Friday, June 12, 2009

magical memories - Who are all those people at the bus stop?

My senior year in high school, one of the classes I took was AP Calculus. I liked the teacher, and I liked the class ok - I was pretty good at math even though I wasn't particularly interested in it. A lot of the people in the larger group that I hung out with was in that class, so that made it even nicer. Even better is that when you're viewed as one of the "smart" kids, they also tend to think you're going to be better behaved, and so authority figures tended to be a little more lenient with us.

Substitute teachers particularly liked our AP classes because they pretty much had a free ride for that period. One day, later in the school year, our regular calculus teacher was out that day, so we had a sub. He took roll call and then looked at us and asked if we all had work to occupy us, and we said yes, and he went and sat at his desk all day, leaving us alone. Most of us worked on a calculus assignment, as well as helping each other when we'd be stuck on a particular problem or concept. I think some people worked on homework from other classes, and some people probably goofed off. As long as we never got too loud, it wasn't an issue with our sub.

At one point, and I don't know how or why it had happened, I noticed that one of the guys, Tim, was at the chalkboard, and he was drawing. I'd look up periodically at his progress, and it was just really cool. Eventually, we were all looking to see what else he'd add to it, and at one point, a bunch of us mentioned that this really needed to be documented. Somehow, someone figured out that people from the yearbook staff were wandering the halls taking candid pictures, so they got them to come into our classroom and take a picture of what Tim had drawn, and the picture did end up in the candid pictures section of the annual.

Click on the picture for a larger version.
I think Tim started with one of the people who ended up being in the middle of the line of people waiting at the bus stop. I think it's funny that he ended up drawing one of the people around the break in the chalkboard. I think that once he had the line of people, he then added the "bus stop" sign and then started drawing the bus pulling up.

Tangent - The only time I really use "yearbook" is when I'm referring to the staff, not the book itself. We always called it an "annual", instead of a yearbook, as in "do you know when the annuals are arriving?" or "will you sign my annual?" or "how awful was so-and-so's picture in the annual?" However, I used the term "annual" recently to someone when referring to the yearbook, and they looked at me like I'd sprouted three heads. I think I used that term in junior high school and high school, so maybe it's a regional thing? Or just something that was used in my neighborhood?

Anyway, Tim was the same age as me, and we ended up in a lot of the same classes and activities together. We were also in AP English together, and while I enjoyed the story of "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", I had a really difficult time reading it because it was written phonetically. At one point in our class, the teacher had us move all of our chairs into a big circle because it made discussion easier since we could all see each other, and then she picked different people to read passages as well. Tim was chosen one time, and he read with the perfect accent, and whereas I had trouble reading the words written to show the accent, I had no problem understanding him at all, so I really enjoyed experiencing the events of the story through his reading without having to struggle through the words myself.

Given that, it may not come as a surprise that Tim was also involved in Drama Club, as was I. In our junior year in high school, we were in two plays together, the regular school play ("Time Out For Ginger") and the annual performances of "A Christmas Carol".

Tangent - In "Time Out For Ginger", I played Jeannie, the middle daughter. People laughed and joked that mom must have been having affairs with the milkman and mailman because the girls who played the three daughters were all of a different nationality. There were a lot of things that went wrong during the course of rehearsal, but it was fun, and all in all, the performances turned out really well.

Back on topic - Tim did such a good job as Ebenezer Scrooge junior year that he also played Scrooge in our senior year, when he and I co-directed the play. I wasn't supposed to be in it, just co-direct, but someone dropped out really close to the performance date, so I think I ended up filling in for a bit part. Tim was really good at improvising, which ended up coming in really handy for one of the performances senior year. We had several different performances scheduled, some for the other students during the daytime as well as a few nighttime performances for friends and family and the public. During one of the daytime performances, the girl playing Scrooge's sister came out on stage and delivered her lines like she was supposed to, but then instead of leaving the stage, she just stood there. I was backstage trying to figure out how to get her offstage without making it really obvious, but Tim, in character as Scrooge, walked over to her and said something like, "Oh, how I loved my dear little sister, too bad she has to go", and gently ushered her offstage. Brilliant!

Senior year, I was the director for the Talent Show, and Tim ended up being the emcee (no surprise there either, huh?), so we worked together on that as well.

Tim and I weren't friends in the sense that we hung out together that much out of school, but we got to know each other some because of all the school-related things we worked on together.

Wherever you are, and whatever you're doing, Tim, I hope everything's well with you.

1 comment:

Tim Castro said...

Hooray for Sub Days!!!

I was a substitute teacher for 1.5 years. The bottom line was that you always had to follow the teacher's lesson plan. However, as long as the students understood what work they were expected to complete, and didn't get too loud, then I didn't mind if they got "creative" like Tim did.