Summertime always makes me look back to school. I think the thrill of that “school’s out!” energy, no matter how old I am, will always lead to me sifting through school days. Here are a few of today’s memories from the highlight reel that is my brain:
1. I played a potato latke in my 4th grade play. I vividly remember being in a full-body potato latke costume and when it came time for my lines, I was to walk down stage. However, like I said, it was a full body potato latke costume, which isn’t very walking-friendly. I sort of stiffly jumped – like people in movies do when their legs have been tied by bad guys who have just robbed their bank – and once I hit my mark, I sorta screamed my lines: ”I am a festive holiday meal!!! I can be served with applesauce!!!”
2. I was never very good in Science and Math. The subjects that I excelled in were English, Social Studies and Writing. I was considered satisfactory in Foreign Language Appreciation. FLA! A unique sampling of French, Spanish and German all shoved into one tumultuous year. You’re probably thinking, “Gee Jill, I can see a lot of those writing skills now.” Well, merci! It’s considerate of you to sit up and take notice! Bueno for me! FYI, I won’t be throwing in any German terms here as I always end up feeling guilty when I speak the German.
3. I used to be a huge Michael Jackson fan. I saw the Victory Tour three times, all on school nights. That was a pretty big deal because two of the shows were two hours away. I had a little accident in my pants when I refused to leave my seat in fear of missing ‘Billie Jean’. Justifiable. During one show, when Michael threw his hat (which was always retrieved) into the crowd, I grabbed it along with a few other girls near me and ripped off a little piece of the feather from his fedora! When I got home, I put it in this tiny jewel box. About four years later, I suddenly realized that I had no idea where I had put that jewel box. Idiot.
4. At some point – I want to say around fifth grade but again, I’m terrible with math so it could have been a fortnight ago for all I know – all of the kids in my school had these extra large combs that we’d wear in our back pockets. They had different “clever” sayings on them. One girl’s said “Cute Buns” and some guy had “Female Body Inspector”; mine said “My Dad’s A Dentist”. In retrospect, I’m thinking that particular accessory screamed asexual and expressed an odd interest in my father’s career paired with my ass. But, you should see my teeth.
5. I was my Ninth Grade Class Representative. I’m pretty certain that I won that election as a result of my clever campaign buttons that were shaped like lightbulbs and read: ”A bright idea – Vote for Jill Kushner.” I have fond memories of a student government retreat where a bunch of us were just hanging out, jamming to ’Rock The Casbah’ and I impressed the group with my ability to secure heavy objects beneath my breasts, such as Paul Mitchell hairspray and certain medium-sized text books. During my sophomore year of college, I got a breast reduction, so that trick doesn’t work anymore. Although, I’d guess I could do it with a Kindle.
6. I had a crush on Mr. Harris, my hottie Biology teacher/lacrosse coach, in tenth grade. And it wasn’t just because he let me spray Anais Anais on my formaldehyde-soaked pinned open worm on the wax tray that I was dissecting in his class. Nice guy! Does anyone like the smell of formaldehyde? Insert eleven Law & Order jokes here.
7. My 5th grade boyfriend Jon and I used to pass notes back and forth to each other in class. I remember one that he sent me that read: ”Dim all the lights when I come over after school today.” Bad ass. I dated the kind of dudes that reference Donna Summer lyrics. Respect.
8. Seeing all of the “Back to School” commercials and sales used to depress me so much. I’d get angry at the ads and my mom for wanting to go Back to School shopping two weeks before school started. ”Ugh! Why!? No!” I know. Prolific. And it’s not time for those commercials just yet or those aisles in Rite-Aid to suddenly just be there with folders and protractors and reinforcements (do those little dudes still exist?), so enjoy the summer. BUT, when it’s time, enjoy school, too. Seriously. It’s good stuff.
(illustration credit: Federation Sound)