In the winter quarter of the 8th grade they said we could take Integrated Course 1 AKA “curse 1” but if we did we had to finish the rest of the class in summer school at the high school. But it was freshman level math. This was my 2nd attempt so I was worried since it didn’t go well the 1st time. But I had a different teacher. If I did not I would have to take it a 3rd time. But I decided to take it and say goodbye to anything fun. (including No Doubt music, the Loveline radio show, and late night tv shows) If I remember correctly I didn’t used to do my math homework on Thursday nights to watch the last season of Seinfeld.

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My first day of summer school was on July 6th. My rival decided to drop the class after 4 days. Which made me want to take and finish the class even more. We were more rivals in junior high than in high school. Although I did run into her because our last names started with the same letter. When the school would group the students by grade and last name I would always be stuck with her. 😑

So there was this annoying girl and for the blog lets call her “Fern”. She was one of the most of annoying people in our grade. It’s really hard to describe her if you did not have the pleasure of knowing her. (and if somebody who happened to know her back then and reads this will probably know who I’m talking about) She was very “out there”, and she had poor social skills. I think she thought we were friends or something. I did try to befriend her, but she was just too annoying. I don’t like to tell people they are annoying to their face because I don’t like when it happens to me. So I avoided her as best I could for 6 years. People should not have been so mean to you, but you needed to cool it girl! She would play with and pet people’s hair. It was very hard to escape her when she would see you and stand near you she would tightly grab your arm. She was always drawing attention to herself in some way. By either singing loudly randomly for no reason, randomly sexy dancing, and telling people about her breasts. When she would get excited she would make high pitched squealing noises. She also did this weird “sexy dance”. It’s hard to describe with words it was something that had to be seen to be believed. Many of her “sexy faces” looked like somebody in pain making a duck face. After being around her for a while I wanted to draw even less attention to myself. Usually I do try to act low key, or at least I try to be. Even if you were standing near her and she was being annoying you’d get weird looks too from the other people around you who were annoyed by her. Honestly I wonder what she grew up to be like as an adult? 🤔

The lunches they served were horrible, but they were free for anybody (for the summer lunch program) so my mom told me to eat them. I was at the school anyway. I’d go to class when it was over I’d eat lunch there and then go home. They mostly served cold food like sandwiches. I remember it was the first time in a long time I ate a sandwich crust. The only reason I did was because I didn’t want the other girls I was eating lunch with to think I was being wasteful with food. Now I eat sandwiches with the crust all the time. Although one time I think I ate a chicken empanada.

I used to walk home through this corridor shortcut where usually there would be goth teens there hanging out smoking clove cigarettes. But in the summer they were not there. When I would walk home I would end up meeting people. It was very strange. They were other teenagers and nothing bad happened to me.

I remember Fern brought her own personal fan.

My friend, Kelly who was taking the class with me was scared of all the tall people? I didn’t really care. I figured most of the people at summer school were troublemakers who had to make up classes they failed. Or just people who failed their classes. I didn’t really feel scared taking a summer school class at the high school. I figured I was going to be there in a few months attending high school anyway. There were a lot of punk looking people there. I didn’t mind most of this stuff at all. I was more terrified of the math. I think I was more scared about the academic side of high school than the people who were attending it. Well I was worried about how cool I looked to the other students. (which is something I still struggle with today)

A trio of girls wanted to start a singing group this was when acts like All Saints and the Spice Girls were popular. At first there were only 3 members Fern and 2 other girls. I thought it was more practical to start a ska band. The problem with Fern was that she would sing at the other members. (but this was how she was all the time she would sing at you singing group or not that’s just how she was) All they ever did was write love songs. Fern wrote 5 songs and they were so her with scary themes.

I realized there were pages and pages of entries about that girl group. I guess I liked the drama it brought. After they formed that group there is very little of me writing about the actual math class and the assignments and such.

I didn’t want to join because of Fern. But I didn’t want to outright say that to avoid conflict. It’s why I made that strange demand for the tweed dress. I’m not exactly sure what my role was or what I was providing for them.  I was not a performing member. I didn’t sing. A business aspect? I think I was their manager or something; with my abbreviated knowledge of the music industry from reading books and magazines about musicians. I did help by holding everybody’s bag while they took group photos. They liked the idea of having a photoshoot.

Eventually they recruited Kelly and another girl. Which made the member total to 5. One week one of those “talent agencies” sent junk mail about a talent search or something like that. They were sent out to like everybody under 18 in the area. It was telling you to go to some big hotel and audition for this talent agency. The girls wanted to sing as a group at their audition. Some of the girls got very nervous and sick over this. Eventually they decided not to go. I’m not exactly sure what they thought that junk mail was. Their big break?

Every time they would try and record a song at somebody’s house Fern would talk about her breasts. Or she would sing so loudly over the other members. I’m not really sure I was not there to witness it. I was getting second hand information from other members complaining about it to me. Kelly told me 30% of their songs were good. Fern wrote a song about Sailor Moon. Fern said their album was going to sell 8 million. I was curious to hear what they recorded.

Two of the girls quit the group after 2 weeks, and they eventually disbanded before summer school was over.

Fern told me she wrote a song called “Die” she said it was a heavy metal song and that it would sell in Germany and France. I remember the song making no sense. Fern told me she wrote songs everyday. So prolific!

When I look back on it; their story sort of reminds me of the group Fingerbang from South Park.

Besides the singing group I was also preoccupied with my virtual dog. The one who lived over 160 days had died a while ago. The pets that succeeded it were short lived. I think that most of these other pets lived was about 20 days. They had really silly names. I liked to name them after musicians. The other kids would make a big deal when these other short lived dogs died. I was too embarrassed to take my virtual dog with me when I started my freshman year.

My obsession for Squirrel Nut Zippers candy was still going strong.

I did say I was doing well on the quizzes, and the Kelly’s mom was paying her to go to summer school. I passed with a “B” (88%) so I was happy. I think that was the highest math grade I ever got in high school.

For the last day of class we watched the movie Titanic. It was the first time I ever watched the movie. I thought the movie was long and boring. All the other girls were watching it crying. I didn’t cry. I felt like Elaine from Seinfeld when she was bored by watching The English Patient. But I did get the references from that Titanic Newsradio episode. I got sick because I ate too much; I had 3 donuts, gummi bears, peanuts, and Cheetos.

It felt like summer school was so long, but it only seemed to last 3 weeks.

There were also many references to a summer list. I’m not really sure what that was.