The Night Before The First Day of School

Teaching at my old high school, I run into ghosts of myself around every corner. The same copy of Susan Brownmiller’s Femininity sits on the library’s social-sciences shelf. My old locker is spiffy with new paint. The hallways smell the same — a custom blend of AquaNet, asbestos, and teen angst. There are no doors on the bathroom anymore, though, because my generation abused the privilege. Remember 80s bangs?

Do you know how some girls achieved that look? They’d put their foreheads on the linoleum wall, hold their bangs up vertically, then spray the hell out of them with one hand while lighting an unfiltered Camel with the other. It was really excellent to watch.

Another thing that’s different, besides the no-restroom-doors thing, is that I can be out — to students, parents, co-workers, and administration. My district is serious about no-discrimination/no hate speech. Too late for the kid I was then, who walked around afraid that someone would find out her secret — but right on time for the woman I am now.

Posting will be light this week as I do things like figure out my copy-machine code. I’ll leave you with one of the most notable items I ever picked up in the hallway. Here it is, verbatim:

List of Goals/Stuff I Want To See Happen

1. Attractive female president

2. Turbulence solved

3a. Man on Mars

3b. Life discovered

4. Honorary degrees

5. Be in a room with 3 modern-day geniuses

6. Meet/be a true polyglot (Top 6: German, Chinese, Japanese, French, Spanish, Arabic)

7. Ask questions that are really good and keep up with the answers in succession for a lecture period

8. Bike transnational

9. Be in an orgy with twins

10. Be in an orgy that occurs spontaneously

11. Read the entire works of Shakespeare with the utmost diligence and dedication

12. Drive a super-fast car while singing

13. Live in an era where people live over 150+ years

(Icked out as I was by goals 9 and 10, I did appreciate that the kid knew an orgy with twins was NOT likely to occur spontaneously, and thus split his orgy goals into two separate, more realistic categories. He was in the gifted program).