“Started this New Year the way one should: I got up, showered then went to church.”The rest of the day I spent watching TV with Dad and playing Rummikub with Mom.
Tuesday it was back to school. I forgot my purse that had my eyeglasses in it; Mom and Dad dropped them off at the school on their way to Grand Forks. Jr. Becky quit stating for Volleyball so that night I had to keep both the book and the last touch points by myself. Freshmen Jayson kept the score board, it turned out he was also a fan of Robotech, also hanging out was 7th grader David, my Classmate Jason’s little brother who annoyed me greatly by constantly calling me “Ruthie Baby.”
Mr. Torgeson seemed to take great pleasure in teasing students about the opposite sex. “Who was that ugly girl I saw you with?” was not an uncommon question and I was often surprised at how much relationship news students told him. At times it seemed like he had the best picture of what students were couples and who had a crush on whom. I don’t recall the incident but my journal reports that Peggy royally embarrassed herself in front of Mr. Torgeson on the topic of a New Year’s kiss.
In English we started reading Macbeth. That day the US captured Manuel Noriega.By the end of the week I was dealing with a cold. I was also annoyed and amused by the way Miss Kassian placed us for tests. As I wrote it, “She didn’t want me right beside Cory so she moves me a desk up and I announce, ‘Oh good now I can see “Stephanie’s paper perfectly.” Almost everyone went to the Park River Holliday Basketball Tournament so it was a very quiet afternoon in the school. I was amused by the perception of many of my peers that I had spent all my time at home reading classical literature and studying for school.
Friday after taking a test in English I left school feeling too sick to stick around. Saturday I spent most of the day watching cartoons and other TV, Mom and Dad went to Grand Forks and picked up Sarah from the airport.
Sunday I taught Sunday school and there was church and then I went home and spent much of my afternoon re-reading Robotech books. Pastor & Peggy Watkins came for a visit. They arrived just as Sarah was finishing up a two hour phone call to Bob. We had pierogies for dinner. After I spent a long time entertaining little Hannah Watkins by showing her my bead collection. I helped take down Christmas decorations before bed and found that my cold was starting to get worse again.
It seemed like there was always one week in January where, after many sub zero weeks the jet stream would move north and bring up warm air from the gulf and for a few days we would have a most welcome reprieve from winter. The problem was that with ice and snow packed it made everything a very slushy slippery mess, but the ability to step outside and not need hat and gloves more than made up for the muck. On Monday it was over 40 degrees. The roads were very slick. I lost my voice which was annoying since we were finally singing music I liked in chorus.
That night we played Drayton in Volleyball. Peggy officially became a stat again and I was so glad to have her back. We won the game. Volleyball games did not draw many spectators unlike the crowds at a basketball game, but they did have their amusements. A group of guys sat in a single line in end corner of the gym and did the wave, where the bleachers were empty they would point to where the wave would be and then anticipate when it was their turn to stand again. After one round Mr. Dick and two guys from Drayton who were sitting in the corner bleachers by the door would stand up when the arms pointed at them.
Tuesday I got my assignment back from the Institute of Children’s Literature and the deadline for my next assignment, January 30.
Wednesday my classmates all faked having sore throats so they could get out of reading in English. Mrs. Kappel didn’t believe any of us, so even though I could barely speak, I was assigned to read the part of Lady Macbeth which that day constituted more than half of the reading. It got all the way up to 50 outside.
Thursday I had two semester tests including one in Physics. This test lead to yet another conflict with Miss Kassian. Semester tests were limited to the class period. When the period was up so was your time for the test. A few years before Mr. Torgeson had instituted a program in the school called Goal Keepers. The program had the lofty goal of encouraging students to set and meet attainable goals for academic improvement. It was supposed to work like this, each week a student would set a goal for a test or assignment and would speak to the teacher ahead of time. A B average student in math would make a goal of getting an A on their pending math exam and before the test the teacher would sign off on a form stating that the student was aiming for that grade. If they met the grade they would earn a point. After earning five points they would get “Goal Keeper privileges” these included most predominately things like getting dismissed early from class to hang out in the halls or the gym, or before lunch going to lunch early. To keep your privileges you had to try for a point every week. I never participated in the program. First I was an idealist and thought grades were arbitrary and didn’t represent true learning. From my freshman year on I never looked at my report cards. Mom and Dad had a problem with this, but Mom finally reasoned that as long as my grades stayed high enough that State Farm gave us the good student discount she wasn’t going to push the issue. The second reason I didn’t bother with Goal Keepers was that I socially didn’t fit and didn’t see hanging out in the halls as a privilege, but rather an opportunity to feel awkward and invisible. At times I was the only student in the school not getting out of my classes early and most days the cafeteria staff knew that when they saw me they were done serving food for the day. So on that Thursday Miss Kassian let the Goal Keepers start their semester exam early. When I arrived in the classroom they were all taking the test. The term infuriating comes to mind. I was thankful to Mrs. Barker who let me hang out in her office after the period, until I could compose myself. To her credit, while Miss Kassien didn’t agree with me that letting Goal Keepers start the test early constituted an academic advantage that was not a proper privilege in the program, the next day she copied my answers down onto a fresh blank test and gave me ten minutes to go over it. She did however make a point of announcing to the whole class that ultimately I didn’t help my grade any with those ten minutes. I didn’t care, it was the principle that mattered.
Saturday was the Drayton Invitational Volleyball tournament and for the first time in the history of that tourney we stayed in the winning bracket all the way to the championship game. Then we lost to Thompson, ND and since it was a double elimination tournament, we played and lost to them again to take second in the tournament. After the game we headed to Grafton for a pizza party. It was the best we had ever done in a volleyball tournament. I didn’t get home until after 10pm only to find Auntie Norma and Colleen were there. They left Sunday afternoon just as all the cars were pulling into the church parking lot for the annual voters meeting. I spent the afternoon and evening in front of the TV.
lhg edited and approved