About Me

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Tennessee, United States
Retired teacher living in East Tennessee, adjusting to life in the land of round door knobs. Photographer for our local animal shelter and foster of many dogs and kitties. Don't ask me how many dogs I have, but my son got me one of those "I'm the crazy dog lady" sweatshirts.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lambchops & Ewe

Friday afternoon my friend, Mary, and I walked down to the corner of my street to get a closer look at the ewes and lambs. Up to now, my husband and I have been drive-by viewers, like tourists in a safari park. They came running over in an enthusiastic bunch and lined up expectantly. They were rewarded, but not by us, when one of the neighbors came over and threw apple peels into the field. I realized then, that just as with turkeys, you don't want to be in the middle of the flock when they are expecting dinner. They were friendly, however, and liked having their heads rubbed. The little ones are cute, but the mommas have loads of personality, and if I had the time, it would be fun to sit and observe and assign them names. I've already named one Martha Stewart. She's the dignified one that shows up near the end. See if you can spot her.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

When I was a Nerd

This my painful nerd story. Every geek has one.

I was in high school in the mid 1960s. At the end of my Freshman year my school had a big awards assembly. I got a letter saying that I was to sit on the stage with other award recipients. I had no idea what award I was to receive or even what awards were to be given, but I was an above-average student, I played the violin in the school orchestra and was a National Junior Honor Society officer, so expected it would be something to do with one of those. I had also been president of the pep club during football season, more on that later.

I remember my English teacher, Mrs. Smith, a very proper lady, saying to us in a high-pitched quavery voice, Too much levity, class! whenever we got a little out of hand. I thought this was hopelessly uncool, but I never forgot the word levity. She also took us on evening field trips to a community plays, which were presented at a theater in the round. We were wonderfully close to the action. I got my picture in the newspaper when we made posters for one of the plays, You Can't Take It With You, as a class project, and my poster was displayed in the theater. Our geeky English teacher helped me develop both a love of words and of theater.

I had little in common with cheerleaders and the other girls in the pep club. I had not been in the club prior to my stint as president. Some of the cheerleaders guilted and flattered me into taking the job when they couldn't find anyone else willing to take it. I enjoyed working on the Homecoming float and thought the matching jackets we wore were kind of cool, but was glad when the football season came to an end.

Sitting on the stage of that awards ceremony, I wasn't expecting anything major to come my way, so I was surprised when I received the "Best All-Around Girl" award. They gave me a certificate and little charm, which have been lost in the dust of history. Not lost is the pain I experienced shortly after the applause ended.

I was feeling happy and even a little giddy about my award, until upon exiting the stage I overheard a group of girls, gathered in a tight circle around Carmen the Cheerleader, comforting her and lamenting the injustice of me winning the Best All-Around award, because surely it should have gone to her, the most popular girl in the Ninth Grade. Really, I'm not kidding. This was my life playing out like a scene in a cheerleader vs. the nerd movie.

Part of me thought they were pretty dimwitted for not getting that a Best All-Around award from teachers would be for students who participated in a variety of school activities and got good grades, not for the most popular girl around the locker room. Ironically, they had helped me get it when they chose me to be president of their pep club.

I realize they were probably the original source of a long string of dumb blonde jokes, but their comments stung. They did not see me standing behind them and I quickly ducked out of sight around a corner. It's not like they deliberately set out to hurt me, but my sensitive 15 year-0ld-self imagined this was what "everybody" thought.

I told myself, just forget it, but I walked into my next class, Algebra 1, as my teacher, whom I shall refer to as Mrs. Sour Lemons, was telling the class that not everyone agreed with all of the award choices, but there was nothing to be done about it. I knew from the quick flicker of her beady eyes she was talking about me. Mine was the award that not everyone agreed on. Mine was the award that had generated negative buzzing in the halls.

I remember sitting there feeling miserable, trying not to cry or let my emotions show. Somehow, I got through the class and home without breaking down, but instead of feeling fortunate and recognized, as was intended, thanks to the unkindness of the popular crowd and one teacher, I felt cheated and alone, wishing they had chosen anyone but me.

I haven't written about this before, because I don't like whining, mine or anyone else's. I have mostly happy memories of high school. But, except for a few fellow nerds, I don't miss my classmates. I haven't kept in touch with them. I moved on and out, out of the city, out of the state, out of the country. I attended one high school class reunion, and that was enough for me. Not surprisingly, I learned that Carmen the Cheerleader was between husbands, while I attended with the same man I've now been married to for 37 years. So, there is that.

It isn't easy to be a nerd/geek/dork in high school. Fortunately, it's becoming the new cool. Bill Gates has shown us that being a billionaire makes up for not being able to throw a football or do the splits. So, if you are a nerd, it's okay. Learn a few social skills and remember, you're going to be their boss some day.

If you liked the video, check out Dave and Brian's Website.

If you liked the jewelry, you can purchase it at Badali Jewelry.