Tuesday, February 26, 2008

'80s Week

It seems like it's been '80s Week around here recently - "here" being the immediate area around myself. Last Sunday I ran across The Breakfast Club on TVLand and even though I've seen it a couple dozen times and even though it was the TV edit version (with the most ridiculous substitutions for the cusswords and the pot smoking scene edited out) I wound up watching it to the end. I followed a link to a blog post regarding Principal Vernon and the first two songs on Friday's 10@10 were from Risky Business and Back to the Future. I've been in contact with someone from the Class of '85 at my high school and she sent me some photos from 11th grade. Almost every time I turn on the radio it seems like I hear Jack and Diane (incidentally, John Mellencamp turned 16 in 1967. I turned 16 in 1984).

In 1980 my brother was elected Sergeant-at-Arms for his sixth grade class. Mom put up red, white, and blue bunting and had a little party for him. No's election coincided with Ronald Reagan's, and when a friend of Mom's dropped by that evening, she asked incredulously, "You're not celebrating, are you?"

I read 1984 during Christmas week of 1983. I did that sort of stuff, like reading A Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve three years in a row. I had an elevated sense of my own literacy.

In 1984 while at summer camp, which was held on the Sonoma State University campus, I became friends with a guy who was a student there during the year and who was working that summer for campus security. Because I never did anything I wasn't supposed to do, I was never caught playing hacky-sack in the courtyard after lights out, night after night. I don't remember realizing that this guy probably had a crush on me until he came to the end-of-camp dance and held me close while we danced and he sang along with Lionel Richie.

In 1986 my homeroom teacher came in from the school office and announced that the Challenger had just blown up. We had a 17-minute homeroom period, during most of which we would hang out and talk and finish homework, like a very very short study hall. I was sitting on my desk, and said, "You're pulling our legs, Nordie!" I think of this as my generation's "where were you when..." moment.

In 1988 I finally started coursework in the School of Education, with Mrs. P. We started by observing at Jason Lee Middle School, where we were placed in a sixth grade class. On my teaching day I led the class in improvisational storytelling, when each person took turns making up a few sentences of the story. Being sixth graders, they had the hero throw up a lot. After four weeks Mrs. P and I were sent to Henry Foss High School. On our first day, while we waited outside our master teacher's classroom for the bell to ring so we could introduce ourselves, a passing staff member asked us for our hall passes. We wound up having to show her our college ID cards to prove that we weren't cutting class.

1 comment:

Saipan Writer said...

Hey, I turned 16 in 1967. How come John Mellencamp (or as he was once known, when he was trying too hard to be hip, John Cougar!) wasn't around for that sweet 16 kiss? He was just a state away, I think. (ah, the Midwest, where nothing seems too far away when you can drive!)