Sunday, January 24, 2010

10th grade

And then there was High School. I'll be honest. With the exception of senior year, I didn't like High School much, though I'll admit it was definitely better than junior high. You can even see from my Sophomore picture above that I don't look happy. The reason I didn't smile bigger is that smiling big made my cheeks look chubbier, and I was incredibly self conscious about my weight. I was picked on a lot thanks to my weight, I never had a boyfriend, and to make matters worse, I had a brother and cousin just a year older than me who were both very attractive and extremely popular. Living in someone's shadow is never fun. The pic below is Mike and I just before I started High School.

The pic below is me with my great aunt Enid, who lived to be almost 90. My only grandparents died before I was born or when I was too young to remember them. But aunt Enid treated us like her grandchildren since she wasn't able to have any children of her own due to complications from her only pregnancy/miscarriage.

This is me playing the piano at her nursing home.

You know, I just found some of these pictures recently, and now that I see them I realize I really wasn't all that big. I remember thinking I was a monstrously fat, ugly person, and now I look at that and wonder why I thought that. Sure I had some weight to lose, but I've known a lot of teens who were/are much larger than I was. I didn't even qualify as obese at that point! It took many years for me to learn that confidence will determine your overall happiness much more than your appearance. Fortunately I learned that lesson by the time my 10 year reunion rolled around, and even though I would honestly rather eat nothing but mulch for 3 years than repeat High School (assuming I couldn't change anything about it), I did enjoy my reunion a lot. It was so good to see old friends with a new attitude and a much greater sense of self worth.

Though it wasn't the favorite time of my life, I do have many memories that I look back on fondly. Just after beginning my Sophomore year, I got to be a part of something really inspiring featured in the newspaper article below. We elected mentally handicapped girls as our homecoming queen and 1st runner up. This is a direct quote from my journal

“I witnessed one of the greatest miracles today. In a world of turmoil and cruelty, a light shined through to the members of my high school. We have two mentally handicapped girls, April and Shelly, who were nominees for homecoming queen. April took 2nd place and Shelley won homecoming queen. When she walked out everyone rose up and cheered her. Tears came to my eyes to see Shelley and April, two truly noble souls of our Heavenly father, take the crown.”

All through High School I had my hopes set on being an attorney and a judge. I did mocktrials in my Law and Justice Class in High School, and I loved it. I received best attorney votes and very high scores from all of my judges.
But I always had a big singing voice inside me, and I started taking voice and piano lessons with my cousins Amy and Shari when I was 13. I intended for it to simply be a hobby, but I got hooked. As much as I wanted to sing pop and broadway, voice teachers kept insisting I was an opera singer. I took 3rd place in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition when I was in 9th grade. This was a bit of a feat seeing as I was supposed to be in 10th grade to enter the competition. My teacher and I had both thought High School I meant 9th grade, but we were wrong. Marion Miller, vocal professor at the University of Utah, came up to me after my performance and told me she’d never heard such a mature voice in a 16 year old (I was actually 15). That was what really got me going into classical singing. The more I sang it, the more I loved it, and the more I enjoyed listening to it. In subsequent years I took first place in the High School I and II divisions, and 3rd place again in the High School III division. Each time I won, I had the chance to sing solo in the Assembly Hall at Temple Square. That was always really fun. I loved singing solo in a big hall.

Most of the time I really didn't know what to do with myself when I wasn't in school, so I watched a lot of TV (which I know now contributed significantly to my weight). "Saved By the Bell" on TBS was my favorite show. Inspired by Jessie, I was a pretty big feminist (until, of course, I learned that she went on to become a porn star). In one of my feminist moods, I wrote this interesting entry.
“The guy I marry, if I do marry, has to be a true feminist, and a devout Mormon, and he cannot ever treat me bad, abuse me, or cheat on me.”
I had earlier defined feminist as believing that men and women are equal (as opposed to radicalist – believing women deserve revenge for the injustice they’ve always suffered at the hands of tyrannical men), so I actually hit the mark perfectly when I married Oscar!

My first dance that fall was pretty fun. When Jasmine and I were 15, she met my cousin Justin and decided to ask him to the school dance MAG. I also decided to ask Justin’s friend Wess to the dance so that we could all go on a group date. The only thing I remember about it is that we dressed in army clothes, but according to my journal, we were in a group of 30 and went laser tagging, bowling, had dinner at Courtney’s house, watched “Tommy Boy,” went to the dance, and finished the night at Leatherby’s. This quote from my journal’s pretty interesting
“No sparks flew between me and Wess, but I don’t mind because I’m only 15. I won’t be 16 until March, but I still don’t want to get serious about anyone. I want to be like, 23, before I get serious about anyone. I want to date, but not any special person or have a boyfriend.”
How old was I when I met Oscar? You guessed it – 23.

Here’s a quality memory. In 10th grade my friends Meagan Stevens, Brie Smith, and I did an I-Search project for our English class. We couldn’t do any “re”search, just I search. So we picked the topic “How to make an authentic Spanish meal.” We decided to make Gazpacho, and I was assigned the job of peeling the potatoes. I’d never seen a peeler like Meagan’s. It had ridges on the back to pick out bad spots, but I didn’t know that, so I went to work peeling the potatoes from the wrong side. It took me forever to basically get a potato that looked like an enormous Ruffles potato chip, before I learned that I’d been using the wrong side. In addition to that, I got locked in the bathroom somehow (the first of many subsequent episodes of locking myself in the bathroom), and we ended up putting the gazpacho in the blender because it just wasn’t turning out right. I ended the entry with “I’m going to have to live off of Mac n’ cheese and sandwiches for the rest of my life.” Thank goodness I’ve stopped being so incompetent in the kitchen.

This was the group from our pep club - the peppers. It was basically cheer leading without using your legs. It was stopped after our year due to lack of interest. Interest in cheer leading went down too for some reason. I think everyone who tried out for it my senior year made the squad.

This is me in my peppers uniform falling through the snow. I didn't realize how deep it was until...PLOP!

Here's a tender Christmas memory that my mom will love.

“After years of watching Christmas movies about the true meaning of Christmas, and repeatedly telling people about it, I finally realized it. I just looked at the Christmas tree and saw that there weren’t as many presents this year as there were last year. I complained about it, being the greedy person that I wish I wasn’t, and was disappointed. But then I realized what my mother has done for us. In October, her only co-worker quit and my mom was stressed out for a long time until a replacement could be found. Her boss gave her a bonus for all the hard work she’d done. Instead of spending it on herself, she put the money that she’d deserved for all her hard work into presents for us. She’s giving and not expecting anything in return from us. She’s given the greatest example of love and I hope to be like her in so many ways. I’ve realized how greatly my mother will be rewarded after this life for the selflessness she’s shown during her life. I love her more than she’ll ever know.”
To top it all off, my entry 2 days later was “those few Christmas presents were a huge, expensive computer and other cool stuff.” So I got to learn the true, sentimental meaning of Christmas and get really cool presents. Now that’s a perfect Christmas!

Don't I really dress up for Christmas! The picture says it all.

This is one of my favorite High School memories. That year for Valentine’s Day, I hung out at my friend Jasmine’s. We had dinner and watched the musical “Cinderella” and “The Mirror has Two Faces” and played Fussball. She also gave me the funniest card ever. On the front it says
“I HATE Valentine’s Day. Who invented this crappy Holiday, anyhow? Probably some love-crazed loser with nothing better to do…it’s like a pink-and-red nightmare, man. I’m tellin ya…This holiday sucks! It’s just a time for all the love-stricken wimps to make the rest of us who aren’t with anyone want to RETCH!
And the inside says
“Yeah, I’m not finished yet…I wanna beat the crap outta that little cupid jerk, too…Flying’ around like some giant gnat makin’ people fall in love with each other…What if they don’t wanna love each other – Huh? That little creep’s ruinin’ it for everyone. Geez, I HATE him! Valentine’s Day – Yuck! Gag me! Well; … anyhoo…Have a nice February 14th! (But NOT a Happy Valentine’s Day…I HATE Valentine’s Day!)

Seminary Dance was just a couple of days after my 16th birthday. Even though I’d been to one other dance, I called this my first date since the other was “just a favor to Jasmine.” But this definitely was a fun dance. We started off going to see Legacy and having a progressive spaghetti dinner. Then one Mike sprayed whip cream onto another Mike’s newly shaven head, and we finished off the night sucking jello at Laura’s (ever sucked Jello through a straw? It’s fun!).
In this picture, we decided to have Lydia pretend to seduce her date while the rest of us are angels praying for them in the background.

A couple months later we had Spring Formal. It was a girl's choice dance, and I had no idea who I wanted to ask. Then my friend Nam introduced me to his friend Allen. Although I'd only met the guy for about 30 seconds, I decided to ask him (also because I'd met his mom at parent teacher conference and she'd gone off about what a great guy he was). So I did it. It surprised me and my friends that I had the guts to ask out a guy I'd barely met. Apparently I didn't frighten him too much, though, because he actually became the 2nd follower on my blog.
We had tons of fun that day too. We went to Village Inn, went rollerblading, went to Olive Garden, and then went to the dance. In the meantime, I was competing in and winning the NATS High School I competition. I also went with a group of seniors, which made me feel super cool as a lowly sophomore hanging out with seniors. What a good day!

That summer I got my first job. It was working in stock at “the Limited” with my cousin Chauntee as my boss. One of my few memories of working there is the first time I got to try selling. A lady asked me to find her a size 2 in the jeans she was looking at, then she wanted a longer pair. After searching for size 2 long and finally finding it, she wanted a darker pair. I went to the back, dug through all the jeans I could find, and finally found a pair of dark, long, size 2’s. She spent about 20 minutes trying them on in the dressing room and then complained that “the zipper is too short.” Some people are just determined to be unsatisfied.

That same summer I got into my first car accident with a 68 mustang. The sad thing was, it was while the other car was parked. I turned too sharp since I wasn't used to parking such a large vehicle. Under normal circumstances I should have just scratched the car, but due to previous damage inflicted on the car by other members of my family, the fender hooked onto her bumper and I couldn’t get the two vehicles apart. I had to wait until she came out of the mall and drove her car forward. Because it was such a valuable vehicle, my insurance was not happy with me. Who would have thought that turning slightly too sharply in a parking lot would cause $1,000's of damage?

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