Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Memory Day: 1991 - 1992

In the 1991 - 1992 school year, I was a 12-year-old 8th grader. Still establishing my persona in the middle year of junior high, I was much quieter this year and often signed my name as "Brian the Bestest".

  • To fit a whopping 3 electives into my scheduled, I started the day with an early bird session of gym with Mr. Korns. No one ever used the aged gym showers (a holdover from when Hammond was a high school), so I'm sure we smelled nice for the rest of the day. I remember standing up to an angry classmate while waiting for the bell to ring. He told me, "get out of my face before I steal you", and I refused. The teacher broke it up before he actually punched, but we were cool after that.
  • The band under Mr. Randall was slightly bigger this year, and we constantly played music that was too hard for us. Not realizing it was too hard was probably the only reason we were successful at endless medleys from Camelot, Chorus Line, and other musicals from before our births.
  • I don't remember much about Algebra I or Mrs. Beasley. However, my friend, Ali, was in that class -- his mother once berated me for calling their house and asking "Is Ali there?" instead of "May I please speak to Ali?" then told me to try again and hung up.
  • I spent all of Mrs. Young's English class reading ahead in the reader (I read Leiningen Versus the Ants several times that year) and never knowing where we were in the discussions. As a result, I got punished with the most verbose of the 12 angry men when we read the play aloud in class.
  • I spent fourth period lunch reading alone in the back of the band room because all of my friends (Aaron, Sharif, Mike, Jennie, Michelle, etc.) had 5th period lunch and no one at my assigned 4th period table spoke English.
  • My second elective was French I. I was the kid constantly looking for ways to insult people in second languages, ably helped by Mrs. Gibbs who'd rather I say Tu ne sais rien properly than mangle it.
  • I ended up in a "normal" science class this year because of scheduling difficulties and always seemed to have a new table-mate interested in copying my answers.
  • I ended the day with two semesters of Art but cannot point to a single work of art from that era that would prove it was worth my time. We mainly just flirted with the 7th grade girls in the class while cutting things out for glittery collages.

Physically, I was still very tiny and not particularly athletic, other than an unusually high count for pull-ups and sit-n-reach. However, I started doing Crew in 8th grade simply because I got tired of people suggesting that I'd be a good coxswain. I steered a Senior 4 boat whose coxswain was on academic suspension and hated every minute of it, especially the long bus rides back across the city from the boathouse. Once, the bus driver said, "I'm late getting home so I'm gonna drop you off here", then left me on Duke Street next to Landmark Mall, a good 2 miles away from my house.

I also continued to do Boy Scouts and was already a Life Scout with far too many merit badges, gunning for Eagle. By the springtime of 1992, I had gotten my first pair of glasses and learned that you were supposed to be able to see the individual leaves in trees from far away. This was useless information, as I spent most of my free time playing games like Ultima: Underworld, Legend of Kyrandia, and our brand new Super Nintendo on screens 3 feet from my face. In the summertime, I went Boy Scout camp at Sinoquipe, built the first of several sheds with my dad, did a junior scout leadership camp for a week, and took art classes at the Torpedo Factory.

Other posts in this series: 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1990 - 1991 | 1991 - 1992 | 1992 - 1993

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