My mother went to the same high school I did.
She graduated in 1975.
I would've graduated this year, 2013, but I left last month.
I've gone to Fieldston for 12 years. It's the only school I've ever been to. I start at Beekman on January 28th, and will still graduate this year. I'm applying to college. But I'm not quite sure how to feel about the transition.
Was it voluntary or involuntary? Did I need to leave?
Did I chose to?
As a teenager, self-preservation can feel like surrender. It's certainly viewed as such. Because deviating from the norm makes you more than an 'outsider.' Cinematic romanticism may revere this position, unique, a role to be (secretly) envied, but it's not the case. At least not in my world.
Because here, I am not a maverick. Not at all.
I am talked about pityingly-
"She couldn't cope."
"She is fragile."
She couldn't meet her expectations. She is not enough.
This may be true. But I'm trying my hardest to prove it's not. What does high school say about an individual anyway?
Earlier this fall a few friends and I got bored during a free period so we pulled out some old yearbooks in the library.The school was founded in 1878, and looking through the decades took some time, but eventually we found my mother's page. I sent her a picture, asking her what the quote meant.
At home, she explained that it's William Faulker, from his 1929 novel The Sound and the Fury. I wiki-ed the book just now. Apparently Faulkner repeated several grades, before dropping out of school in 11th. When I asked my mother why she chose this quote, she replied that it was a book the school used to teach the 12th grade.
"Well, does it mean anything to you? I don't get it."
She looked down at her 18 year old self quietly. She's a therapist, and I've grown to recognize her 'analytical' face. I got up to get an apple and make some tea. Fennel/Mint, it's our favorite.
When I sat back down she spoke- "I-I don't know. I thought the quote would look cool..." I handed her a mug. She blew on it and frowned, her eyebrows grew together," It's pretty convoluted, huh? "
I think that sums up high school.