Thursday, March 11, 2010

High School Stereotypes

Bizarro is brought to you today by Future CEOs.

I'm sorry to say that my high school class has not had many successful reunions. The 10th, in 1986, was reportedly large and well-attended but I missed that one. They've tried it a few times since, I went to a couple, but there were very small turnouts.

Mine was not a stereotypical high school experience, I attended a magnet school that tended to attract kids that did not "fit in" at their neighborhood schools, so many of my classmates were really smart or artistic or musical or unusual in one way or another. (That is to say that most of us were the kid on the ground in this cartoon.) This led to a lot of interesting adult careers, spread out all over the globe, but we were by nature a class of more independent sorts, thus making it difficult to get everyone together again. At least that's been my impression. Either that or they're having fabulous reunions every few years and I've just not been invited.

I was never beaten up by a jock for being brainy, like this poor kid, but I was regularly called a "fag" by redneck types because I was artistic and didn't dress like Ted Nugent. This didn't happen at my high school, Ted Nugent types tended not to apply or get accepted there, but it happened in other parts of my hometown of Tulsa. Thanks, Booker T. Washington High School, for saving me from a miserable high school career as an outcast.

I think it would be fun to have a large high school reunion but I've given up hoping for it. I'm content to run into them occasionally on the streets of New York and other places my classmates tended to escape to.


Tcg555 said...

Dan - I was thinking just yesterday (not sure why) how much Facebook is going to change high school reunions. Unless you have really dropped out, you are going to know about it, even if you don't "do" Facebook. Someone who does will let you know.

Then, maybe the planning of the reunion can be planned much better and more democratic - instead of relying on the crappy companies that set them up and rip everyone off. My class already has a group page set up and no reunion (at least that I know of, hmmm) is coming up.

BTW Class of '78
Bus 151

Waldo said...

I went to a High School in the foothills of CO that had bullies who picked on kids for being "faggy". When I went to my counselor or vice-principal, they said that I must be doing something to provoke them. Nice...

Trust me, I understand Columbine.

Prospero said...

Last November, I attended my 30th HS reunion. It was the first reunion I attended and it was surreal, to say the least. There I was in a room full of people I "knew," but didn't really know at all.

Don't get me wrong - I had fun and reconnected with plenty of folks, but I all of my "real " friends are those I made after (sometimes well after)I graduated from High School.

As an artsy guy myself, I am quite familiar with those "fag" taunts. Of course, most of the people I ran into who used such taunts were quite contrite, 30 years later. My satisfaction came in the fact that more people recognized me, than I recognized.

Class of '79.
I walked to school.

patrick said...

High school reunions are indeed a weird thing. There is some truth to your comic: What impressed me most about mine were that I realized that age is the great equalizer. Many people who barely made a ripple in HS were good looking and successful and many of the BMOC's and cheerleader types from HS were well past their prime at the 20 year reunion. The thing I liked least about the 20 year reunion was that it seemed everyone was striving to look successful and it seemed like a big fake show. I've been to two reunions and that is enough, I'll skip future ones and just let all those people go.

Nancy said...

Hey Dan, As I remember, not only were we not ostrasized for being "different", but really celebrated for it, especially by each other!! Even our teachers elected to join us on "the island of misfit toys". All of us partied from Turley to Bixby even if you didn't "party". Talk about an "equal and open" society, WE did it, WE made it happen, WE were there. WE were the lucky ones.

Nancy Terry
BTW Class of '76

rb231 said...

Always great. Particularly liked your message to the "redneck types". I've linked to you from my blog:

C2 said...

Dan - I think you actually captured what BTW was really like for us "Volunteers". Feds dictated to Tulsa Public School System it was their last opportunity to resolve the school segregation issues otherwise they would step in. TPSS was fairly intuitive when the made Carver Middle School and Booker T. voluntary Magnet School. It gave many of us an opportunity to belong where we previously didn't quite fit in.

Never thought of you as a "fag" though, don't know where that one came from. Did however think of you as an artist who became eccentric at an early age. Part of our culture I guess.

I did make the '86 Reunion and it did have a fair turnout. Problem is I have heard absolutely nothing sense then regarding other reunions. I even tried contacting some of our classmates and never got responses. Maybe I still don't quite fit in, hmm. Anyway, you hear something pass it along. I think it would be great to see some of the old group that are still kicking it.

Chris C.
BTW Class of '76

Debbie said...

I only went to my high school for my senior year. Mother married and I had to change just for my senior year. Thus I wouldn't got to any reunions. The other school I went to 3 years thinks I graduated there, and sends me reunion stuff, but not interested.

Class of '69

Mike said...

25 reunions?

Lisa said...

Dan I think you're right in a way that those of us that went to Booker T. were a little more on the artsy side of thinking and viewing the world. It's probably pretty hard to get people back for reunions because we really are not conformists. And what complicates it more is that you really were friends with people from not just your own grade because most people were pretty interesting there.

Maybe we could have a reunion in the smoke hole : )

BTW Class 78'