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Where Are These High Schools?

(Forest View High School)

Like many of you, I went to high school, don't applaud, I wasn't that good of a student. I'm sure I met people while there, but I don't remember 99% of them. And I'm sure I went to classes and sporting events too, but I couldn't tell you anything about them. I know I didn't go to any formal dances, so maybe that is where all the action was happening and I missed it.

I bring all this up because the other day, Linda and I saw a portion of the movie High School Musical, don't judge us, there is a pandemic and we've seen everything else on TV, and we both remarked that we were fairly certain we never, in our entire high school careers, saw anyone, let alone large groups of kids, break out into spontaneous song and dance one time.

I don't know about you, but my high school basketball team could hardly dribble, let alone dribble and dance as a coordinated effort. In fact, had they done so I'm sure teachers, and administrators, would have immediately begun drug testing, and knowing the team like I do, they would not have been disappointed in the results, in fact they would have been asking to share some of what they found.

But I digress. Thinking back over the years at all the "high school" movies I've seen, I can't remember ever seeing a movie that accurately reflected what it looked like at my high school. We did not have an ethnically diverse group of students, unless you count Catholics and Lutherans as two different groups. My school looked more like this...

Than this...

As best as I can tell, my graduating class was so apathetic to the high school experience, that while we had around 600 kids graduate, only 75 showed up to the ten year reunion, and by year twenty that number had fallen to around 40. After the tenth year reunion I realized that not only did I not know a bunch of people while in high school, but I still didn't care to meet them, so that ended my reunion adventures.

There are people who I went to highschool with that I still stay in touch with, and who I consider my close friends to this day. I cherish their friendship and miss them, especially because now I'm 1700 miles away from most of them. The reality is that the list of that group is only about 8-10 names long.

I maybe would have enjoyed those four years more if my high school was more like the movies where everyone was always happy and dancing and singing all over campus. Instead, this is how I remember most of the kids in school.

What I wanted was to be at a school where the kids looked like this.

Sadly, the pinnacle of my high school years ended up being my senior year when I was lucky enough to be named sports editor of the school newspaper, asked to read the morning announcements and pledge of allegiance each morning over the intercom, and be the emcee of the national student council convention, held at our school, even though I was not a member.

These were my entire accomplishments in four years of school. You can see why my parents were so proud of me as they got the same note on every report card for four years. "Dan is an underachiever. He can do so much better if he just applied himself." Well, maybe I would have if everybody would have broken out into song and dance like the movies.

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