9-5-16-Senior Year in the Sonland Part 2: Fall Function Stand-ups and Classes

Happy Labor Day to any and all who read this. The Reds are on TV to my right as they are attempting to play the New York Mets without getting beat too badly, and yes you figured I would be watching said baseball game since I still watch teams 19 games under .500 in place of Tom Hanks 80’s movies on the tube. Obviously I was way off of my goal of getting work done on here the last couple of weeks but there have been some silver linings. One is that the 19 page paper on the Canadian educational system ended up being an which meant an A in said class and a happier me on the academic front. Another is I like the current class that I have for this part of the semester (a leadership class that runs through October before the next one finishes out the calendar year) and that will make it much easier to handle assignments like the 10 page paper I’ve got due next weekend. I also got a chance to visit The Rock Star for the first time since the initial Gulf War was taking place during the initial Bush family presidency  (better late than never) and was told by friends that I now look 10 years younger since I decided to get rid of the facial hair that I have usually had since the end of the initial Clinton family presidency. Lastly I like my job and am enjoying a week of 69 cent two liters of Big K from the local Kroger. After all you’ve figured out I am pretty cheap.

One shade of consistency: the continuing of dueling lawn mowers in the neighborhood. Despite paper-mania for school I’m going to wait till the middle of the week to mow because, well, I’m not one to mow the lawn during Labor Day. Oh…and Notre Dame football’s defense left much to be desired last night while I am ready for an 8-8 non-playoff appearing season from the Indianapolis Colts (and hopefully wrong about predicting this mark). That offensive line has been, well, offensive. Good thing I no longer spend $1000-$2000 a year in going to games, and while like all other pro football teams I know they don’t hurt for money nevertheless these Colts are making it tough for themselves to be competitive with bad contracts, worse draft picks (they cut a third round pick from last year…which is similar to giving a dude a year in a three year training program and saying ‘uh, no’ after the chief vice president says ME WANT DUDE CUZ DUDE THE SON BIG MAN in a chief endorsement) and questionable leadership. With that being said they play in the AFC South Division and thus automatically get the benefit of the doubt unless they start 0-4 or 1-3. The recommendation: beat Detroit at home next Sunday afternoon. If that doesn’t happen, let’s just say I’ll have plenty of time to write these 10 page papers when the local NFL games are dominating the airwaves.

With 450 words now recapping my existence, on to the nitty gritty: talking about the fall of my senior year at The Sonland (aka high school) and giving a few non-fashion related recaps and memories. Best way to do it is to group a few categories and give random thoughts so I don’t go off on my usual tangents. So here goes on the fall….

FUNCTIONING FALL SCHEDULE:  past blog entries noted what I wore during said senior year, but now here’s where I actually have some memory skills left as I recap what classes I took. Six periods for six roughly one hour classes at the current home of one of the 1,486 Ivy Tech campuses in the state with a lunch thrown in as the only time I would go to that part of the building during the school day (which was the old lower level part from the 50’s with the cafe addition, and I didn’t miss it too much save for the days in frosh biology when Richard Moyers would re-create Kellogg’s Honey Smacks commercials with the frogs that were there to be dissected for class). Your class load was as follows: Classic Literature 1st hour (where one read and wrote random stuff that was apparently supposed to help you for college); Advanced Math Unified 2nd hour (read: pre-calculus that guaranteed I was a COLLEGE BOUND BAWH GAWD student); Senior Composition 3rd hour (self-explanatory); Government 4th hour (where one learned about the three branches of government from a real live state legislator); Spanish 5th hour (which ended up being kind of influencing for the rest of the year, so stay tuned on future posts); and lastly Yearbook 6th hour for as I’ve rambled on many a time I made the yearbook staff to be a sportswriter who usually did not write about sports. No study halls, no McDonald’s trips (save senior skip days) and to be honest no real interaction up front with members of my class year for one key reason: the vast majority of people from the classes the year before were NOT in the classes I was taking that fall. So the times of drawing Dudes comics from English classes weren’t going to take place because only one of said Dudes (Jamie Shinneman) was in my Comp class….and if I had a conversation with him that semester it’s news to me. Either way I was in a better mood because this was the last year I had to be in Sonland City for education and as mentioned many a time…….

I WAS NOW THIN:  If there was any good thing about that year that almost-ALMOST-made up for driving the 1977 Buick to class and saying “I’d like to be somewhere that doesn’t think it’s the equal of a Jason Priestly sitcom in a Midwestern county seat” then it was the fact I had reached my weight loss goal and was able to maintain it during the school year. I was now down to 140 pounds when I entered that building of which I once got spat on by a man who would later be at the cash register of a gas station I got gas at that summer (he did a double take when he saw me, and he’s now the UPS driver I mentioned in earlier posts.) I would get some funky looks from people (you’ll read more about that momentarily) and in the mean time was happy to wear clothes that were not from the HUSKY size portion of the JCPenney catalog. And thanks in part to lots of pickup basketball and less of eating junk food (I still didn’t eat much at lunch because I wasn’t paying doubled prices for shakes and soggy french fries on a regular basis….so 1-2 shakes a week seemed to get the nod) I was able to keep said weight off. It meant a lot to me mainly because I’d look at my eighth grade school photo, see that I had multiple chins, and feel like I had in fact accomplished something. No Hollywood contracts were in the future but for once I knew that if someone was going to make fun of me that the words “fat” and “a–” were not part of the equation. Again you took what you could get back then, or at least I could. After all I was in countdown mode to, yes, GTFO. Not like I don’t keep mentioning it.

I WAS IN CLASSES I LIKED FOR A SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR. Never underestimate the importance of that. I knew I could get A’s in a fair amount of these classes and ended up with the highest or one of the highest grades in a few of said classes. Did that make me the modern day Marvin Gaye? With no Motown record deal or comparisons to Johnny Gill on the way, of course not. Did it make me a lot happier than what I was before? Damn straight. When dealing with depression it helps to be in non-depressing places. Which leads to…..

I WAS NOT AFRAID TO MAKE MY OWN FUN IN SAID CLASSES. Before discussing what I usually did to keep myself awake and enthused during the majority of the day before sixth hour yearbook (which I kept busy by of course being a sportswriter who rarely wrote sports stories) I will note a simple fact: I really didn’t have a lot in common with most of the people in my class year. Past posts mention who I no longer dealt with; this post confirms that I’d go into these senior-son dominated classes of the first four hours of my day, maybe know one or two people in said classes, talk only to one or two people in said classes and set my goal to make it without getting into an incident or telling someone to STFU because they weren’t going to be on the ABC TV TGIF lineup with Suzanne Somers and the dude playing Urkel and neither was I. And because I have nothing better to do on Labor Day, here’s Somers with Patrick Duffy and the sitcom family of ‘Step by Step’..

….and of course, The Man Called Urkel then and now:

Word up.

Back to these Sonlanders.…..They weren’t anything special-they were in the same Sonland as I was and thus weren’t on deck to get down with Arsenio or Bruce Willis. So if anyone thought they were a bada– because they knew someone in the Terre Haute metropolitan area or once drove to Oxford, Ohio to spend the night at some sorority house, more power to them. But that wasn’t enough for cover boy or cover girl status nor was it enough for an inflated ego. Fortunately for me I usually didn’t pay attention to said folks, and better yet if they were in said classes they were generally non-coherent to begin with.

Coincidentally said  smarting off seemed to lessen due to said weight loss but also due to another gimmick these senior sons and daughters regularly utilized: the SLEEP SON SLEEP gimmick in which from opening bell to ending bell many of them were in fact comatose and  in La La land. Hence I generally talked to said one or two people and that was it. I also lost little sleep in huge part because unlike most of these icons I was actually awake during the classes. Not like that was the preferable option-basic training in Parris Island, South Carolina probably was a better option at that time-but it was the option that was there.

Enough with said babble as these were the people who were either nice to me or acknowledged me in said first three classes: the late Jarred Blassius and Todd Burkhalter in first hour (I wrote a senior comp paper for Burkhalter during said class, and since he in fact graduated I assumed it was a good one)….the much mentioned and much thanked Trina Byers and Danny Davis in senior comp……and that was it because no one talked to me in second hour save for asking to borrow paper and I simply counted the minutes down to get out to third hour so I could write said senior comps. (Lifelong friend Walter Scott was on the other side of my comp class by the door, and so the future groom of Suzanne Bailey and I rarely interacted.) What that meant was simple: I really didn’t have much in common with the people in my class because (wait for it)….

I REALLY DIDN’T FIT IN WITH MY CLASSMATES. I know, news flash, but one thing about the weight loss that I found was that for every ‘good job’ I may have received I would get a few looks that were of the type that you would think I just got let out of my cage at the zoo or was getting ready to rock the mike with the freak show portion of Ringling Brothers. I’ll give four examples of this:

-senior comp had perhaps the best looking group of women from my class year that I had seen past and present. In the past that alone would have had me salivate and say OH BOY ME READY GO TO COMP PANT PANT while whistling like one of those cartoon wolves from those Tex Avery cartoons we got to see a bazillion times on TV during our youth. (For example, see below):

However you’ve already read that only one gave me the time of day (Byers, Trina) and thus the rest weren’t real concerned if I was going to be around or not. Better yet I might as well have been a foreign exchange student. That was the way it was. So incidentally I took that approach and decided that my goal was to get the best grade in the class. Unlike my goal of thus far winning my fantasy football league’s title at least once in its 13 years of existence, I was able to accomplish it. (I have been runner-up in the last two years, for what it’s worth. Which is a lot less money in second place as it is in first. Ugh.)

…and that leads to this moment that I remember: I apparently got the highest grade in the class on our first main comp. It was about what our prospective college major was going to be. (Based on how much I ramble on, don’t be surprised that I listed communications). So for the only time that I remember that semester I have these pretty attractive women stare at me in full force as I sit there in the front row (not by my choice, I might add, and thankfully it was the only class that happened in) and I figured ‘well, this will be the only time they do this.’ And since I don’t remember talking to any of them that semester, then it apparently was the only time unless I had to interview them for yearbook by saying “I need a quote or two for this, you’re in (activity I’m writing about), what do you have to say about this?”. Of course I remember the list as it included the likes of Jenni Snelling, Candi Streich, Julia Tredway (who gave birth in the midst of the class….though not in said class itself as that would have been worth a few thousand words of blog writing), the future Mrs. Marc Maloy and lastly the future Mrs. Tim Landis. Since @sheathera was probably asleep at the time, we’ll go with her not staring as she generally had a healthy nap time in the two hours before lunch. If it worked for her, more power. To each their own.

Either way, not like a lot of people were saying much about it. Either way, not like I was going out to their parties or being invited to hang out with them. Again I accepted that as the way thing were because I had nothing in common with a lot of them…and as I found out losing weight didn’t change a damn thing there either. Let’s just say it made it easier to say ‘nah, I don’t want to go to Bloomington‘ when it came to choosing colleges. Figured it would be better for all involved…in particular the gent who is now at the 2,500 word mark. Oh, the other incident from that class…..

-I have to go ask a question during the YOU NEED BE QUIET AND WRITE COMP portion of our class where people either acted like they were writing by doodling or tried to hold their head up on their hand and stared at their paper in ‘deep thought’ while actually sleeping. The before mentioned Mrs. Landis sat behind me but never said anything to me. If we had to pass papers back, she’d look at her desk if I turned around, then take a quick glance when she got the paper(s) before turning right around and not making eye contact.  So what am I getting at? Easy-the moment I knew that losing weight was basically something for me and me alone to be concerned about because on the whole it meant not one damn bit of importance to most of the ‘in’ girls of my class…….I go up to ask a question. I’m rocking a wrap belt (you’ve seen them before, and so you’ll see it again now:)

…and I’ve lost weight that since it was a 33 belt, it looked a bit big on me as I was wearing size 30’s. This is where I specifically remember looking up and seeing Mrs. Landis gawk at me with a UH DID HE LOSE WEIGHT?  perplexed type look. As I once gave said Mrs. Landis a piggy back ride (read: she jumped on my back and I actually carried her a few yards in what was a rare highlight of interacting with junior Sonland cheerleaders) it wasn’t like she didn’t know who in the blue f— I was and vice versa. But that told me right then and there that all I was going to be to a lot of these people in my class year was someone who would only get a secondary look of curiousness and nothing more. And again it made it a lot easier to GTFO once college time came around.

Oh, the other two moments….and they’ll be quick as one was comical and the other was the turning point of where I said ‘enough, look elsewhere for dates down the road that aren’t inflatable):

-so, it’s first day in government class. I take a seat in the middle of the class. In what is both comic and sad at the same time because this basically meant that my main man Urkel was held in higher regard at the time, one of the softball cohorts of the previously referenced Jodi Janelle Decker-an individual named Pam McNeill-roams over and basically re-enacts a scene from New Jack City with her as Wesley Snipes’ Nino and me as Chris Rock’s Pookie. Was this over money? A drug deal gone bad? New Kids on the Block tickets? No, silly Sonlanders, Miss McNeill decided that she wanted to have my seat. I simply told myself “if you’re going to go to juvenile hall, it’s not going to be over THIS” and it a matter of fact way said “you can have the $!$^% seat.” Which lasted her two minutes as we ended up getting arranged in alphabetical order anyway….with me in the back row. Worked out for me. And the fact that I remember that story tells you two things; I remember a lot of stupid s–t, and apparently McNeill’s broomstick was in the shop for repairs. (Ironically enough in future posts you’ll see where I remembered that out loud to the rest of the class-which McNeill didn’t-and got everyone to laugh. Ironically enough if that’s a lasting memory of going to high school, then I sure as f— wasn’t buying a lot of condoms back then. Even for balloon making purposes.)

Which leads to a moment where I sure as f— didn’t use condoms…..

-if you’ve seen the photo for this Instagram post, you saw the student body officers for said Sonland’s 1990-91 school year that were in theory your top four student government people but in reality, well, I guess it was a nice title. Your listings for the three good looking women standing to the side of the Dilton Doiley looking m—– f—- (treasurer) are Erika Bayh Petrelli (president), Suzanne Bailey (the current Mrs. Walter Scott-vice president) and Erin Bobel (secretary). (BTW….twenty bucks says Bobel has no idea who I am because she had no idea back then, either. I always thought that was classic.) And so the Dilton Doiley looking Coke bottle glasses big eared goof standing along side the three good looking women and Homecoming Court members was, yes, needing a Homecoming date. That way I could have something to do besides count the money or take tickets or whatever the f— one did at dances since-shock-I didn’t go on dates to said dances. Anyway I thought I found one…or at least someone initially (key word initially) said yes. Aimee Allison (page 156 of your 1991 Shadow because I like to be accurate) is someone I knew from the previous year junior U.S. History class of Big Jim Sparks and as such I thought (wrongly, as I would find out) “she seems nice, she’s good looking and there shouldn’t be any issues.” I would have been better off placing a bet in Vegas that soon to be ex-Colts QB Jeff George was going to take the team to the Super Bowl then to expect that to actually happen. One problem….and this was a problem I dealt with even with losing the weight there: once you get stereotyped as fat, losing weight alone does not mean you will get accepted nor will it mean people will keep their word on socializing with you. Cliff Notes story: Allison said yes, I made plans, then I heard rumors because it was high school, and finally a couple of days before the dance she came up to me in the upstairs English hall (which was all I needed to know because she NEVER came up to speak to me in the hall) and did the OOPSMENOGOING SORRY gimmick before walking off. Two and a half decades later I have never talked to her nor communicated with her since that moment. Such is life. Such was me finding out I was going to be better off getting a copy of Playboy for that Saturday evening’s entertainment. (Don’t worry…I didn’t. Instead I got a subscription once I got into college. Yes, you knew.)

Two factors:

One was I wasn’t thrilled about someone breaking their word because I would have preferred a nice simple GO F— YOURSELF instead. It also taught me something to add on my list of principles that I dealt with later on that year as well as when I went to college: if you get asked out to a social function like a dance or sorority or fraternity formal either

#follow through and go to the damn thing if you say yes, or

#if you go and you’re a complete CENSORED then you’re doing everyone a disservice by showing up in the first place because you should have, yes, just told the other person to GO F___ YOURSELF.

I dealt with both in my four years of fraternity stuff. Thanks to Allison, I was ready to know what to do when such situations happened. So I usually had backup plans ready just in case. Like one organization’s motto that I won’t reference said organization again, young Allison’s actions taught me to be prepared. For that, a thank you to Young Allison. Should I get this PhD wrapped up before the end of the century I’ll make sure to add her in the thank you list for the final papers.

And that other factor: it didn’t give me a good overall opinion of my future with girls at said Sonland school. I told myself “if Aimee Allison is doing this, then you may need to think of another place to relocate that you’ll be happier at. Like Beirut. “Also didn’t ask anyone out until the next semester, either. While I shouldn’t have let it effect me, it was enough to say to myself “Self, it’s not in the cards for you here, and you may want to consider something out of state for your future.”

To turn a negative into a positive while ending this post, I thought of stunts like what I’ve written about throughout the last couple of decades. I told myself to not treat people like that or to not let myself be taken advantage of. So when fraternity stuff came around, I made sure to never pull what Allison did. Honor the commitment. And if you don’t, then don’t say yes to begin with. Simple as that. Plus I still had some fun to have and some quality stories to come up with before said senior year was done. With the 4,000 word mark reached and with that 10 page paper to start, I’ll remember to build on that next time I post. Which hopefully will be before this upcoming election.

Thanks to any and all who read this and Happy Labor Day. Hope everyone has a good week.




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