Sep 2, 2010

Posted by in My Life's Quirks | 8 Comments

My Life’s Quirks – My School Days

Me in Kindergarten

This week, my daughter returned to school after the summer break.  She is entering kindergarten.  She is still at the age where school is fun and where faking a sickness has yet to enter her mind as a way to wiggle out of going.  She enjoys her friends, her teacher and her environment.  I must say that I am very happy with the school we chose for her.  Jason and I couldn’t be more proud of our little big girl as she gets on the school bus every morning sporting her pink backpack and flashing runners. (Last year she had a Spider Man backpack.  We aren’t even sure where she even learned of his existence, let alone know enough to demand she have a Spider Man backpack.  Yes, I was a little mortified that my pink princess loving DAUGHTER went off to her first year of school with a frikin’ Spider Man backpack!  At least this year she chose Barbie – and I feel all is right with the world again.)

Grade 3 - I always liked this one.

My daughter heading back to school has made me reminisce about my own school experience.  Of course I don’t remember much of my first few years.  I started school when I was three because my birthday is at the end of the year.  I went to a French school – St. Gabriel’s.  I had to walk because I was just out of the limit where I could have been bussed.  I didn’t mind though.  I was lucky enough to have my mother staying at home with me and she and my two younger brothers brought me to school.  I remember on the days it snowed she would pull all of us in a sleigh!  (That’s my mom…the super being)  I also remember having a very over active imagination and that I was very very shy.  I had my best friend there, Mel.  I’ve known Mel since I was 2 years old.  She lived on my street.  And my cousin Josée was in my class too.  I was not athletic at all.  I danced.  If you stood still for two minutes, I would dance for you.  Surprising considering how shy I was normally.  I hated competitions or games.  Hated them.   Hence the reason I stayed away from organized sports – that and the fact that I was quite uncoordinated for a dancer.  And I was afraid of the ball.

Grade 5 - This picture mortifies me. I mean that eyebrow (and I mean one). There are no words.

I graduated from grade 6 at St. Gabriel’s and then it was off to Junior High School at Notre Dame with my newly separated monobrow – courtesy of my father.  (I feel bad because my children have inherited my one brow, but that is a story for another day)  We had lockers and different teachers for different subjects.  That was cool.  What was not so cool?  Being approached by one of my classmates who I hardly ever spoke to and her telling me that I really needed to start wearing a bra.  Mor-ti-fy-ing…  I don’t know how I ever went back to school after that.  Oh wait, I know…  I was a goody shoes in school.  Not a suck up, but a goody shoes.  Then came my grade 8 graduation.  There was a school dance– the first one I attended – where I was so desperately hoping I would have the chance to dance with Shawn, my first real crush.  I never had the chance to because my parents arrived to pick me up, but that was okay.  Shawn and I ended up at the same High School where my crush continued until late grade 9.  (Just a side note, turns out he was gay but didn’t come out until after high school.  Hey, what can you do?!)

Grade 8 (Junior High Graduation)

Ecole Secondaire La Citadelle is where I would spend my five years of High School.  (Back then, you could attend school for grades 9, 10, 11, 12 and an optional OAC.)  I remember High School fondly.  I met some great girl friends.  Then my circle of friends grew penises when a girl from my group started dating a boy from a guy group – but it was a good thing.  I can’t say I was really popular, but I got along with everyone and most people knew who I was.  I was in the dance club and in band (I played the transverse flute, although don’t ask me to play it today…)  I was a real square though.  I mean, SUPER Square.

Grade 9 - Aug! The giant eyebrows. Well, at least there are two.

I had crushes but never any real interest in dating (much to my parent’s delight).  A boy finally did ask me out when I was 15.  I told him I didn’t want to go out with him but that we could ‘see’ each other.  I honestly had no frickin’ clue what that meant but it made me feel better.  About a month later, he asked me if we could go out yet.  I asked him what the difference was  between ‘seeing’ someone and ‘dating’ someone.  He informed that when you start dating someone, that’s when the kissing starts.  I agreed but got freaked out.  So even though we technically dated for one whole month, I didn’t see him or even speak to him over the phone the entire time.  I eventually told him (over the phone) that I wasn’t ready and that we were breaking up.  Yup, I was a classy one.

I didn’t drink booze, didn’t smoke, didn’t do drugs.  I didn’t even curse!  That was a running joke among the boys in my grade level.  Who could get Julie to say ‘shit’?  They got bonus points if they managed to have me say the ‘f-word’?  They all failed.  (I did eventually start cussing.  My first time was when I guy really messed with my heart and I told him to ‘fuck off’.  I was 19.  But that’s a story for some other time…)

Grade 13 (OAC) This is the year Kate Moss told me to pluck out 95% of my eyebrows.

Even though I had a great group of friends and did well in school, I was still painfully shy.  I always looked at the floor as I walked.  What changed that was in grade 12, I joined the prom committee.  They needed a fund raiser idea and thought that having a fashion show was a good plan.  Since they thought I had some connections (I had done a few local fashion shows), they asked me to help organize it.  Well ‘help’ organize it became flat out organize it.  We had a costume shop, Sears and one other shop that I don’t remember participate that first year.  We dubbed it the ‘Cita-Mode’.  (Get it; La Citadelle has a Cita-Mode.  Our school plays were called Cita-Shows.  Yup, an ingenious bunch we were.) It was a pretty big success.  The day after the show, I was walking down the hall looking at the floor as usual when I overheard my principal talking to the vice-principal.  They were walking right in front of me and were discussing the show not knowing I was behind them and the principal said that “La petite Julie peut vraiment faire de bonnes choses” (“That little Julie can really do some great things”).  Well, that was the moment I stopped looking at the floor when I walked.  I’ll never forget that.

High School Graduation - I like my eyebrows here :)

I graduated well, but just shy of honors, (damn OAC accounting class…couldn’t balance that stupid balance sheet during the final exam… #@%&!…) and even picked up the ‘leadership’ award!  I had a fantastic school career and I really don’t think I would change a thing about it.  School not only gives us the building blocks necessary to survive in the work place and in society in general, but it also helps mould who we are going to be — who we end up being.  Yes, our parents and family have a big say in that too, but I do believe that the friends you meet and the situations you face while in school help a lot.  I have wonderful memories of my school days.  I really hope my daughter, and in a couple of years my son, are as lucky as I was.

My school days.  Just another one of my life’s quirks.

  1. I loved this post Julie…and all those adorable pictures. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    And what’s wrong with a Spiderman backpack?

  2. Thanks for sharing – love the pics! (And yeah, the Spider Man backpack is cute -it’s good she knows what she likes!)

  3. I love this post so much!!! Nicely done, loooove the pics (you’re freakin adorable).

  4. Julie!!! Love the pics….sooo cute. Dang u had some hair…LOL and ur grad pic….sooo pretty!!

  5. What a cool to get to know you better 🙂

  6. Jen – We were just VERY surprised that she wanted Spider Man…of all things. She wasn’t even tempted by Dora! lol

    Patti – The pictures were fun to go through, even if some made me shudder.

    Spaz – Adorable? Really? Even the grade 5 one?! 😉 Thanks.

  7. Sharon – The hair…I kept it long all through school and it started curling once I hit puberty. And yes, there is a lot of it! lol

    Mandi – Thank you. It was fun to write. 🙂

  8. Je signe ce que Borges a dit à propos de l’abolition de la ponctuation par les poètes d’avant-garde : Il aurait été plus charmant l’essai de nouveaux signes : signes dâÙ€ndi©cision, de commisération, de tendresse, signes de valeur psychologique ou musicale.P.S. Comme blague :Les mots argotiques « clam » et « rog » ont l’air de langue d’Oc.

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