Recently a classmate uploaded a video of my year’s high school Graduation and Class Night. I spent some time watching it. I recall there being about 55-ish of us in the graduating class. (Oops, better make that 54-ish because I wasn’t there. My family imploded and I had to find a place to live, pay rent, feed and clothe myself, etc…) And while I enjoyed watching it, there are a fair amount of people in the video I sort of remember, but can’t associate a name with. I’m OK with that.

I detested high school and couldn’t wait to get out of there. And that’s not because it was a horrible place to be. I mean, we were kids and kids are gonna be kids, but I remember nearly everyone as being pleasant. I never disliked anyone in my class and I still like them just fine today. I was never bullied and I did just fine in my classes. And, bar none, whatever you thought of Chuck K, that dude always played it straight with me. Whether I was in trouble or just asking questions, he never went for the easy lie or bullshit excuse of “I’m the adult/teacher and you’re not” if I ever questioned anything. 

Off topic rant: That always pissed me off. The teachers were always talking about being inquisitive, always wanting us to reach and learn more without prodding, but as soon as I ask questions, I got shut down with bullshit excuses. Perhaps my questions were not the ones they had in mind. Too bad. Don’t encourage your students to be curious about the world around them and then go out of your way to kill that curiosity when it manifests.

Back on topic: I hated high school because I have never done well in such a restricted, regimented environment. I believe my trouble making days we’re a combo of my refusal to be anyone but me and the suffocating nature of the public school system.  (Refusal to be anyone but me? Is it any wonder I grew up to be a biker? Now that I think of it, high school would have been more palatable if I had a Harley back then.)

When I dropped out I only needed a semester of an elective to graduate since I took the Government class my junior year. I did go back and finish that a few years later. It was dead simple as I showed up for an hour, did class, and then left and went to work. No feelings of suffocation. It was the full 7-8 hour days of it that drove me crazy.

Things are good for me now because my life is rarely stagnant. Like anyone else, I also need days to just sit around and hold down a chair with my ass, but mostly I have something going on to keep my brain occupied. Don’t let anyone tell you different, but some of us that game and read are just keeping our mind occupied with a good story.

People often ask what is the thing you would tell your 16 year old self. I never really thought about until now, but I think I’ve got it. I’d say:

Listen, high school sucks and it’s gonna continue to suck.  But there will be a day where you will have a job that suits your personality, an amazing wife who understands that, at times, your brain works a bit off-kilter, your family vehicle will be a Harley Davidson and you’ll be part of an organization that helps make you whole. Things will be active and exciting and your brain will always be creative and engaged.

But you gotta suffer a few more years of this education system hell. Just wait it out. it’s gonna be worth it.