High Schools around here all smell the same. It's a slightly dusty, papery, floor-waxy smell. I immediately snapped back to McLean, and even got a little quiet at the memory.
I met up in the hallway with some of CR's anime club. One was dressed as Shirololi, aka "sweet Lolita," a kind of semi-Victorian pink dress and petticoat. Wow. Coming from AMA, I was used to it, but not in a high school hallway. Damn, why didn't I take a picture?
Some of CR's anime club friends are pretty cool. You have the hyper one, Sarah, who plays D&D. I had met her before, when she was a "spaz" in Junior High Science Olympiad. Her parents are a physics teacher and a dad past retirement age. She's now an open lesbian, and still hyper. You have the Asian one, Jennifer, whose parents own the Chinese restaurant my family orders from. Typical of these kinds of social groups, she's the outcast of her traditional family. She even called herself a banana, a word I haven't heard since the 1980s when applied to an Asian person, and it was never a self-described one (even Copper detested that word). Ellen, the short one, reminded me of about half of fandom. A little quiet, awkward girl with glasses and braces. I see a government job in her future. These people would have SO been my friends 20 years ago. Hell, some of them still are, and I still cherish my oddball memories with them. And I slid right into the social group as the quiet awkward one who told jokes. It was the peak of my high school social life, the Junior/Senior years... before it all went bad.
We ended up meeting up with them after school by accident next to the pet store. But then, more than once, I was snapped back to reality with comments like, "I wish my parents were cool like your dad!" Oops, that's right... I am 38, not 17. I have a 16 year old. Rats. But it was also odd that they quickly found a familiar place to put me in their group. I didn't treat them like they were kids, they didn't really treat me like an adult, although they said I would prevent them from getting thrown out of Pet Smart for loitering because they were with an adult. Jennifer hugged me more than once. She's very... fannish. All of them were, but Jennifer called me "daddy" ("She does that to all our parents," said Sarah), and called a lot of her female friends her "wives." All creep factor aside, that wasn't totally out of place with my 20 year old memories. There was a friend of ours called "EBF Topper" who was a little similar.
Ellen didn't say much. I tried to draw her out, but while she didn't look unhappy, she didn't look like she was used to speaking.
Still, I wish CR would invite them over once in a while. I kind of miss those friends.
CR's chemistry teacher's name is really Mr. Garrison. He seemed scared I was going to beat him up because he gave CR a C. Right after we shook hands, he went on the defensive by making a comment that CR would have gotten a better grade had he shown up more often (CR was sick for about a week and a half this year). He didn't say this to me, he said it CR, who looked at me like, "What?"
I learned that a lot of other teachers mistrust SOL tests for the same reason I do. SOLs are "Standard Of Learning," a kind of grade for the school. They test how the students are progressing according to county standards, but then invalidate these tests by abruptly stopping all lessons, and taking a week to teach students how to take the tests, and then telling the kids if they fail, horrible things will happen to them.
I found out all the details of the Art Trip in March of 2008. I am going to be a chaperon, sorta. I get 10 kids, but I won't get them alone; I'll be paired with a teacher. In fact, I was told not to sweat it, that the teacher was the only one responsible, I'd be there to make the students more supervised. Heh heh.
Heh heh... a ha ha! HA HA HAHA!!! [lightning and thunder] THOSE FOOLS!!! AHAAHAA!!!