by september i hope to talk a little bit about my senior year of high school. i’ve grown to realize it was a period of great disappointment in a variety of ways. at the same time it sets the tone for how life has been at this point. it’s hard to believe it’s close to 20 years since graduating from high school.
before i talk about senior year how did i get there. well the story really starts when i leave the 8th grade. perhaps this is where i could’ve started to peak but found myself intimidated by a number of things.
to start, i will admit i didn’t go to a good high school in a large urban district as we have here in chicago. my mother was more concerned about safety going to and from school than the caliber of school. she figured there was no big difference whether a magnet school or a neighborhood school. me on the other hand i didn’t work very hard to assure a different result.
my dad was around but he wasn’t that engaged in the process. he might have had the same mind as my mother as far as these city schools there is no huge difference between them. now he had been an employee of the school system but it’s not like he did much interactions with school teachers and administrators.
also i never concerned myself with how the system worked at that point. for example could i have gone around my 8th grade teacher? was there a possibility that i could have gone over his head to the school counselor or perhaps the school’s assistant principal who was formerly my third grade teacher. my mind only runs about that, but no idea as this was a course never pursued.
my 8th grade teacher i’ve concluded was a man who at least towards me never had anything nice to say to me. the last time i ever saw him he essentially ignored me and i never tried to keep his attention and remind him who i am. he showed attention to another former student who he got along with much better. it’s safe to say he didn’t care for me that much and didn’t mind threatening me with holding me back a grade.
only reason he gave to not go to the neighborhood high school where my parents wanted me to attend was – i’m going to get messed with and they’ll take my lunch money. i was standing right there and he told my parents this. it was never he could do much better than this high school. just absolutely negative to the core, then again what did i show him?
so either way whatever he tried to convince my parents of it didn’t matter. to the neighborhood school i go instead of anywhere
more safer much better academically. no concern about commute between home and school and any weird thing that was going to happen in between.
to set this up by my freshman year of high school my mother would be laid off from her job at a bank in downtown chicago. she didn’t know this was going to happen in the 8th grade so therefore if she was working downtown and i was on my way to school or on my way home she had little piece of mind. it was just the overriding concern for her more than i could’ve gone to a better school.
she also thought my dad could eventually find a job close to what he had around the time i was born. he had worked in manufacturing before becoming a grave-yard shift worker for the public schools. she hoped he could find such a job again although by the time i came around those jobs were disappearing. with no high school diploma and his inability to stay focused to get a GED the clock was ticking on doing better than he had been.
the lesson here that i should’ve learned back then is that sometimes while your parents should have your best interests at heart they sometimes don’t. sometimes it’s all up to you as far as what you want to do. as with a lot of things – and possibly not knowing – i left my future up to others. at least as a grown man now i can at least determine my future.
in the meanwhile soon it’ll be time to start talking about my senior year in high school. perhaps in general my time in high school.