There's really too much to write about my senior year. I should just pick one thing and write about it, but my OCD prevents me from doing so.
I also had it timed perfectly. I could sleep as late as possible, then leave 5 minutes before the 2nd bell rang and make it on time for school. A few times, I was late, though, and in danger of getting in-school suspension or whatever the punishment was. I remember walking into the school, hearing the bell ring, and turning right back around to my car. I'd go home and take a first period absence, rather than get disciplined for tardies.
My Children, when you are reading this, please know: this is one of Mommy's many examples of what NOT to do in life. Also, do not copy someone else's accounting homework five minutes before class starts; you will feel guilty about it 17 years later.
I also went with a group from yearbook class to Columbus, Ohio for the National Journalism Convention. We took a chartered bus.
There was a lot of traveling over the years with FBLA. This picture (I'm first on the 2nd row.) was taken junior year, but it demonstrates the kind of fun we were always having with our group and the friends we made from other schools.
We had more opportunities than usual to travel with FBLA because my friend Elizabeth was state president (and then later a national officer). We helped her campaign at these events. Our school board and town were really proud of her, and they were so gracious in helping us financially.
Another way our whole town came together: our baseball team got to play at Busch Stadium. (And I can't find my pictures right now.) Everyone joined efforts to make it happen and raise the money. There was so much support and excitement. They rented a big nice bus for the team, and there was room for fans, as well, so I got to ride, too. We all stayed at a hotel together, and the guys played their game (and won!), then we all attended the Cardinals' game that night. (Our guys also went to State in baseball later that year.)
Something I will always remember about highschool - pulling away on the bus, and the line of cars that followed, honking and proclaiming their pride with shoe polish: We love you, Pirates! and Good luck, guys! I'm getting teary-eyed just thinking about it!
One of the ways we raised money for our FBLA trips was volunteering at Silver Dollar City. They had this great program. The students worked for a night, and they gave a certain amount of money to our group. I think we did this twice. I remember going into this big room full of the old-time fashions and picking out what we wanted to wear. It was fun! It was really cold out, though - obviously, it was December, and we were wearing dresses. I had my Dad's red long johns on underneath, though. I worked in restaurants, helping serve and host. We were supposed to completely stay in character and talk like a hillbilly or whoever we were supposed to be.
This picture was taken after FBLA districts. I earned two first place awards, one for an Exhibit created by Chris, Kristi, and me. I also won for my Partnership in Business report so I was able to advance to State competition. I had written about my experience, shadowing at a business during a school day. We had to think about what we might choose as a career one day, then find a place to work. I chose the A.I.D.S. Project of the Ozarks. I had really considered becoming a social worker and still sort of wish I'd gone in that direction.
I was obsessed with the show, Life Goes On that year. Sarah and I both were. We were in love with Chad Lowe, who played Jesse McKenna. His character was HIV positive, which triggered my interest in the whole subject of A.I.D.S.
Life Goes On aired on Sunday nights, and every Monday morning (unless we'd already talked about it on the phone), Sarah and I would run to each other in the hallway and dissect every moment. We argued over who loved Jesse more and who was going to marry him. I recorded all of the episodes on VHS tapes so I could watch the best Jesse and Becca moments over and over again. I still have that box of tapes, and I can't bring myself to get rid of them. I memorized the scenes and still find them running through my head. ("YOU brought ME to Allison's house?" "It was your idea." "I thought it would be a good idea for you to talk to her; I didn't say I wanted to watch." "I had to watch you and Tyler." "That's different." "How?" "It doesn't involve you." "It doesn't? Why'd you guys break up?")
I even got to church late a few times when a pivotal episode was coming on. OR if I was crying so hard from the episode, I'd have to wait until I was presentable to arrive. How sad am I.
I still loved my youth group that I'd been a part of since 7th grade. We'd have youth group, then church, and then an activity after church. I was one of the only seniors, and most of the kids were in 8th-10th grade. I loved all of them, though, so much! My sister was in the 8th grade now, and since she was getting older, I was spending more time hanging out with her in social settings. Our youth group had great times together (like going to Braum's for ice cream or all around town on silly scavenger hunts), instigated by our leader, Phil.
Heather and me at Silver Dollar City for Young Christian's Weekend
with my sister Cary and Phil on Mount Judea in Arkansas
I could talk to Phil about things I couldn't talk about with anyone else. He took us canoeing and camping and rock climbing & rapelling. We got to experience a lot of fun things we normally wouldn't have, if he hadn't come into our lives.
I was in the girls' sextet again this year and also the mixed double quartet with the guys. Both groups earned a I at Districts, and we had a great time traveling to Columbia (Mizzou) for State, where we also earned I's. It was additionally fun going to State because that's where my brother was now going to school.
I spent a lot of time at...McDonald's during junior high and highschool. Can't remember the last time I actually ate at a McDonald's (probably college), but the school bus always stopped there after games and events. I would order french fries and sometimes an apple pie. There were games several nights a week, and I went to all of them, no matter the distance. (My face paint here says: #1.)
This picture makes me think of how I almost got into a fight my senior year. Okay, maybe not technically "almost," but this is the closest story I have to sounding tough and edgy so I'm going to run with it.
I had this "friend," and I might have had a crush on him. He was dating a 9th grader. He and I talked and joked around probably often, but it was all innocent. I had a boyfriend, anyway. I guess someone told her that I was talking (talking, flirting, whatever) to him at Baseball State, and she was not happy. I was hearing rumors that she wanted to "beat me up." (I'm getting so amused writing this, by the way. NOT at her, just at the thought of someone wanting to beat me up. And the thought of me actually having to take part in that. I was really good and sweet and not the fighting type.)
I'm not going to lie - I was kind of avoiding her; I didn't want to get beat up! Even though she was only in the 9th grade, she was quite a bit taller than me. And more muscular. And just more tough and fierce in general! Somehow, right after lunch, and I was heading to Accounting, I was left all alone in the hallway, getting my books out of my locker.
Then I heard a locker door slam loudly.
And next it was, "Hey! Stay the (insert bad word - sorry) away from my boyfriend!"
I should have said, "Okay! I will!" But what did dummy me do? I said, "Oooo, I'm scared." Then I shut my locker door and confidently turned and walked toward class. But I WAS scared. I'm sure my eyes were bugging out of my head, and I'm sure I was walking as fast as I could, all the while trying not to look like I was trying to walk fast. I made it unharmed into Accounting, where I burst into nervous giggles, "Oh, my gosh, she's going to kill me!" to my class of friends.
Isaac and I walked together at graduation. I think we'd agreed to do that back in junior high. It was just something understood, as we were really close and always together and partners in everything. (We never dated, though - just friends.) Our lockers were next to each other every year because our last names are together, alphabetically. (I always had Sarah on one side and Isaac on the other. How fun to have your two best friends from your class on either side of you for 6 years.)
Isaac and I were also voted prom king and queen. I have a funny (sad) prom story. I got sick the week before prom. (I can't find my pictures, though.) I apparently had a bad viral infection with a temp of 102, and my throat was closing up. I was having trouble breathing and swallowing. (Ridiculously, though, I can clearly remember going out the night before.) I couldn't even drink water without horrendous pain so my mom ended up taking me to the doctor on the Saturday morning of prom. When the doctor told me I wouldn't be attending prom, I sobbed hysterically for hours. This was my senior prom, and I had a boyfriend and a dress, and I had even helped organize Project Prom (through PRIDE, the drug and alcohol free group I was a part of at school).
The fun part of being in the hospital was having so many visitors. Streams of people from my school and town came in and out all day and evening. A lot of people came early dressed in their formal wear. The nurses felt sorry for me and persuaded the doctor to release me for 3 hours to attend the affair, which was taking place just across town. I did have to leave my IV needle in my arm, and it was wrapped up in bandages. My boyfriend came to pick me up at the hospital and escorted me back as soon as prom was over.
These were my girls. (Sarah and I were a grade ahead of the others.) They are my dear, close friends to this day. We try to get together a couple of times a year. I can't believe it that I was so fortunate to have lived in this town during the same time as these other amazing girls who shared my views, morals, humor, and love of good, clean fun. I know that it is rare to form deep friendships in highschool that you retain for the rest of your life...but that is what I have with them.
One example of the kind of fun we had: we formed the group, Black and White. We'd all bring every piece of black and white clothing we owned (and I had a lot!) and get together at someone's house. We'd go through the clothes and pick out our outfits, tease up our hair (even after we'd stopped normally teasing our hair), put on make-up, and make music videos on Angie's video camera. We lip-synced to songs and even acted them out. (I Hate Myself for Loving You, Jack and Diane, throw in a Wilson Phillips song or two, etc.) The girls who weren't "singing" or taping would act as the back up singers. We also made up raps, including an ode to trashcans.
We took that video camera EVERYWHERE with us over the years. We have quite a library of recordings. We'd take it to ballgames and pretend like we were recording the game, but really we'd be recording the cute boys sitting nearby.
Another fun memory I have with my friends is singing My Boyfriend's Back at an FBLA fundraiser dance. We dressed up in 50's clothes and each took a line of the song to sing. The funny part was getting our friend Jan (a boy), who was an exchange student that year from Germany, to dress up in a wig and join us in singing one of the lines.
It's interesting how a certain year of your life can be one of the best years and one of the worst years at the same time. That's kind of how my senior year was. When I think about it, it's sort of insane how many fun and important events and escapades were jammed packed into that time of my life. There were other situations taking place in the background that were sad and hard and sort of surreal to think about now. One, for example: my great aunt Mert who was more than a great aunt to me, the one I talked about last time, was diagnosed with lung cancer. I was actually in D.C., having the best time, when I called from a payphone to check in at home. My mom told me she had bad news and asked if I wanted to wait until I got home to hear it. I told her to tell me. She said, "Mert died." I spent the rest of the night crying, curled up under my hotel bed covers.
My dad also found out he had to take a new job in Arkansas. We had to put the house I'd lived in for almost 15 years up for sale. There were a lot of things going on, and I guess I'm grateful I had so many positive distractions.