i was sixteen going on seventeen

As I do from time to time, I was going through old journals and became interested in the one that I had towards the end of my Junior year of high school.

1. I read a lot, and I mean A LOT of L.M. Montgomery and, in my more flowery, excited moments, I emulated her style, using phrases like “the cup of bitterness was dashed from my lips and I was drinking ambrosia” (I had just discovered my ACT scores were quite high).    Why, no, I didn’t have a boyfriend, why do you ask?

2. Oh my goodness, did I hate physics class, and celebrated my impending C+ in it.  Memory serves, I actually got a B-, in the end.

3. I occasionally write in German, and can’t quite tell what I’m writing about in those entries, except one entry in which I’ve apparently decided to explicate the plot of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  Auf Deutsche.

4.  So a lot happened in this time span.  I was taking any number of college prep exams; I was gearing up for a month in Germany with my German class; my dad was hospitalized for the first time with a heart condition that has, thirteen years hence, been happily rectified; my oldest brother was graduating from college; I was turning seventeen and, on my seventeenth birthday, would for the VERY FIRST TIME be hit on by a dude in his twenties at the Mall of America in front of my mom.  I say for the first time because this would not be the last time some dude has macked on me in front of my mother, most memorably in Italy at the age of 20 when a man stroked my arm and commented on my “lovely color” while I all but shouted “I AM A VIRGIN WHO READS HERODOTUS FOR FUN!”  Anyway, these entries from my sixteenth/seventeenth year practically vibrate with excitement and anxiety and confusion, which made for a fun trip down memory lane.

5.  I totally forgot that my cousin Dave broke up with his then-girlfriend to ask my best friend Adrienne out.  Sixteen-year-old me said a lot of very judgmental  things about this.  She did NOT approve of such behavior.

6. I wrote in my journal during Physics and Algebra 2, which probably explains that B-.

7. I really wish I knew why, on April 12th, 1999, I wrote (with no context or explanation) “Sometimes, I really wish I had a crossbow.”

8. I like the kid in the following four excerpts, like, a lot:


On this here Alg 2 desk, there seems to be a tandem drawing going on.  The other day, someone had begun to draw a dog on it.  I added legs and a tail.  They wrote “ARF!” above the dog and drew a fire hydrant.  I darkened the drawings because they were fading.  They added stars in the sky, and I added a crescent moon and a sidewalk.  I would like to know who the other artist is on this mushrooming doodle.


At the end of the test we took today, there was a question.  A dumb question.  A thought question.  It told us that we were to describe ways we could find the speed of sound on an alien planet with an atmosphere akin to earth.  So I decided to bullshit my way through it:

1) Loud camera flash.  Measure delay between seeing and hearing with a stopwatch.

2) Same concept with a flare or a firework.  But I want to use the flare to contact the aliens. And use fireworks to impress the aliens.

3) Similar concept with the loudest and most annoying person on my crew.  Also, we can feed this person to the aliens if they aren’t impressed by our fireworks.

4) If all else fails, we ask the aliens.  I mean, we are bothering them with all the loud noises and flashes.  And they did eat our annoying guy.


It has occurred to me that there must only be one person who is doing any of the work in AP (or had done… whatever).  I mean, I copied my vocabulary from J—, who copied it from someone else, who collaborated with two others, who copied there answers from someone else, who was probably looking at [the teacher’s] answer sheets.  So perhaps no one was doing any actual work!!!  HA!  We’ve cheated ourselves out of a decent education!


Someone was telling me that I shouldn’t wear shorts over [in Germany], because my hairless legs would prove I’m a tourist.  Funny, I thought my broken and ungrammatical German would be a sure sign, but I guess hairless legs are the indicator.  Silly me.



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