Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Over the weekend as I was getting a bunch of old newspapers together to go start a bon fire in my back yard with, I noticed an article that jump started a ton of memories for me from my high school days. It's not often that I look fondly back upon my days in high school since most of it was basically torture and I'd usually rather bathe in a pool of hydrochloric acid while simultaneously ingesting mutant piranhas that would eat me from the inside out, but this article brought back a few of the positive memories of high school.

The article was from the front page of Hayfield High School's school district newsletter (which is in newspaper form-all eight or so pages of it). On the front page were three pictures of students and a large caption that read "Hayfield Announces Honor Students". The pictures were of the two co-valedictorians and the salutatorian. Underneath each photo was a list of what the students were involved in as well as their future plans and what college each was attending. It was interesting to look at the activities that each was involved in since many times the valedictorians and salutatorians aren't involved in too many things since they're focused on being nerds, but these kids were very active.

Reading through their activities made me think back to when I was in the paper for being valedictorian. Yes, I was the head nerd of our class so go ahead and make fun of me now. I actually never expected to get it since I had pretty much gone into total slacker mode my senior year. I was more concerned with sports, being with friends, and trying to find my first ever girlfriend.

In about the middle of the third quarter of senior year I was called up to the principal's office during the middle of one of my classes, which was odd, but not too odd. I started rolling back the last few weeks in my brain trying to figure out what I'd done wrong and how I managed to get caught. You see, along with being the school valedictorian, I was also, in my high school career, put on field trip probation, suspended for a three day period, and was all in all the bane of a few teacher's existences. It was actually nice because I could goof off and get away with it for the most part. When I screw off in class, what's a teacher going to tell me? "Knock it off and focus on your schoolwork"? I don't think so since I was getting straight A's on everything. They just had to deal.

So I finally get to the school's office and walk in to see the principal, asking why he wanted to see me. He sat me down, looked at me sternly, and congratulated me! I was initially shocked, but after a little while, I realized that there wasn't really any way I couldn't get it since I'd gotten straight A's on everything all through high school... except for one A- in choir. So I can't sing, but I tried.

I was sitting there, just told that everything I did academically in high school finally paid off. It was a very unique feeling, almost like having a quick bout with a superiority complex, but it faded moments later when I realized I'd have to write a speech for graduation. Then it faded even more as I started thinking about all of the expectations that would now be heaped upon me. I'd have to go to a good college, get a degree in some smart kid major, get a high paying job, and show everyone that high school wasn't a fluke.

For the most part, I think I fulfilled those expectations. I went to St. John's University. I graduated with a 3.6 GPA and a BA in both computer science and philosophy. I initially found employment as a technical writer for a year and now have just recently been promoted to the position of business analyst. I seem to be on the right track. Where will I go from here, though? That's a question I wish I knew the answer to.

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