2.15.2008

The Best Years of Our Lives!?

Yesterday I was speaking with MissLaxmi, and she told me that initially she had been surprised that someone would want to spend so much time and energy revisiting high school. Which, I must admit, is an entirely valid response. We both agreed that our high school years had been, to quote the bard, "unsatisfying".

Really, that's putting it quite mildly. High school was horrible. A painfully uncomfortable, sometimes humiliating, and often soul-crushing experience. Second only to middle school in the grand scheme of demeaning life experiences.

I used to scoff (guffaw?) when I heard my classmates say: these are the best years of our lives. I couldn't, and can't, think of too many statements that are quite as tragically pathetic. Even if you do enjoy your high school years - which is a situation that must apply to a negligible percentage of high school students past or present, and still they're probably just kidding themselves - the idea that they are/were the best years of your life is just a way of setting yourself up for disappointment. You might as well be saying: this is as good as it gets, and everything else will just be a letdown. And you think I'm being negative!

Anyway, I'm not yet prepared to address my reasons for diving into the deep end and wallowing in an all too familiar world of gut churning and cringe inducing experiences. Whatever my reasons - exorcism? - the truly odd thing is that I have somehow found myself with this month to fully immerse myself in the task at hand, and I've set up camp in my old room, in my parent's house, a short walk from where I actually suffered through my high school years. It adds an interesting element to the experiment that I am also not fully prepared to dissect just yet.

In other news: there was a little high school drama here in "the junction" yesterday. Apparently, a 16 year old student at my alma-mater was planning to skip town with her boyfriend. Somehow her parents got wind of it and showed up at the high school parking lot yesterday morning to confront her and her sweetie. There was some sort of physical altercation and the boyfriend took off on foot. The local police were "pursuing" him all morning. From what my parents tell me - they were driving home from the airport at the time - all of the police cars in the junction must have been dispatched, and there was even a helicopter flying low over the 'burbs! The automated emergency warning system was leaving voicemails letting us know that the search was on, and that we were "strongly advised to stay in our homes". No joke. Aside from the hysterical response, I think I see a teen movie in there, like, fer sure. Maybe I'll drop the thesis and start working on a screenplay instead. Something like Crazy/Beautiful meets Light It Up?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Eric,

Well, you think you know someone...I guess I never knew that you harbored so much angst towards your high school experience. Maybe because I only saw you in the element of it that involved music and you obviously don't think music sucks.

I think my memory goes back and forth on whether high school was painful or not. I do remember almost all of junior year waking up every morning, staring at the ceiling and dreading having to go in. That was the year when 2 of my former friends decided that they hated me. To this day, I can't remember what I did to elicit such a response. But I also remember that I had a lot of fun. I was the renegade geek who started getting people to cut class so that we could play Rubik's Race in the practice rooms while Mrs. M looked the other way.

I guess I tend to look back at high school like it was someone else's life. I feel so far removed from it like it wasn't real life so I can just leave it behind.

What I'm curious to know is:
Does HS shape a person's "final" identity or does he/she just play the part of the expected ID while in HS and then become someone else when he/she is set free into the real world?

I don't keep in touch with enough friends from HS to know if they have really changed or not.

Anyway, probably not a very enlightening post, but I had a break and felt like writing, so there ya go.

Good luck with the writing. We are up for seeing another movie with you any time. Tannies...we likey.
connie

MissLaxmi said...

Well, I felt that I had to revisit The Breakfast Club after reading your chapter about it, and found it more engaging the second time around.

I would say though that I felt the characters were a little extreme. I never experienced a school authority to be so agressive, or for the kids to be so stereotyped. Are they really like that in America?

Personally, I was wondering which character I could identify the most with... none of the above. My life was not as advantageous, nor as bad as the princesses. Nor was I anything like the basket-case, though like her I was also looking up the social ladder from somewhere below.

I liked that the characters found some common ground during the film, and felt that while they may not break their ranks when Monday morning rolls around, these individuals would never again be quite the same. They have all seen something of life in each other's shoes and therefore would hopefully walk away with a compassion for each other that wasn't there before.

Can I read your next chapter?