Um, I was one messed-up kid. I grew up. Well, that's not true. I'm *trying* to grow up.
School and year graduated
Lowell High School in San Francisco, 1984
Number of people in graduating class
Heck, I don't remember. 800+ I think. Our graduation ceremony was held at the Cow Palace (lovely name, I know) where big concerts and circuses come to town.
Nickname in high school
Tongue-thruster: A *teacher* started that one. I can't remember his name, I blocked it out. "I'll bet she's a real tongue-thruster," he said to some of his *students*. Spread like wildfire although nobody called me that to my face. He was a lech who wanted to get into all the girl's pants and for some reason kept his job. He patted me on the ass once in the hall and said, "Nice skirt." *Nobody* touched me in school. All the guys were afraid of me. Even the skate-punks. I think he wanted me to hit him. He was that type.
Sports you were into
Sports? Ha! They'd mess up the mohawk.
Had a circle of friends?
Yes. Maura, Lisa, Joe, Mark, James. Oh and then there was Charlotte and Kenya. Kristin, Ferlynn. Aaron and Josh. I've left out a bunch of people. Well, when you hang out, smoke cigarettes and drink, people accumulate.
English and History. Took the AP tests for English, American History, and European History. Got 5's on all of them.
Chemistry. The sad thing? I actually tried in this class. I can't claim that I didn't do the work. I'm just stupid.
A teacher you owe life lessons to.
Mrs. Cofer. She taught me how to write an essay. She also picked me up by the scruff of the neck and made me go to group therapy. Where I learned that there are people who have real problems. Such as growing up in a refugee camp. Or watching your father get shot. I was just a snotty American kid. What did I know about suffering? Well, I listened and I learned.
Mr. Englander. He taught me that it's alright to not like a book and to say so in a paper. The Magnificent Ambersons. Mohawk. Come on.
Mrs. Lewis. Feisty, jovial and boy, could she pack a punch. At least in her grading. She picked out a few students each year to mentor. I was one of the lucky ones (and I failed her miserably). She is a light and a legend. She retired from teaching and went back to Berkeley to get her PhD. She was the oldest doctorate student in the department. She still teaches. Just at Berkeley now. Flossie Lewis. Look her up. She's got a web presence like you wouldn't believe.
Describe in one word...
Freshman (year 9): Teased
Sophomore (year 10): Tumultuous
Junior (year 11): Violent
Senior (year 12): Sexy
Your best friend was?
Maura. She and I shaved our heads together. Got drunk together. Snuck into clubs together. She went to Berkeley and I went to State. That was that.
Suzanne. Brought me into her circle freshman year because they needed a whipping girl. I was shy and nervous and didn't want to be alone. They called it "capping" back then. I was "capped on" a lot. Basically ridiculed. She was a bully. Liked to make people cry. She and I had it out at the end of freshman year. She lost. Her friends became my friends. I became the center of her social circle. She had no circle after that.
Cafeteria food sucked?
There was a cafeteria? We had an open campus. I took off whenever I felt like it.
My own. Tight black jeans, Docs, t-shirt or tank, flannel shirt tied around my waist. Chains. Oh and safety pins. Lots of safety pins. You know, the basic punk uniform.
How was the prom?
Junior year, I took the preppiest guy in school as a gag. Bought a fifties dress second hand and tore it up, wrote all over it, wore the requisite chains. We had a great time. Still have the picture.
Senior year, I took my boyfriend. Dyed my hair blue. Had a sucky time.
Who were the prom king and queen?
Like I cared.
Editor of the literary magazine senior year. I didn't ask for the job. I'm supposed to be the next Naomi Wolf (yeah, she went to my school) so I have to want it, right? Junior year, beautiful May day, I'm sitting in the park next to school tripping on mescaline with my friends. The two lit-mag editors come up to me and tell me they're taking the mag to print. Now. And I have to come with. On the way, they tell me that I'm going to be the editor the next year. Tripping in the back seat of Mrs. Lewis's car, I get my first editor position. Heh. Go me.
Were you popular?
Hell, yeah. As soon as I stopped caring what people thought of me and I started to hurt myself for real, my popularity soared. Couldn't get enough friends. People I didn't even know would come up to me in the hall and tell me how much they admired me. Huh? All I did was mouth off in class, get stoned and put new holes in my face for money. Rebel without a clue. They voted me class non-conformist in the senior popularity poll. I didn't show up to collect my award.
Best song that reminds you of high school?
Girls Just Want To Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper