However, many of the activities that my fellow seniors participated in, I wanted no part of. I was glad enough that I was finally finishing school and didn't feel the need for a hubbub to made of the occasion. I refused to get a senior pic taken. In early '89, when a graduation questionnaire was passed around in government class, I filled in the box stating that I would not be attending. I only really had one close friend in high school and the rest of the people, I could take or leave. I was also still quite shy at the time and had no desire to be photographed wearing a mortarboard and black dress. Getting a class ring? Forget about it.
I was more excited at the time to see "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", the first new Indy movie in half a decade. I understood that my social status in high school was mostly my own fault. A couple girls were interested in me in 7th and 8th grade, another in 9th, and still another in 11th. Though they showed obvious interest, I was unable to respond in kind. I'm sure this led a number to believe that I was a BattyBoy. In fact, I seem to recall, upon going to my 15th reunion, overhearing a female classmate making a comment about me attending with a female.
My grades in 7th to 10th grade were mostly shit. As a grade schooler, I was considered high potential, but the divorce of my parents led quite quickly to me losing interest in all academic matters. I stumbled onto good grades again by accident. In the 11th grade, I had a class with a history teacher named Mr. Krueger. He was a no-nonsense guy that only put on the chalkboard things that were going to be on the test. Without studying a whit, I got a test back and was suprised to see that I scored a C+. I got to thinking, "Damn, if I just put a little effort into things, I could be a B or who knows, maybe even an A student".
I proceeded to start taking my books home and really reading the material assigned as I listened to tapes by Genesis, Bobby Brown, and Richard Marx. It wasn't long before the A's and B's started coming in. I really began excelling at Kruger's tests, regularly scoring in the 90's. The positive reinforcement I got when the tests were handed back was worth all the studying.
Because I failed a couple classes in the 10th grade, I never had a study hall during my time in HS. I'd look at the people twiddling their thumbs, for the most part, in study hall and just shake my head.
Below is a pic taken from the second floor of the school (note the smokers on the lower right).
It felt awesome to be back at the top of my class again, just like in grade school. Despite the obvious pride I took in my grades, going to the graduation ceremony wasn't going to happen.
I'm not sure what I did that evening, but at least I'd alerted them that I wasn't attending. So it came as quite a surprise when my high school friend told me some time later that they actually did call my name that evening; after a few seconds passed, they went on to the next person.
Another reason why I didn't go was that it really was just for show, since the diploma wasn't given to the students anyway. I learned that they would be available at the school starting in mid-June. Since I didn't know how to drive at this point, I chose to bike, but not until the weather cooled a bit. It wasn't until July that I rode out there and picked it up. The secretary noted the lateness with which I was obtaining the certificate, but that was par for the course for me since I would be a virgin and not learn to drive until I was 23.