In keeping with my mission to put on record some of my life events here in hopes that someday my son would want to know what her mother was like in her younger years, I’ve decided to push through with this post about my early teenage life, specifically my high school days in an all-girl Catholic school. Nothing spectacular took place during that period. I was just your average student, girl next door type. I never kept a diary so I’ll just state some facts I still remember from that era randomly.
Things I loved: Beautiful, well-kept gardens (which we weren’t allowed to walk into), Art class, kind and amiable teachers, Music class, Drama club, our well-stocked library, lionhearted girls, colorful posters of teen heartthrobs like Shaun Cassidy, Parker Stevenson, etc., Mills & Boon love story pocketbooks, P.E. activities.
Things I Hated: writing term papers, girl to girl cattiness, terror teachers, daily morning flag ceremony, everyday mass, Bible study, loud motor-mouthed classmates who simply crave attention.
– I sometimes “cut classes” because the class was too boring. I’d run to the nearest huge grocery store beside our school and spend an hour or two there. I can’t remember now how I was able to do that despite the security guards stationed at the front gates.
– I was guilty of daydreaming for hundreds of hours in total during classes where the teacher would discuss lessons that were of no interest to me. Subjects in particular: Religion, Chemistry, Statistics, Trigonometry.
– I enjoyed my Physical Education activities and did well at track & field and basketball. Ditto for our C.A.T. activities that had us marching like soldiers dressed in dark green polos and pants.
– It still baffles me why we had to call our every teacher “Miss,” not mam or madam.
– I’d wake up very early to be able to attend the 5:30 a.m. mass intended for the nuns of our school. Their soulful singing of hymns had been a divine way to start my day. Which also meant I often attended mass twice a day. The other one was the compulsory 11 am mass before lunchtime. With that in mind, I sometimes wonder why I didn’t join the nunnery.
– Like most exclusive for girls’ schools, girl to girl relationship had been prevalent. I remember having witnessed a “couple” of schoolmates who French kissed in full view of the class. They did it proudly probably thinking it was a sweet thing to do. I thought it was “Yucky.” I mean, couldn’t have they done it somewhere more private? I never imagined myself kissing a girl. How is that different from kissing myself in the mirror? Or maybe I just liked boys a lot better. Did I ever wonder what these young female “lovers” do behind closed doors? You bet I did. I didn’t have much idea at that time. But honestly, I wasn’t that interested.
– By the way, I only got to know about the birds and the bees when I reached the end of my freshman year. A classmate pal asked me if I knew how girls get pregnant. My answer: when a boy put his arm around her. (That’s what my mother told me and I believed her!) So my friend laughed at me hysterically and told all our other friends about my naivety. I can’t remember who actually enlightened me with the facts. After learning the truth though, I felt sorry for all my boy playmates whom I kicked hard earlier when they playfully tried to put their arms around me.
– My friends were fond of talking
with to me because I wasn’t much of a talker and would just listen to them. Besides, whenever something they said really tickled my funny bone, I’d giggle non-stop.
– Some girls could be silly funny. “Your hair looks shiny and smooth. Do you use any special type of oil for it?” was my casual question to a classmate one day. “Yeah, cooking oil.” was her deadpan answer. Crazy conversation like that. Joke stories about nuns and priests had been passed around a lot too. But I’ll stop right here as my son is a lot more religious than me.
– I’ve got to admit boys are a hundred times funnier than girls though. My brother is probably one of the funniest people in the world. I would often laugh myself to tears with his ad-libs. It puzzles me where he could have gotten his brand of humor as both my parents aren’t the hilarious kind.
– Trying out for the Glee club, I passed the vocal and dance auditions held by the music teachers, only to be eliminated days after by the “cool girls” (longtime members) who acted as the final judges. I was utterly disappointed. They probably thought I wasn’t fashionable or popular enough to become part of their club.
– I wrote a few cheesy poems that got published in our school paper. My real purpose then was to see my name in print. That’s all. On the whole, it made me proud and happy.
– The library was my most favorite place inside the school. I wish I could say I spent time reading the classics there. I didn’t. Instead, when I dropped by after class, I’d start pulling out colorful books on geography and leafed through breathtaking shots of skies and sceneries.
– I envied those girls who could talk back to the nuns and terror teachers. We called them “girls with balls.”
– I didn’t like “interaction” parties arranged by my schoolmates. Some of the girls acted weird around boys.
– During sophomore year, a boy who was my best friend’s brother came to like me but I couldn’t like him because he wasn’t movie star handsome. (Yes, I was that shallow. I hate myself now) Without my knowledge, he tried to do my term paper by actually handwriting it. Total: 50 beautifully handwritten pages. There was no computer yet and I believe the boy didn’t have a typewriter then. I returned the papers to him because I had already started typing mine. Thinking about it now, that had been really nice of him. Now you have an idea why I was sentenced by the heavens to eternal singlehood on earth. I was a bad girl. 🙂