friends didn't argue about politics, worry about mortgages, or complain about health issues. We giggled. All I had to do was show up to class, pay attention, do my homework and care what the teachers were saying, respect the education I was being handed, but nope, couldn't do that. I was so bored with it all.

This is what I would do if I had a second chance, if some fairy godmother waved her wand and sent me back to high school.

I would listen in class. I wouldn't miss a day. I wouldn't spend hours wondering what skirt would match which blouse. I wouldn't care if a boy would hold my hand in the hallway, so all could envy, or take me to dances and kiss me. I wouldn't even pay attention if no boy sent me a carnation on carnation day. I'd buy my my own silly carnation. Besides, I like roses better and there's plenty of time for men when I'm all grown up.

Instead, I would be the nerdy girl that you saw with a pile of books, the one who got straight As. I wouldn't care if my clothes were frumpy or my hair styled with an egg beater.  I would care about my G.P.A and I'd take the ACT or ATC or whatever it was and score so high.

 I would study in study hall! I would prefer school to staying home and watching soap operas or sunning myself in the backyard.

I wouldn't be obsessed with being a pom pom girl (that's me second to the left standing).  If I needed exercise, I would go to Zumba or Yoga. Instead I would be on the year book staff, or try for student council, or maybe even audition for a play or the swim team. Instead of practicing my dance steps, I would be enrolled in anything with the word Advanced before the title. Advanced English, perhaps, so I would have learned to use a comma by the time I graduated? Maybe even history so I knew what the heck happened beyond my suburban neighborhood?

(And to my math teacher, Mr. Niedbalski, if you are still with us, let me apologize to you right now for never bothering to even open my math book between classes. And also for all the times my mini skirt was so short I couldn't do math problems on the chalk board because my skirt would rise too high. Next time I would be more concerned with algebra and less with showing off my legs.Bless you dear man from trying to teach me math.)
Here's a photo of my high school. I used to dread going there each day. I thought it was prison. (Jokes on me after some of the jobs I've had since). Looks pretty good to me now! I wouldn't mind checking in. I'd even stay the night.  I would love to be able to go there each day and soak in knowledge about geography and geology and maybe even learn about graphic arts.

Alas, I'm not 15 anymore. Not even close! I can't turn back the hands of the clock. Surely,  I'm older than many of the teachers that now teach at Conant High School.
Here is the little booklet we were given at the breakfast before graduation. In it we wrote our goals. Here's what I wrote as my  future plans "work at the Park District and become a secretary."

What I should have wrote was "I don't have a clue, but if I had paid attention in class, instead of shaking my pom poms, I would know better what to do next with my life." I could have written circus performer instead of secretary for all I knew what I wanted to do in life. Actually circus performer would have been more truthful as I recall waitress jobs I've held in the past which required much juggling of glasses on trays.

So I didn't become a secretary, don't even recall working for a park district, and I did eventually earn a journalism degree, a struggle with my own money and no free room and board, and I sorta know how to use a comma. But thank goodness for calculators. But let me tell you, if that fairy godmother comes around with her magic wand don't be surprise if you hear I'm the Student Council President of Conant High School. Just saying...


Kirsten said...

Funny, I sometimes wish I could have a HS do-over. I was the nerdy girl behind the pile of books (at least until even I got too bored to care about academia) and many of my class titles were proceeded w/ AP. I took a test and I ran screaming out the front door after 3 short years. I'm gonna bet your approach was more fun.

Rita A. said...

I would like to go back too. Maybe I could make the PomPom line. Not. I was on the yearbook staff and that has my favorite memories. I still wouldn't pay attention in algebra though. Thanks for the thoughtful post.

Stella said...

Your high school looks so much more fresh and bright than mine. I never liked high school either. But, as Kirsten said - I bet your days were more fun than being a nerd. (It's SAT by the way).

Mary Frances Roya said...

In high school I loved the learning. I hated the forced cheer rallies. I was fat, shy and lonely. High school was not a fond memory for me. But I am glad it is for some, it just wasn't for me.

SunsetCindi said...

As they say, youth is wasted on the young. I give high school teachers a lot of credit for trying to get through to those hormone-addled brains each day.