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Old 05-06-2007, 07:36 AM   #1
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Arrow High School Regrets... I've had a few...

I just finished watching an '80's high school movie and it took my mind back to my high school years ('88 - '93).

Looking back now, I have afew regrets from those years. One which has always irked me and one which I only really thought of just now.


The one that has stayed with me through the years had to do with censorship and the fact that I didn't really make a stand.

It would have been Year 10 (10th grade) in my English class. We had a month to put together a 5-10 minute speech to give to the class as part of a public speaking competition. We could choose any topic. The teacher would mark us as part of our public speaking skills in English class.

The best speeches in the class would go on to be given again in a hall against the other classes in our year. And the winner of each year level would go on to be given at a school assembly with the best in each year level winning a prize as well as an overall prize. We did this every year in High School - although I think in the final year it was optional (I can't remember).

So in Year 10 (which would have been 1991 when I was about 15) I crafted this great speech. It was probably the best speech I wrote in high school. It was titled 'A Day In The Life of a Surfboard'. The whole speech was basically a running allegory loaded with many sexual-themed puns but using just normal languege.

It went along the lines of me being a surfboard... sitting in a surfboard rental store.. waiting to be chosen. And in comes this striking tanned surfer who looks me up and down & checks me out, puts his hands on me and fondles my fin. And it goes from there. With him putting on his little rubber suit in a practice of 'safe surf', mounting me on the beach and riding me out. I even slowly built up the whole thing into a climax with us together going up and down over the rolling waves.. up and down .. up and down... waiting for the right moment. And then that special wave comes and erects himself and starts surfing... ducking his head in and out of the breaking wave.. in and out .. in and out. Until finally he reaches the peak. He jumps clear and white bubbles splash everywhere! Anyway.. you get the jist of it there. The story ends with him dumping me back at the store and me longing for one more ride.

I thought it was a great speech. My family thought it was good too. It was contemporary, had a unique Australian charm and although at that time I was yet to experience either riding a wave on a surfboard or the joys of sex, I had a fair idea what they were about from what I had seen on TV (watching surfing and my older brother's assorted vintage porn). More importantly looking back now, I see that although it was a short speech, it had themes of relationships, innuendo, attraction, sex and ultimately rejection.

So there I am, in front of the class giving my Day in the Life of a Surfboard speech... I'm just getting to the part where the surfer is putting on his little rubber suit and practicing 'safe surf' when my English teacher stops me. She stops me to say that she knows where this is going and its not appropriate for this age level. My face went red.. a tinge of embarrassment but more rage than anything else. How could she do that to me? She killed my delivery!

So at that point she asks to speak to me outside. And the class waits while I'm outside raising my voice in the hallway with this woman. She was one of the older teachers whose best years were clearly well behind her. While she was a skinny woman, she had these sagging wrinkly jowls that hung off the sides of her cheeks as well as this curly dark hair that wisped around her face. Our private nickname in the class for her was "mutton" (mutton being the tough meat of elderly sheep as opposed to young succulent lamb). So she's telling me that the content isn't appropriate. I say that there isn't a single swear word in my entire speech. Everyone in the class knows what sex is and in the event that there was someone that didn't, they'd just think it was a surfing story from a different perspective. She wouldn't have a bar of that argument, so she dragged me back into the class to tell me that I had one week to do a new speech for the class. I sat through the rest of that class feeling angry and frustrated.

I could've taken this issue of censorship to my level convenor (the teacher who manages our entire year level). He was a cool guy. I also could have gone to my English teacher from year 7 & 8. She was so cool, in her classes she'd let the odd expletive out in class if it was appropriate and also taught a different english class in my same year level. I regret not doing that. Instead I chose the easy way out and did nothing but prepare a second speech. Funnily enough, I came back the next week and gave a totally mundane speech about sheep - with everyone in the class except the teacher in on the in-joke of her nickname. Maybe I should've done that second speech on censorship and explained my side of the story.

While this may not have been a big deal to some people, the whole episode stifled my creativity and motivation for a while and probably began my feelings of Me vs Them against certain aspects of the school which I attended through to the end of my final year.



The second major regret only really just occured to me recently (I'm sure I have a couple more buried deep in my subconscious somewhere).

I was in year 11 (or the year before I finished high school) and I was a bowler in the second XI or "B team" for the school cricket team. While our school took pride of place in its academic achievements, its sports department really didn't have that much going for it. Training, equipment and facilities would have been laughed at by many of our surrounding schools.

The 'B team' or as I affectionately called it - the 'reject squad' composed mainly of all the guys that wanted to play a game of cricket... but couldn't. We had this ego-driven cocky coach who was pretty young for a sports teacher and he was also an ex-collegian. His instructions totally mystified me and his attitude made me wonder why he was even a teacher at all. Often I wouldn't accept his direction and occasionally I was dropped from the team.
So he had it in for me abit.

Anyway, during this time it came to light through inner circles that this Phys. Ed. teacher - who was probably about 27 or 28 at the time was shtupping a girl in my year (I went to a Co-Ed school). She would have been 17 at the most. Now I can't say for certain that they were actually shtupping, but knowing the promiscious nature and reputation of this girl who was a friend of mine, there was a more than fair chance that some hanky panky was going on.

Over here, we have laws about sex with minors. I think if you are a minor aged 16 or 17, you can only have sex with someone up to two years older than you. I think that's the law. Also there are laws regarding teachers getting intimate with students. Although in this case this teacher only taught boys so never would have been in the same class as this girl. The school also would have had codes of conduct which would have been breached here.

I could have done a number of things at the time. If I was a real bastard of a character, I could've blackmailed this teacher into letting me on the team or I'd dob him in. But something like that would've been totally out of character for me.

I also could have dropped an anonymous letter to the school management about the affair. Or I could have called the police to investigate it which would have put the school out in terms of possible adverse publicity.

Again I chose to do nothing. Another regret. I think I felt at the time that what this girl in my year did was her business and it wasn't right to interfere - even if it was anonymous and there was no way this teacher could come after me. I should've anonymously dobbed him into the school and let them deal with it internally. For the record. I don't think I played again for the cricket 'B team' simply because I hated the coach.


Oh man.. I didn't realise this was going to be a big essay. I was gonna post this in a blog on another board but I've decided to share it with everyone here.

Anyone else got some high school regrets they'd like to share?

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Old 05-06-2007, 08:09 AM   #2
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This is really more a junior high school regret than a high school one, but I have a vivid memory of every incident in which I bullied or made fun of someone. I didn't do it very often, but even the nicest thirteen-year-old boy will behave like a jerk when he's trying to impress the cool kids, and I said and did several things which I still feel very guilty about.
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Old 05-06-2007, 08:18 AM   #3
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I think my biggest high school regret was that I didn't do or join the groups that I really wanted to. I was SO afraid of being made fun of for my weight, or that the "popular kids" would laugh at me, so I became a wallflower and did my darndest to blend in with the woodwork and I didn't do anything I wanted to. Back then I weighed 160 pounds. I thought I was HUGE! I thought everyone was laughing at me as I walked down the hallways. I can look back now and see that wasn't the case. It was my own lack of confidence that stopped me.

If I could do high school over again, I would join and do everything I cold. I'd be on the student council, I'd be a class officer, I would join every club or group that I could. I would be as active as I possibly could.

And I wouldn't give once ounce of thought about what others thought of me.
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Old 05-06-2007, 09:57 AM   #4
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It's that hyper-sensitivity, almost borderline paranoia, that seems to cause the most trouble in high school... I know I was a victim occasionally. Constantly worrying about this or that just because I wanted to make a good impression.

I think one of my biggest regrets is not having pursued the fine arts as much as I desired to. It wasn't until my senior year that I auditioned for anything more than A Cappella choir, and lo and behold, everything I tried out for, I got in. Vocal Jazz, Show Choir, even got a secondary part in the musical. Yet, to this day, I still harbor doubts as to whether or not I'm even that good. I think if I had made efforts to try earlier, my life would be in a different direction already.

Also, I regret ever eating their pizza... Anytime I ate that stuff... man... Milk allergies or no, that stuff was sickening.
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Old 05-06-2007, 10:13 AM   #5
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I regret that I repressed my FatAdmiration.
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Old 05-06-2007, 10:31 AM   #6
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Having two high school age daughters gets me thinking about my high school years, and so this thread is appropriate given events that happened yesterday. No big deal but my daughter and I were clothes shopping and she found an adorable Indian gypsy style skirt that looked gorgeous on her. She agreed that it looked good and she loved it but she almost didn't buy it. Why? Because it's "too different" from what the other kids wear, and she was afraid she'd stand out too much, that kids would stare at her and think she was a freak.

So, what I wish for her is what I wish for myself back then -- to not care so much about what other people think.

My other wish is that I'd taken more science. It would have made nursing school a helluva lot easier.
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Old 05-06-2007, 11:59 AM   #7
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I regret that I did not date some of the boys who wanted to date me. I was hung up about my weight. I would not date a fat boy, because I thought people would make fun of us for both being pigs. I would not date skinny boys, because I thought people would make fun of us because they thought I stole and ate all his food. That did not lave a lot of boys to date. So basically I did not really date.

I regret all the time I worried about not being a part of the in crowd. And I regret all the time I did things I did not want to to try to fit in. And I regret starting down a path of 'partying' that ended up almost destroying my life, and requiring me to go through a lot to stop.

Also, I regret taking all the 'girl classes' like cooking and sewing, because I was really, really bad at them. ... How many girls get a D in sewing? I knew then I would never be a Susie homemaker.
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Old 05-06-2007, 12:18 PM   #8
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There was a big, dumb thug of a guy in grade 9.

Every time he had the opportunity, he'd make some belittling comment (never the slightest bit witty, as he hadn't the ability) toward me, or try to get himself in my way, either by cutting ahead of me in line, or just by standing between me and where I needed to go.

I think it was because I was already at my current height of 6-foot-one, and he thought he had something to prove.

One day, as I was getting something from my locker, he bumped me.

Hard.

Once I regained my balance, I raced up to him and slugged him.

I regret having descended to his level.



Another regret is related to this same guy.



It was in the first week of grade 10.

As I had done in grade 9, I had enrolled in the basic English class, as I felt intimidated by the advanced course.

The teacher had left the room, and the students were to have been busy with some assginment or such. I remember we were all quitely reading.

Suddenly, something hard hit me in the back.

I don't know what he had thrown at me, but it was a deliberate act of agression, and almost certainly intended to injure.

I walked to his desk and pulled his chair out from under him, wordlessly.

A gasp rose from the class.

He stumbled to his feet, and was making his way towards my desk, to which I had returned, when the teacher entered the room.

The teacher asked why he was up, and he made some excuse or another, but it was obvious to anyone who witnessed the incident that this would not be the end of it.

The next day, I went to the school office, and had myself put into the advanced English course.

My two regrets about this incident are once again lowering myself to this jerk's level, and not having had the confidence to enroll in the advanced English class from the beginning.



In fact, I think all of this came about as a result of a lack of confidence on my part.
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Old 05-06-2007, 12:19 PM   #9
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Forgot to say:

I also regret any efforts I made to conform.
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Old 05-06-2007, 12:25 PM   #10
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I regret not mauling anyone in junior high. Maybe then I would have been left alone... >.<

Though it was incredibly satisfying to step on the foot of one of my aggressors and make him fall on his face, then act like I hadn't done anything. Ahhh, good times.

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Old 05-06-2007, 12:25 PM   #11
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^^Like Kathy, there is one boy that stands out in my mind that I wish I had taken his crush on me more seriously. We were friends and such but in retrospect I think I wouldn't allow it to progress further than that because part of me felt like he was too good for me. He apparently didn't think so but then again, I never let him close enough to know me that well......

Other than that, I really don't have any high school regrets. I did the best I could with what I had. I didn't pick on people (I was usually the one picked on in the lower grades but learned to fight back in high school and that shit stopped) or join in cliques meant to make others feel inferior. I wasn't the prom queen but then again I had a lot of good friends- that actually liked me for me. We had good times together and I even dated a few guys- and I regret none of them.

At our 15 year high school reunion, some of my friends still seemed to be bothered by not being accepted by some of the cliques all those years later. It then hit me that I have always been "strong enough" to not need that type of approval from people I hardly knew and pat myself on the back for seeing what was important- good friends and good times.

Most of my regrets came after high school and activities that were done outside of school- I got into drinking,did many dangerous, stupid feats, definitely started hanging out with the wrong crowd, married too young to a jealous possessive person that made life hell, didn't finish college when I had a scholarship and had to return years later- on my own dime the third go around.
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Old 05-06-2007, 01:08 PM   #12
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I regret not doing better in school - I did ok, but rarely studied. I could get by in classes without studying and had I actually studied, I would have done so much better.

I also regret not staying in better contact with my friends. After I met my boyfriend in 12th grade, I kind of pushed them away. I just recently got back in contact with them, which is great, but I missed so much because I pushed them away.

I also regret being so shy and quiet sometimes.
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Old 05-06-2007, 01:15 PM   #13
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Not beating up my tormentor's and allowing them to affect how I viewed myself. Hell, I should have put my weight and height to good use instead of just being fodder for bullies.


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Old 05-06-2007, 01:27 PM   #14
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I have one major HS regret.

I was a Senior in HS and had been placed in the "advanced" science course for seniors going to college. I hated being in this class, particularly with this certain teacher because it was mostly a group of kids whose parents were well-to-do. Getting into advanced science had very little to do with GPA, pre-college entrance, or academic ability of the student. I was stuck in a class with students who were barely going to graduate, and students who were more worried about their Doc Marten shoes than preparing for college.

By December, the teacher announced that we would begin preparing for the annual school science far. We were told to turn in a draft of our project by the end of December. The project had to be completed by the first of March. I had already choosen my project at the beginning of the school year, and had started on it by October. My senior year, I chose to work on a project I entitled: "Antibiotics from Soil." I learned how to produce antiobotic quantities from various types of soil. This project took me months of work, and I barely finished in time for the local science fair.


Each year, I had choosen a project that had won rave reviews from my teacher and the HS administrators. Twice, I had won at the local and regional science fairs...but had never had the chance to go to state, since the school could not afford the $250 entry fee, and my mother was a single parent and couldn't afford it.

That March, I took top place, and was sent on to the regional competition, where I also took first place. This year, my mother was determined to send me to the State competition. I entered State level and won first place, which granted me the right to go on to Nationals, which was being held in Washington, DC., that year. I was beyond ecstatic at the chance to be in a National competition. However, the school board had decided they did NOT have the funds to send me to DC, nor would they grant me any kind of school funding to help with the travel efforts. The total cost of the trip to DC would have been close to $5,000 for my mom and I go for a week. We didn't have that kind of money. So, I didn't get to go, and I've regretted it ever since.
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Old 05-06-2007, 02:09 PM   #15
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I can't believe I've omitted my biggest high-school regret:

Not graduating.
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Old 05-06-2007, 05:06 PM   #16
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FREE!!!!

It's never to late to go back and finish....


Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeThinker View Post
I can't believe I've omitted my biggest high-school regret:

Not graduating.
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Old 05-06-2007, 08:43 PM   #17
Sweet Tooth
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I might normally say that I have regrets, and I could probably come up with a list, but I also wouldn't be the person I am today without those experiences [good and bad]. Most anything I regret has to do with not being more adventurous socially, and I think the SA movement has helped me make up for that anyway, so it seems to be a wash.
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Old 05-07-2007, 12:58 PM   #18
Zandoz
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About my only HS (and for me grade school and college to) regret is having been a good little capitalist pawn all those years, and worked most of my non school hours, instead of enjoying my youth. Except for one half summer, my Junior year in college, I worked from age 8, all through college.
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:11 PM   #19
Mishty
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I regret the day I walked away from my friends with the clean faces, and WWJD bracelets.The girls that thought beer was "smelly" and tattoos were "trashy". The group that loved Dawson's Creek and cookie dough.

I regret ever taking my first toke in 8th grade, and doing my first keg stand in 9th. I can't believe I traded in those girls for Nirvana CD's and Taco Bell runs.

By 12th grade I had dropped out, and wasn't on speaking terms with my parent's... what if I had spent a few more years going to football games and learning to apply eye shadow, instead of playing Hey Mister, and learning to chop-line with my fake ID.

I see those girls now, with babies and husbands, driving Civics and wearing Old Navy....I always feel like I need to hide my tattoos, and if I'm in a restaurant I can never drink a beer while their there.

I'm not a bad person, but I do wonder what I would be like if I had kept my grade school friends in high school.... I'll never know.
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Old 05-07-2007, 11:23 PM   #20
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I think my biggest regret is allowing my insecurities to take hold of me and paralyze me from being a social part of the high school experience.
I was tormented and teased by two groups of people--each with a toad of a leader, who seemed to have radar when I was around--and I LET those people make me feel like less of a person than I actually was. My insecurities regarding what they thought of me ruled my years in high school. I second-guessed everything I did, what I said, the friends I made, what I wore, what classes I took, etc.
One guy in particular made my life a living hell. He would knock my books out of my arms, follow me down the hallway and make sound effects as I would walk (as if I were breaking the floor) and he called me many sad little names that when I think about today, could still bring a tear to my eye. I can't tell you how many times I sat in my car--or a quiet hallway--eating my lunch so that no one would see me eating. Ditto, how many times I let them make me cry. But karma has a way of sneaking up on mean people. Several years after I graduated high school, I went out with some friends to dinner and a movie. McDonalds was the logical choice, since we were all starving college students. As I placed my order, I heard this voice (that literally terrified me for a moment). It was that mean toad of a guy. He was a cashier at McD. The thought crossed my mind that my friends and I could really mess with him by telling him that he messed up our order, or that he was rude...etc. Then he saw me and realized who I was, and for a brief instant I saw him shrink into a little man. He knew that HIS time had come and that I could easily embarass him, and he was afraid that I would do it. At that moment a thought crossed my mind. I remembered my mom saying something like "I raised my girls to have class and dignity." That day I chose to take the high road. I didn't torment him like he had done to me for all those years in high school-however-I did ask him if I could speak to his manager. I think he was afraid but his demaenor changed dramatically when I told the manager "This gentleman was very courteous to us and deserves a raise". I think it was that day that I accepted myself as an adult, and realized that other cannot take away my spirit. Empowerment comes from within.

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Old 05-07-2007, 11:34 PM   #21
Jack Skellington
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I regret I had to go to the school I did.
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