I'm not entirely sure I'm proud to admit it, but my high school years were mostly marked by constant attempts to 'get away with something'. Unlike my unschooled kids - who have a choice to go to school or not - school, of course, was just a given. It was what you did. It was how you spent your days. It was your 'job' as a kid.
But because none of it was of my own making, I just muddled through like the rest of the kids. I was bright enough and intuitive enough to know just how much I had to do to stay under the radar, and I didn't find much challenge in the academics. If I struggled, though, I only had to beg off someone else's homework for the answers with a promise I'd return the favor somehow. It didn't bother me one single bit to cheat on occasion, because really, we all knew homework was simply another hoop to jump through and everyone - teachers, parents, kids - were happy just knowing the hoops had been jumped, and if a little, er, forbidden assistance was given, it was usually a case of no harm, no foul. Otherwise known as just don't get caught, stupid.
But I was bored. And as a typical somewhat-insecure kid, I was also always trying to prove myself. And by prove myself I mean impress my friends, not get straight As. Getting As was pretty easy. Impressing my friends took constant vigilance. :)
I'd always been a sneaky little sh*t. There was just something so intoxicating about pushing the envelope, nudging the edges, bending the rules a bit. I don't suppose it was a conscious move on my part at that young age, but I suppose it was, in some ways, an attempt to "stick it to the man."
But I also knew the difference between being a bad-bad kid (vandalism, bullying) and being a good-bad kid (sneaking candy into class, sneaking myself out of class). I knew the difference, I always knew where the fine line lay, and for the most part, I limited myself to only good-bad kid hijinks.
For example, when we did the roller skating unit (only school could take something fun - like roller skating - and make it sound incredibly dull - like "Class, tomorrow we will begin our roller skating unit. And we'll skate in circles! I will be watching for proper form."). Some of my fellow good-bad friends and I grew quickly bored of skating in one large circle while avoiding the upperclass grrls who were trying to lock wheels with us and send us sprawling. (For the record, we were far more agile and athletic than they were so that usually ended badly - for them.) So we'd devise our escape.
There were three of us; two would keep watch and signal when the oh-so-hot-but-oh-so-lacking-in-personality gym teacher turned his head, while the third would skate out the door and down the hallway. How long we'd skate the halls would depend upon how especially lucky we were feeling at the moment, how many stray adults were wandering the halls, and whether or not we thought the mean upperclass grrls had seen us.
I remember the study hall room didn't have a door, so I'd strike a funny pose and skate past the open doorway, eventually attracting the attention of some classmates. They'd wait patiently for me to skate by again, in a new pose of course, and by the time they giggled and the study hall monitor looked up, I'd be gone.
We had to liven up roller skating unit week somehow.
Most of my other antics were similarly harmless - victimless pranks.
So when "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister came on the radio during our drive to St. Louis last week, I was instantly transported back to 1984. And then I laughed out loud. And then an old-but-familiar feeling came over me, and once again, I was 14, a freshman in high school, a little sh*t trying to get away with something.
I went to a small high school where the lines between jocks, nerds, brains, and druggies were very blurred (many fell under the "all of the above" category). I was no different. I was a cheerleader and a jock. (Well, as much of a jock as you can be at 5'2" and 98 lbs.) I was a nerd too. I was in the marching band.
That's when wearing a cheerleading uniform came in reeeeal handy. It meant I didn't have to wear those g*d-awful marching band uniforms. Really, they were so horrendous, I may've had to draw the line at being in the band. A grrl's got her standards. No poufy hats and fake, plastic booties for me, sorry. As a piano player I was automatically a substitute percussionist. For marching band, I wore a big-*ss set of bells. They were heavy suckers.
During halftime of the varsity game, the band would wait as the cheerleaders and football players would run over to take our places. It was usually cold, and we were usually both nervous and a wee bit embarrassed. We'd fidget, waiting for the director's signal.
The director would raise his baton and direct the start of our marching cadence, the rhythm to which we'd march to mid-field. I loved those cadences - still do. There's something about an intoxicating drumbeat that makes you wanna shake your groove thang. Shaking my groove thang, however, was greatly hampered by 172 lb. bells hanging from my shoulders. Oof.
One night, the band director raised his baton and we posed, ready. But on cue, instead of the usual marching cadence, Scott, our lead snare drummer (and my future boyfriend), started pounding out a different rhythm. It was one we'd played while goofing around in band practice. It was the cadence to "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister.
We giggled as we marched onto the field. The band director shot "you're in big trouble, mister" looks at us as he marched backwards, still directing. Some of the horn players started dancing as they marched. And then Brian, the bassoonist, started playing the bass line, and then I, carrying the 214 lb bells (they grew heavier by the minute), started hammering out the melody, and before you knew it, the entire band was not only marching to "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister but also singing "No! We Ain't Gonna TAKE It..."
"We're not gonna take it... anymore...."
Eventually the crowd giggled, while the opposing team's stands looked rather befuddled. It was like a scene from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. We did it again a few more times, during other games, but the first time was the most fun of course. Our band director was a good sport, too. He did his obligatory scolding, but I just know he laughed when we weren't looking.
Ah, the good old days.
What antics did YOU pull in the old days? Or heck, last weekend? Give 'em up!