Saturday, June 27, 2009

June 25, 1994

Fifteen years ago yesterday I was in the Islip High School gymnasium with 185 of my fellow classmates. It was graduation day. We had just witnessed the OJ slow speed chase in the Bronco, the Knicks lost in the NBA Finals, unfortunately the Rangers won the Stanley Cup and we were finally done with high school.

No more waking up early and having to be somewhere by a certain time. No answering to anybody but ourselves. It was going to be great. Well, we learned that isn't exactly how the world is outside of high school. The real world isn't that much different than high school. No lockers or gym class, but there are still cliques, still teachers and principals (supervisors & managers) telling you what to do. And you still wonder how the worst ones keep their jobs year after year and the good ones get let go.

Fifteen years ago: Nobody would have ever thought September 11th could happen here; to us. Pluto was still a planet. Windows 95 hadn't been released yet. President Clinton hadn't yet had an "improper physical relationship" with Monica Lewinsky. Jessie Ventura and Arnold Schwarzenegger were still a wrestler and an actor. The Euro had not been introduced. The Columbine shooting had not yet occurred. The Y2K scare was 6 years away and not even a blip on our radar. Princess Diana was still alive and beloved by all. An African American President was only a reality in motion pictures.

All these events Baby C will someday learn about in school. What other events that we lived through will he read about in school? What events/discoveries that we learned about in school will be replaced in the lesson plans? What will happen in the next 18 years? It's pretty exciting if you think about it.

I'm glad math and English haven't changed. I'm good at math. You should see my long division, it's quite lovely. Dividing by a fraction? No problem. I'm good until about Calc, then Baby C will have to talk to his mother. It gets a little hazy once we hit Calc.

The last assignment I remember from SR year was an English assignment. Mrs Graff had us give a SR Goodbye speech. There were some good ones and some bad ones. There were speeches given by classmates that I don't think I'd ever heard speak before. I remember one speech by Bridgette Z being excellent. In her speech she said something like this "there are rocks out there. you can trip on them or use them as stepping stones..." I thought that was a really smart statement and it's stuck with me for 15 years.

I fished out my notes from my SR Goodbye speech. Let's see how much of it I can put together. Enjoy.

"The day we've been waiting for is coming up pretty quickly. On June 25th we are finally done with school...until August when we have to go back. But that's OK. College is going to be different than High School. It's going to be better.

For 1, we get to make our own schedules. No more classes at 7:30 in the morning. You can take 2 subjects a day and not have to worry about studying for a math test, an English test, a Spanish test and a chemistry test all on the same day. Not that we actually's just the principal of the thing.

One thing I'm going to miss about high school is all the friends I've made through the years. Whether it be teachers or kids, at least I'll have the memories.

I remember in 9th grade getting thrown out of the library with Omar for reading a book about herpes with Omar. Then the same year our Earth Science teacher asking if we wanted to hold hands in the hall.

I remember the whole class getting yelled at by Miss Dante on the first day of 10th grade. Even though I didn't like her, I'll always remember her for her pauses during the middle of her sentence and her flip flops with the jingle bells on them.

This year and last year I had a lot of firsts. My first car. My first accident. My first time getting pulled over by a cop, hopefully that's a last. I thought i had my first true love. when I was around her I would start to sweat and start shaking. It turned out that I was allergic to her perfume.

I'll always remember that the Prom was on my birthday and of course graduation. Now that it's getting so close, I'm starting to get scared. The thought of having to grow up is scary. No more putting thumb tacks on people's chairs. I have to be responsible and mature. One mistake can ruin my entire life. It can decide if I'm rolling in the dough or asking if you'd like to supersize that for just 39 cents.

It's scary, but I'm sure I'll do fine. I'll be OK. I hope you all have a nice life and succeed in whatever you try. See you at the reunion."

Note to 1994 think graduating high school is scary, wait until you get married have two mortgages and a kid on the way. You'll really know something about being scared then. And don't worry, you are 33 years old now and haven't matured all that much.


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