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Thursday Tales: High School Memories Blogmas 2020

Hello everyone! Today, I thought I’d share some high school memories for Thursday Tales!


For this series, I wanted to share some stories that I don’t think I’ve shared on the blog before but that might be pretty entertaining for you. Now, high school was so long ago for me (Class of 2009) but why not share?

Also, as you can see, I’m doing Blogmas again this year! That means I’ll be blogging every day until Christmas. I’ve done Blogmas in 201620172018, and 2019 so I am happy to be participating again in 2020.


High School Memories

Mock Trial

For my senior year in high school I decided to take part in as many fun activities that I had wanted to try but hadn’t. Some backstory here real quick, I was already a very involved, super overloaded, star student in high school, so the idea that I was adding more to my schedule was insane. Mock Trial was over the winter, which was the only time I didn’t have a sport so I was able to join the group!

We were assigned a case that had involved President Abraham Lincoln as a lawyer! That was super cool. I was one of four students in the group, with two other seniors that I coincidentally didn’t really like because they were so stuck up and one of them got her younger sister to join. There was also one guy in the group that I did get along with, and then the teacher mentor was one of the worst teachers in the school who was the AP Government teacher (all the seniors were in APGOV so he was thrilled by this). Oh one of the stuck up girls was also on the flags team, which is relevant later. OH! I just remembered why I didn’t like the other senior. She stole my high school BFF’s boyfriend. THE TEA.

Anyway, I was assigned a role as a lawyer for the defense, and I think I was also a lawyer in the prosecution but it’s been so long I don’t quite remember! I do remember we had to prepare for both because the competitions had the teams do one trial as the defense and a second as prosecution so that’s why. I might have been a witness for prosecution but I don’t quite recall.

The first of two competitions we did was a county wide competition. We headed down to our county’s courthouse to compete, and we were able to go with just the five of us. This was so cool because we were in actual court rooms! During that competition I won a “Best Lawyer” award and got a little trophy. It’s actually the only trophy I’ve ever won and I still have it LOL. The stuck up seniors were super jealous, naturally, but I didn’t care because I was so thrilled. The guy was also happy for me and the younger sister was too (I got the sense that the sisters hated each other).

The second competition was State. The teacher recruited his daughter (another senior) and one of her friends to be our witnesses because we needed more people to compete. The stuck up seniors did pretty much all the fundraising for the trip because the rest of us couldn’t care less to do so. At one point they declared themselves as the “captains” because of this but the two new girls shot that down saying they were part of the team now and they hadn’t voted so they weren’t captains. I hadn’t liked the daughter much up until that point but she and her friend were pretty cool during the trip. Anyway, we went to Springfield for this, had a good time sightseeing, and then had a fun competition too.

The main reason I chose to do this group was because I was pretty dead set on being a lawyer at the time and it was super fun to try it out! I think I would have been a great lawyer but when it came time to think about law school, I just couldn’t justify the expense. Still, I’m so grateful for that one season as a “Best Lawyer”!

Trading a Flute for a Flag

This story is also a senior year story (most of these are). So I arrived at my fourth marching band camp with my flute in hand to find that we had over 15 flute players. I think we had around 18 or so. It was insane! The band teacher knew he had way too many flute players and asked if he could get any volunteers to switch to the flags team, which had only two members. I think it was just myself and another three girls who switched. One was an annoying freshman (my sister was a freshman too and she found the girl annoying so she warned me – my sister was RIGHT), two others were sophomores I think (they were BFFs and one of them was the younger sister of another friend of mine), and then me, who was a senior. Most seniors were trying to be drum majors but I was totally over the horrendous marching band uniform. The two girls who were the only flags members had been in it for years already so they taught us a lot. One was a nice senior gal who we all liked. The other was the stuck up girl from Mock Trial LOL. Just my luck.

Anyway, us flute players were really thrilled to have this opportunity. We loved practicing with the flags and learning the routines. We also really enjoyed the cute uniforms! Then, when it came time to the senior panoramic photo the three flags team seniors wore our uniforms and got to sit in the front with the baton girls and (strangely) the volleyball or basketball girls (I can’t quite remember which). Usually the volley/basketball girls weren’t in front but they wore their uniforms either for fun (they were all good friends I think) so they were invited to the front. Now that I think about it, maybe the cheer girls also were in the front but I don’t remember.

As for what we actually did, we performed at the football and boys basketball games, just like the marching/pep band did so my teacher excused the “absence” for the flute girls. For pep band (basketball games), the band was usually split in two but we performed for all games so looking back I think we should have gotten extra credit. We also got to go perform with the band for Northwestern University’s Band Day, a day when they invite marching bands to join theirs for a football game. Or maybe that was the Northern Illinois University Band Day…? I went to one at each so I don’t quite recall which was my freshman year and which was senior year.

That’s basically it for the flags team! I loved being on the team and I can still remember most of the choreo to the fight song, I’m pretty sure. Sure, I gave up being a drum major (I wasn’t offered it, but I’m pretty sure I would have gotten it if I had tried out), but I had a really good time and I’m so glad I did it.

Swim Team Captain

So one more senior year memory! Some backstory on this one, I joined the swim team because it was the only fall sport that didn’t have try outs. There was one issue, I didn’t know how to swim! I told the coaches and they were like “well, we technically don’t cut anyone so… get in there and don’t drown!” To be quite honest, they hated me as did all the older girls and even some in my year, but eventually I became one of the best swimmers on the team. By senior year I was one of the fastest and there were many girls coming in that didn’t know how to swim but learning how I did.

The way they chose the captains was that they had the seniors who wanted to be captains give a speech to all the girls and then vote by secret ballot. Then 2-3 girls would be picked depending on how many girls were on the team (for example every five girls meant one captain or something like that). I think about six or seven of us gave speeches, and I was one of three captains! Side note, we “voted” but I’m fairly certain the coaches picked whoever they wanted anyway… LOL.

One kinda petty/karma story to add here was that there was one girl in my year who was horrendous. She was such a hateful and vile person, to the point that other schools talked shit about her too. She was a good swimmer, no one could deny that, but her attitude was shit! She was also a flute player so I had to interact with her often unfortunately. Since she was good at both she thought she was going to be the captain AND drum major in band. She didn’t get either one! I didn’t see her reaction for drum major but she started to cry when I was announced as the final captain and she wasn’t. I don’t think either of these events caused her to have a big character revelation or anything but I remember lots of girls on both the swim team and in band laughed at her for lose both behind her back. I tried to take the high road and gently tell people that we should laugh, since as captain I should be an example after all. I remember pretending I hadn’t seen her cry after captains were announced and expressing sympathy that she was upset but to be completely honest, it was satisfying to witness. She was just SO RUDE and it truly felt like she got what she deserved. Do I feel bad that I felt good about her failure? Yeah a bit. But it was out of my hands!

Anyway, back to the being captain thing. For the most part, I was a pretty chill captain. The other two didn’t bring me into the loop for anything because up until that point I never participated in team building stuff. I remember everyone always did “pasta parties” to have dinner together at a girl’s house before big meets but I never went because my parents never let me and also I didn’t want to go (they hated me before this, remember? So I didn’t particularly like them anyway). Due to this they never asked me to get involved really. All I really did was lead stretches, keep younger girls on track during meets, and then I handled team awards for the end of the season. Since they bullied me with the worst ones in years prior, I made sure to only give out good awards to everyone.

Honestly, swim culture is toxic. The girl I mentioned above is actually quite typical in this sport. And remember my racist roommate from my previous Thursday Tales? She was a swimmer too. This sport is basically full of people with attitudes like what you’d see in typical cheerleader/popular kid characters in movies. But I do think I changed the team for the better by ignoring the haters and staying positive. And it did help that I rarely talked to any of them as I had a little group of other “lesser” swimmers and my BFF on the team so we kept to ourselves! They helped me win to be captain as did my sister who was a freshman and joined the team to be with meeeee! She was pretty popular (yes, she IS and always will be the cool sister), so all the freshmen voted for me as her big sister I think. Oh, and not everyone was rude, I’ll admit. There were plenty nice gals who were friends with me, but the “best” swimmers were super mean for the most part until years later.

One girl who was a junior or senior when I was a freshman ended up apologizing to me years later. Again, she was much older so we didn’t interact much but she was also really mean to me when we did interact. I ended up befriending her younger sister in track who was a freshman when I was a senior (so the sister was the same age as my sister). For the sisters’ there was rain during their graduation, so only two people from the family could go into the gym and everyone else watched from the cafeteria. There was a friend of mine (also a former swim team girl) who had been a year younger than me (her little sister was also graduating) so I joined her with her grandma when my parents and her parents when to the gym. The mean girl knew my friend well and joined us. I was civil to her, of course, because I’m actually nice. The mean girl ended up apologizing and recognizing that she had been an absolute bitch to me, and both girls were so surprised that I was nice to her despite that. I remember I kinda just shrugged and told them that after dealing with haters all my life that I hadn’t done anything wrong so I never felt guilty or responsible for anything. The mean girl ended up giving me her business card as she was a hairdresser locally, but I threw that out. She may have apologized but I wasn’t going to trust her with my hair!

Oh, one more funny thing about this. So remember how everyone hated me? Yeah… so I actually never knew their names… When I joined the team as a freshman I didn’t wear contacts so I couldn’t see. I have terrible eyesight! Since I couldn’t see anyone I couldn’t tell apart one girl from another, much less learn who was who. By the time I got contacts, it was way too late to ask for introductions again so I literally barely knew who anyone was. Whoops!

APUSH and other AP classes

Remember how I said I was a star student earlier? I promise I was! I did a ton of AP classes in high school. I did Spanish, US History, Government, one of the English ones (I can’t remember which but the one you do as a senior – I think Literature?), and I thought I had one more but I can’t remember so maybe it was just those.

My favorite was APUSH (AP US History) from junior year. There were two classes, taught by two teachers. I got teacher M while the other, T, was also amazing. Naturally, whichever one you got was your RIDE OR DIE and you would do anything to convince the others yours was the better one. These two teachers went above and beyond for us. We had extra study sessions in the spring that were hours into the night after school, T ended up teaching us when M had paternity leave because a sub wouldn’t be able to handle the fast pace and intensive info dump they had to do every class, and they were just there for us no matter what. M and T were everyone’s favorites and we learned a ton.

I remember that AP season was stressful for everyone, including M and T. M admitted to us that he had planned for the baby to not be born during AP season so he could be back in time for the prep. These two were COMMITTED. I remember they also teased me because T had an after school study session. I went to my AP Spanish session first, when that one ended I went to APUSH that was held by T that day but I only stayed for a little bit before I got up with the other track kids. He teased me saying “but you just got here!” and I had to apologize and say I had to get to track because we had a late meet at home (that worked out well for me that day). The next day M laughed at me too because T had told on me! Those two were great teachers and I remember them so fondly. I even got a 4 on my exam and I keep my class materials to this day because I can’t bear to throw them out. It was one of the best classes I’ve ever taken.

Car of the Year!

Last story! And actually this one is also from senior year so I apologize for lying earlier. So, backstory on this, when I was 14 my dad and I struck a deal. I got to pick between a quince party, a dog, a trip anywhere in the world with one friend when I turned 18, or a car. I picked a car! Jokingly I asked that it be a cool color. My dad came through! When I finally got my license (I got it late, like 17 or something), I got a 2004 ORANGE Ford Mustang. THE COOLEST CAR EVER. So when I drove it to school I got a ton of attention. (Okay, full disclosure, my sister and I shared because she picked a car from the same options for her 15th. My dad asked if we wanted separate cars or to combine the money for one better car and we picked one better car.) I named the car Nemo, after the clown fish in the Pixar film Finding Nemo.

I had never really paid attention to the student newsletter but apparently something they did was pick a “car of the month” and my car was picked I think for the first month. The orange drew the eye. Plus, I had morning practice for swimming so I was always early enough to get a spot close to the doors.

Then, at the end of the year, all the cars that got “car of the month” were on a ballot for “car of the year”. And Nemo won! No one was really surprised, least of all me as one of my friends was the editor in chief of the newsletter and kinda hinted heavily at that LOL. I remember hearing a rumor that another senior girl was PISSED though. She drove a hearse and when she heard she lost to my Mustang she apparently threw a fit and called me a bitch to anyone who would listen. I remember I just laughed when a friend told me because I barely knew the girl! I don’t think I had any interactions with her at all in high school but I do remember hearing that she was rude and mean to anyone who wasn’t her friend. So this wasn’t surprising to hear that she was rude about me despite not knowing me, mostly it was surprising that she threw such a fit about it.

Fun story, although it’s not mine. My sister also won “car of the year” when she was a senior! I ended up totaling the Mustang a few years after that (oops) and although it wasn’t a practical car, it was a fun car. I’m so grateful for the time I had the car!


And those are my high school memories for today! I have plenty more for anyone who may want them. Should I continue this series next year for BirthMay? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

Pamela

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