Thursday, May 4, 2017

Writer’s Workshop: Fancy Meeting You Here!

The prompt today is to share a 10th grade memory. In other parts of the country, tenth grade is sophomore year of high school, at least that’s how I remember it.

In the summer between freshman and sophomore year of high school, Mom bought a house in the suburbs and we moved there. For the first time in my life, I would be going to a public school. Not that it made that much difference: high school is high school, and high school sucks, whether yours is an all-boys Catholic school (as was Loyola Academy, which was literally just around the corner from my school) or a co-ed public school, as was New Trier West.

Anyway, I was basically the new kid that knew no one, or at least until I went to my geometry class and saw a guy who looked familiar. I started thinking, where do I know him from? It wasn’t coming to me. The teacher was calling roll and I found out his name was Raul. I knew a guy named Raul in grammar school who left after sixth grade, but that guy had a Spanish last name and the guy in my class didn’t. Well, everyone has a double, I figured.

The more I heard the guy talk, though, the more I realized that they were the same guy. Finally, one day I asked him, “Didn’t your name used to be xxxxx?”

He said, “Yeah, I was wondering if you were the same John Holton.” Turns out the reason he left my grammar school was because his mom remarried and they moved to the suburbs, too. His mother’s husband adopted him, and he changed his name.

I only had the one class with him, and didn’t run into him again after that year. That happens sometimes when there are 623 other students in your class.

Speaking of “everyone has a double,” Mark (who comments here as lecycliste) and I also met in sophomore year, and when people would see us together they’d always ask if we were brothers. Guess you could say so, in a way, but really, we looked a lot alike. Even fooled his dad once…

I wasn’t an especially good student, but thanks to the weighting system they used, I ended up being at the very bottom of the top 20%. Seriously, I was the 20% line, tied with another guy, who I also met in that Geometry class.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

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