This will probably be my last School Daze column devoting itself to a specific grade. I attended Sky View High School for grades 9-12 and I will probably blog about them in the future but I will combine them since they all seem meshed together anyway.
This was an interesting time in my life. There were some big changes happening. The biggest change being that I moved from Canada to the United States. My parents divorced and my mom and I moved down to Richmond, Utah and lived with my grandparents. I was used to a large city and now I was living in this tiny town. I had cows, real cows, as neighbors. This was something completely foreign to me.
And I had to attend a new school in less than a few weeks. I was going to attend North Cache Middle School (they call Junior High schools, Middle Schools) and I was going into the 8th grade.
I was an outcast. The predominantly Mormon community I moved into was filled with people that lived very sheltered lives. It is not to say that I was a wild child or "worldly" or anything like that but I was more experienced. I guess I was so experienced that some parents out there didn't like me hanging out with their kids since I was so "worldly". Yeah, I was a real hellion.
Since I was such an outsider I was picked on and bullied. Most of these jerkholes came from a neighboring city of Lewiston. I tried to fit in but I was the new guy. One of the lessons I learned while at my last school was to strategically get a girlfriend and get one that would place me with those "kewl" people. There was a cute girl that I liked named Liz Wheeler and I asked her to go with me. Unfortunately this backfired on me. While it did protect me from some of the bullies, it also caused the real jerkholes to double their efforts in picking on me. So I was accepted by the general student body, I was a bigger target to that select crowd of jerkholes. While I was at Killarney and going with Lori, you were supposed to hang out all the time and hold hands and stuff like that. I think that was a little much for the North Cache folk. My whirlwind romance with Liz quickly died out but at least I made some good friends.
I don't have my school pictures here so I had to snag this out of my yearbook.
I was still bullied and most of that came while in gym class. (How cliche!) I hated gym class with a passion and my gym teacher didn't help out. My teacher was named Mr. Lindley and he knew my family. He had lived in Edmonton before my parents moved up there and he knew my grandpa since my grandpa was a respected educator. My gym teacher had these fingers that were dislocated and broken from playing football but now they were hardened and unbending. He used to jab these fingers right in your chest when you did something stupid or wrong. He would line us all up to take roll and he would stop and ask each student. "Clean or dirty?" He was referring to our jock straps. You would have to pull out the strap so he could see that you were actually wearing a jock and not faking it. Only the stupid students would say "dirty". If you did he would jab those fingers right in your chest so hard it would leave a bruise. But I would rather deal with him than with my fellow students. What is really funny is that I could share some real horrific and embarrassing stories of what went on in the gym locker room. I could name names but I think I would be too embarrassed to actually say what went on in there Especially about the three jockholes who thought they were really all that.
Gym class is where I also got into the infamous Rock Fight with Mr. Forsgren.
Like I said, I made some very good friends back in the 8th grade. Most of them I am still in some sort of contact with. My first friend that I made was Casey. I would walk home with Casey (he lived on the other side of the highway in Richmond) and we became fast friends. His family was so nice to welcome me in and I spent a lot of time at his house playing around. Unfortunately he lived by some horrible neighbors that tried to bully him and of course they would bully me when I walked over to his house. The Bair brothers were the worst. They actually shot Casey's dog with a .22 and killed it. They were horrible people. I remember one night I was at Casey's with my other friend Bruce for a sleepover. We noticed that the Bair dad had left one of his beers out on the porch and we snuck over and stole it and then later poured it over the kid's jacket and bike and hid the bottle inside the pocket. Later on his dad smelled the beer on the jacket and really let them have it. We could hear the dad just cussing and beating those boys. You know, it is not as funny now as it was then.
I also had some great teachers that I felt actually cared for me. A few of them made me who I am today. I also had teachers that had taught my Uncle Kurt when he attended North Cache. I'll let you decide if that is a good thing or not.
By the end of the school year I was feeling better. This year was hard but not as horrible as my last year in the 7th grade was. I got another girlfriend named Rochelle but we were really just friends towards the end. At the end of the year we got our yearbooks and we got to spend the day autographing and writing messages in them. That was a new experience for me too. Looking back, I would love to see what I wrote other people in their yearbooks. Hmmmm... I don't know if I would really want too, I bet I wrote some embarrassing things. I made sure that my yearbook was passed to all the cute and popular girls and there was one signature that made my day. And it really irked Bruce since he had a major crush on this girl.
I blocked out the phone number and the poor girl's name. If you think you have figured it out, please do not post it. I want to avoid further embarrassment!
She was one of the most popular girl's in school! And she thought I was sexy! (Like I really knew what that meant) She made such an impression that my friend and I walked all the way to Smithfield one hot summer day to visit her. I didn't walk 500 miles to be with this girl but I did walk six miles! Sadly she was not home but her cool mother gave us a ride home after giving us something to drink. She was impressed that I walked that far to see her daughter.
My 8th grade year was not as bad as I thought it was. It was still difficult but I think I was being a tad too harsh in my former columns.