Today marks ten years since I graduated high school…

4 minute read

June 4, 2009, 8:54 PM

I can’t believe that today marks ten years since I graduated high school. June 4, 1999, at Expoland in Fishersville, I received my high school diploma, officially ending my days as a student at Stuarts Draft High School. That was an interesting day. Rather than go to school, the seniors traveled to Expoland for graduation rehearsal, where we walked through the whole procedure. We lined up. We sat down. We had to sit through every single bloody name getting called. And then I think we were done by noon.

Then that evening, we went through the ceremony for real, with all of our friends/family/etc. watching. And we got our diplomas. And each student got their photo taken as they received their diploma, in the cover that we were required to buy (I did not appreciate that). And then after that, we were done! No more Stuarts Draft High School for me. No more block scheduling. No more AP classes. No more nonsense from Mr. Schindler (principal), whom I didn’t really get along with all that well.

Of course, for me, this graduation was simply a formality, because for all intents and purposes, I had already accomplished what I came to accomplish. I got accepted at James Madison University for the fall 1999 semester, and so from the beginning of April onwards, I basically enjoyed myself. Or at least tried to. Less than two weeks after I got my college acceptance, I fell at home and dislocated my right shoulder, which caused me to miss my first day of school since fifth grade, and put me in a sling for a month while it healed. Then Columbine happened a week and some change after my injury, which put everyone a little bit on edge. And I managed to get myself suspended for two days for making some remark about it (yes, I got suspended – get over it). I don’t even remember what the remark was, but obviously, Schindler thought it was important enough to warrant kicking me out for two days. Not like I particularly cared, though. I had already sent in the deposit for JMU. And I enjoyed my two days off. My mother was not so laid back about it, though, as she came into school and handed Bill Schindler his behind on a platter for the whole incident. Let’s just say that my mother is awesome for that.

But outside of those things, I did indeed enjoy myself, though I certainly was an insufferable little b—- at times. My first-block class was a complete waste of time, and the teacher treated it as such, teaching us more about her parents than she did about math. Then my fourth block class was a computer class, and I spent most of the time surfing the Internet. This is when I also found out how Orwellian the people running the Internet filtering software were. Big Brother was indeed watching. I’d go to a game show-related site, mainly trolling for ideas for my then-upcoming school production of The Price is Right. Then the next day, when I would attempt to go there again, they’d have it blocked, with “home directory” as the given reason. With “home directory” as a reason, it stands to reason that there was no real reason to block it other than we-don’t-have-a-reason-to-not-want-you-to-go-there-but-we-don’t-think-you-should-be-looking-at-this. I still remember “making up” the work I missed for the injury and the suspension. That took two minutes. I was just like, “I’m not doing that, I’m not doing that, I’m not doing that, and I’m not doing that. That was easy!” I suppose that if the teachers really wanted to press the point, they could have made me do the work, perhaps only on principle, but they knew better than to press the point. After all, just assigning zeroes to those assignments didn’t hurt me, it didn’t hurt them, and it saved them the trouble of having to deal with more paperwork. I still remember a Web assignment we had to do for the aforementioned computer class. The assignment was to design your own Web site. After all, it was the late 90s, and making students design rather pointless personal Web sites was the fad back then. I’d been doing the Web site thing for three years by then. I knew the drill. So when it was time, I stood up and presented Schumin Web. Why not? Unlike most of those people, I already had an established site, and a small following. Of course, the site was rather primitive by today’s standards, but for the time, it did the job.

Still, I just can’t believe that today marks ten years since the end of high school. And it’s been years since I’ve even seen my high school diploma. I do know exactly where it is, though. It’s in a somewhat obscure location in my parents’ house in Stuarts Draft, next to my sister’s diploma. And there it will stay, because that’s more for them. My college degree means much more to me, and that’s hanging on the wall in my bedroom here in Maryland. My sister’s college degree from Virginia Tech, meanwhile, is hanging on my parents’ dining room wall, and I don’t know why she hasn’t taken that out to Chicago yet.

Now, ten years down the road, would I want to repeat my high school experience, even knowing then what I know now? No way. College maybe, but not high school. Stuarts Draft High School and I tolerated each other, but we never really were best buds. And then once the tables turned when I got accepted to JMU, and the playing field changed, they became the main impediment to my getting lulz, often at their expense.

Web site: I discuss Stuarts Draft High School's renovations in 2006-2007. I went to the school when it was still a dump...

Song: A girl gets her tongue pierced at a place in Stuarts Draft. I would never do this, but it's interesting to watch.

Quote: I can't believe it's been ten years, though. Still boggles the mind...

Categories: High school