Hi ho, Hi ho….

Hi ho hi ho
It’s off to school we go
With razor blades
And hand grenades
Hi ho hi ho hi ho hi ho

Starting off the StlBloggers Blog Carnival, I came up with the topic of “High School”. Not only is the question of High School a traditional one in some St. Louis circles, this is to be a monthly Blog Carnival, and while school started in September in my youth, it now begins in August for many. Unfortunately, now I have to write something about my own experiences, and it’s my fault.

I’ve already written a lot about my Junior year.
1) My paralysis
2) Heroism and dealing with paralysis
3) And a work of fiction I wrote based extremely loosely on some related events

However, I’m sure some might argue that I haven’t written about my Junior year of high school, but only about four months I spent in a hospital away from high school, and about one high school experience that may or may not be fictional. (Only ‘Celia’ and I know the truth)

I’d write about watching the Challenger explode, but unfortunately, that happened during those four months, so I can’t call that a high school experience either. Those four months are much more memorable than anything else from those four years.

I did spend two and a half years in high school debate, from which I remember only the mantra of Stock Issues: Solvency, Harms, Inherency, Topicality, Significance! (I find it funny that the wikipedia article lists a ‘classroom appropriate’ variation of Solvency, Inherency, Topicality, Harms, Significance. In the 1980s I was certainly somewhat aware of Star Wars, but I was not the Sci-fi geek I am today, and I’m not sure I would have recognized the acronym. Luckily, our instructor found the other order appropriate enough. And I would later work the acronym into a popular open mic poem.)

Senior year I switched from cross-x debate — which I basically sucked at — to some other events sponsored by the National Forensic League, such as original oratory and poetry interpretation. Back then Cross-X was handled separately at my high school from all the other competitions, which were more theatrical in nature, so I ended up switching cliques and hanging out with the drama club. That was fun. There were actually some cute chicks in the drama club. I even won a first-place trophy at one competition.

I ended my senior year by delivering a speech at my high school graduation. I wasn’t valedictorian. Actually, far from it. But anyone with a GPA over 2.0 could submit a speech, and some committee of teachers or administration chose which one they wanted. Mine was chosen. The speech was based on 1987 being the 200th anniversary of the Constitutional Convention. Ben Franklin had a great line at the closure of the convention about the sun engraved on the back of a chair “‘I have, often and often, in the course of the session, and the vicissitudes of my hopes and fears as to its issue, looked at [the sun] without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting; but now, at length, I have the happiness to know that it is a rising, and not a setting sun.” I of course made the parallel to commencement not being an end, but a beginning. Cool? And I got to deliver the speech at sunset. So I am sure some people looked from the sun to me and thought “did you plan this?” and of course, the answer is ‘no.’ But fortuitous events occur.

I think that’s enough about my high school days for now. Hopefully some other StlBloggers have more interesting stories to tell.