I spent the first two year of high school at Westland High in Columbus Ohio. Those years were somewhat average and most of the time I felt board, even though I was on the track team. One of the more unusual things that occurred was that a classmate, who I had talked with many times and who sat by me in a few classes murdered his parents! I spent the rest if high school at Grove City High School, after moving there in my junior year. My senior year was a little less exciting (which I didn’t mind). The co-op program that I was involved with allowed me to work outside of my high school for credit.
During my freshman year I was approached by a track coach. His name was Mr. Lamb. I couldn’t help but remember his name by the way a lamb sounded. Mr. Lamb had noticed while I was running for exercise that I took long strides and moved pretty fast, so he asked me if I would like to join the track team. I had never been involved in sports or asked to join a team in my life, so I jumped at the opportunity. One thing my coach liked about me was that I didn’t require a lot of practice running. I could, as the Nike commercial says, “Just do it” and I did.
I won numerous first place awards place and was even interviewed by the local newspaper for having the most wins with the least amount of running time. During my sophomore year things certainly got a lot more exciting. A classmate that I had contact with and had sat next to me in class also lived a block away from my house decided to sneak up behind his mother and shoot her in the back of the head while she stood in the kitchen. Then he dragged his mother’s body to the garage and hid to wait for his dad to come home and then he put a bullet right through his father’s eye!
I remember watching TV after school when the program was interrupted by a news bulletin. The newscaster had said a 17 year old student from Columbus, Ohio had murdered his parents. I was horrified to hear the name of my classmate Brad Porter when they gave details about the suspect. Returning to school the next day was a bit eerie, because there sat Brad’s empty desk right next to mine. I was shocked and scared. I remember being afraid to walk around my block and seeing Brad hiding in his garage. Things were quieter my junior year, but I did have some big adjustments to make.
Because of a family situation, I was forced to move to Grove City, Ohio and live with my mother. When I transitioned to Grove City High, I had to say goodbye to all my friends, classmates and teachers and start all over again socially. This was difficult for me because I quickly get comfortable in a situation and almost think it’s never going to change. Then, when change does occur, I have to reshape my thinking to fit the new change. The move to Grove Citywas awkward at first; The students were generally better off, so more of them had cars.
It seemed like everyone drove or owned a car but this didn’t bother me much – I thought to myself “Heck, I use to be on the track team! What do I need a silly car for? ” The rich kids looked down on everyone that happened to be out of style with them. The school itself was bigger too, about twice the size of Westland. It had two levels but no elevators, just steps that I had to climb every morning to get to all of my classes. Finally I made it to my senior year and things were looking bright this last year of high school.
Grove City offered a co-op program that allowed students to work outside of the high school and still earn credits toward graduation. I was the first to sign up. The next day I had my schedule to report to McDonalds and to work five hours every day then was done by 2pm, then that I had all the time in the world to do nothing which is the favorite thing for any teenager suffering from “senioritis”. The softer schedule and time away from school was a welcome relief from the rigorous track schedule my freshman year, and a way to start forgetting the horrible drama from the next.
All in all High School hadn’t been so bad. I had done well in my freshman year on the track team. My sophomore year had some drama. My junior year brought a move and my Senior year brought relief. Almost everyone has fond memories of high school, and even though my time was probably more traumatic than most, I’m no exception. The experiences from those four years exposed me to “real life” in a very harsh way, but the coping skills I developed and the growing up that I did prepared me well to face what lie ahead, I wouldn’t change a thing.