Powering Up Some More

Hi Pamie-

I’ve never emailed you before. I swear I’m a normal, non-stalking person. But your blog entry today was such a perfect description of my high school experience, I had to write.

I try to describe teenaged life in Glendale, AZ to people here in my nice, liberal, adopted city, but they won’t believe me.

But did we have the soda machines? Yes, yes we did. I anticipated my first year of high school by perfecting a “soda can” pose for while I took notes while simultaneously sipping on my Sprite. I imagined that this made me sophisticated and not unlike a college student. Marketing executives, take note; I was a one-girl focus group.

We had the rule about no fund-raisers except for candy sales. And the teachers had a rule about no candy purchases except during the first TEN MINUTES of each class. Those hardasses!

We didn’t have the Power Team, but we did have the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. They got school funding to hold meetings and pray for various causes, including the unborn and for the “reformation” of homosexuals. They had a special prayer vigil for the Model U.N. club, because we were assigned to represent the U.S.S.R. (oooooh, now I’m totally carbon-dating myself. It sure was the 80’s). We had the horrifying “Cruisin’ Without Boozin'” assembly series, featuring a “cool dude” in a wheelchair who relived the horrible drunk-driving accident that left him unable to walk.

My Advanced Placement Biology teacher, a born-again Christian, assigned us as a class project to debate creationism vs. evolution, and creationism WON.

There is so much more to shudder about. Really, a lot more. Now that I’m out in the world, I meet people who went to high schools where they protested the Iraq war. Once, supervising a field trip for high school students, I overheard one student call another, “Fag!” only to be met with an immediate and angry response from several of his classmates. I am in wonder of these young people and sometimes feel like I got a bum deal. Yet I turned out fine with a good career in a lefty field surrounded by like-minded people who didn’t share their parents’ politics. And I have you to remind me of the absurdity of it all. Thanks, Pamie!

Carrie
Seattle

Carrie,

I meant to mention the FCA on that entry, too. I always thought it was absolutely crazy how much church and school were allowed to combine, but I got sent home one day for wearing a peace sign. No kidding, it was against the dress code, as was the Star of David. You were only allowed to wear a Christian cross.

I didn’t realize how much we were the targets of corporate branding until after I got out of school. My elementary school was sponsored by DR. PEPPER. That was the one field trip of the year.

And the scholarship I got in college by busting my ass and raising scholarship money for UT? Was from Pepsi.

Everybody in Gap,

-p