Yesterday I was walking outside after a short run. The weather was sunny and beautiful, and I found myself thinking how much I love this time of year. I started reminiscing how much I used to love Spring Break when I was in high school, but how I would usually spend my vacation time worried about my performance on tests.
When I was in high school, we had dreaded exams called “Performance Standards.” These tests counted for up to 50% to 75% of your course grade, which I guess was preparing us for college. But back then, I thought this was bullshit because I wanted everything to be easy. I spent much of my high school career worrying about making a C. I suppose you can guess what a great and sheltered childhood I had if the worst thing that could happen to me was making a C, but there you go. I didn’t make my first C until college, so there was a lot of angst and worry over nothing. Unfortunately these are traits I did not lose as an adult.
Thinking of my high school days yesterday made me smile, so I’ve decided to wade back into the Lame Jenny files to see what life was like for Lame Jenny as a teenager in the spring 2000.
While flipping through my journal, I found an entry dated Monday, April 20, 2001 that is too stupid not to share. I was sixteen and a junior. I won’t type the entire entry, but I’ll write just enough to give you a gist of what it talks about:
I HATE MY FRIENDS I HATE HISTORY I AM SO SICK OF EVERYBODY I WISH I CAN ZAP EVERYBODY OFF THE FACE OF THIS EARTH AND IF YOU SAY I AM SPOILED I DON’T GIVE A DAMN THEY ALL SUCK!
After that hormonal freakout, we now return to our regularly scheduled programming. Here are some entries from a week in 2000 that sum up my high school years pretty well. I was fifteen, a high-school sophomore, and like many teenagers, I thought very highly of myself and my supposed abilities. And like many teenage girls, I over-dramatized any situation remotely resembling a disagreement.
This first entry is dated Wednesday, March 1, 2000. This entry mainly rants about my English teacher. I thought I was too good for that class. All we ever did was work on sentence corrections, and I found that very boring because I was good at grammar (don’t judge me by anything I write in here. IT’S NOT BEING GRADED, OKAY?) While she lectured, I penned horrible fiction – poetry, plays, and my first “novel,” which was so god-awful. But don’t tell that to 15-year-old Jenny, because she thought she was the shit.
My present-day comments are underlined.
Hi! I’m so sorry I never finished my letter yesterday! This week has been really busy. Every morning I’ve been going in to work on my power point presentation. (Back then, we were learning power point for our Chemistry class presentation. It was a very involved task back then that took me days. Now I can put the same presentation together in less thirty minutes.)
Mrs. H is such a WITCH! With a CAPITAL W and B! (Wow, so edgy of me). I told the stupid blank (yes, I actually wrote “blank,” OH GOD) that I turned in my folder in after my retest. She said it wasn’t smart. EXCUSE me! No one’s going to insult Jennifer that way! (I wrote out my whole name in the entry, but figure for the sake of privacy/anonymity/ embarrassment, I’ll keep it to myself.) Then she said, a sub was there, and I said, “No, you were here.” Then she got all pissed off and finally I said, “It was the retest.” Duh! She said she’s holding me responsible if she can’t find it. To hell she will. I am not going to pay for it. What a worthless bitch. (I’m having a hard time following what the issue is besides a lost folder of assignments. I was not the best storyteller).
I’m sorry. I know I’m not supposed to lose my temper like this, and be so disrespectful to adults. But when your damn English teacher is an IDIOT you’ll catch my drift. Just to let you know I do not cuss in real life. (HAH! My language has sure devolved since then). I only write them when I’m really, really angry, and that’s different.
Skipping over two pages where I talk about boys
This entry is dated March 3, 2000.
I feel so severely depressed right now. I feel so terrible like I’ll never be happy again. You’re going to laugh your head off when you hear the reason. I think I failed an Algebra Performance Standard. I really think I did. I think I failed miserably. (Oh my God, please shut up). This was the one I was supposed to do well on, too. I made a 75 on the other one. I’m just sucking right now in math. Pat failed one, too. He made a 68 on his math P.S. (I don’t see how any of this is relevant, like my brother’s failure was supposed to make me feel better. Classic sibling schadenfreude.)
Skipping over more whining about my test and talk about boys
M. is being stupid so I’m mad at her. Probably permanently. She told me that she could give me a makeover. Me. (I resembled Ugly Betty in high school, so looking back, I don’t understand why I was so self-righteous about this). ME. “Well, your shoes,” she said. Mama bought me those shoes. Then she had the nerve to tell D. WHY I was mad at her! I can’t afford to stay friends with someone that catty, stupid, idiotic, etc.
Skipping over more talk about boys. Also, I passed that performance standard, so Lame Jenny lived to see another day.
Stay tuned for the next edition of the Jenny Files, in which I make your adolescent existence seem meaningful compared to mine.