Russ Posten, neighbor and close family friend, entered the breakfast room of my house for the interview, happy and positive, true to his nature. Sitting down, eager to begin, he gave me a brief over-view of his life. He lived in California until fifth of sixth grade, when he moved to Spokane, Washington. He started off at Jefferson Elementary, “was poured into Sacajawea Middle School, and dumped into Lewis and Clark. ” In elementary and middle school he reported being socially awkward, but for Posten, high school was a time of social prosper.
While these four years were a lot of fun, they were also very trying and life-defining. During the high school years, Russ was a social butterfly. Though many factors had an effect on him, he feels that the social set which he belonged to was very important. “I wasn’t a jock, and I wasn’t a popular kid. […] My set was not singular. ” Posten and a few close friends were liked by everyone, and were always busy. He estimates that he dated twenty to thirty girls during high school. His current friendships are very diverse. A lot of my friends are very diverse- some die-hard redneck idiots—why am I friends with these people? But they all have redeeming qualities. ” We both chuckle, and Russ agrees to a banana-chocolate chip muffin, just out of the oven. He casually added that not having a clique helped to formulate the interactions he has with others today. For Russ, sophomore year was extremely life shaping, due to the death of two close friends. Andrea Richards, a close friend who was dating a buddy, committed suicide.
On Russ’ seventeenth birthday, “She tried to take an entire bottle of Advil, and by the time she realized what she had done, she didn’t want to die, but it was too late. ”At this point, Russ’ tone changes dramatically, as he shifts uncomfortably in his seat “There was a huge ordeal; they were trying to save her. It was very traumatic. ” Within six months of Andrea’s death, a close friend, Chip, also died. These experiences continue to affect Russ. “I guess for me, it made me very pragmatic in life, and steered me towards certain things, like my religion [He is Buddhist].
This is because I saw a lot of death in high school. ” Noting that his favorite part of high school was the social aspect, Posten admits that he “honestly hated high school”. His least favorite part was thinking that, “the whole educational process was a joke. ” In elaboration, Russ told me that he took college much more seriously because he genuinely cared about what he was studying. Wishing he had been a bit more studious, Posten has another major regret: lack of school-sport involvement.
Russ recollects, with mock-shame, “The baseball team drafted me as a pitcher, but I couldn’t play if I didn’t cut my hair. And I didn’t cut my hair. ” All most twenty years later, he still finds himself wondering what might have come of it, had he joined the team. Posten needs to pick up his daughter, who is a third-grader at Jefferson, and I need to leave for ballet. As he walks out the door, Russ half-jokingly adds that if my English teacher ever need a guest speaker, 1992’s ASB president is always available.