Monday quite a few students who went on the trip missed school because they were sick and burned. We had play tryouts that night. Tuesday I discovered that I had landed the role of Mistress Goodkin in a theatrical adaptation of Hawthorne’s Feathertop. Peter got the part of Feathertop. I had 170 lines to memorize.
That week I had one of those rare co-ed phy-ed classes with Mr. Dick. I never really liked phy-ed but I always appreciated Mrs. Barker’s life-time fitness approach. She always divided us into teams that were evenly matched and often lost track of the score. The point was to warm up, play hard, cool down and learn the value of physical activity. Mr. Dick took a different approach with phy-ed. He believed that it was aggression release time. He would pick out two athletic types, have them pick teams so that it became clear to each person what their peers thought of his or her abilities, then you would play a game and the loosing team would be punished with having to do 25 push-ups. He would secretly pick out a person on the penalized team to count, and if that person failed to do all 25 the entire team would have to complete the task again. It made an un-liked class downright detestable.
My class also had to settle on what music we were going to have for our graduation ceremony. Our senior class privileges were being withheld until the administration agreed with our plans. There were only four of us in choir: Jason, Kevin, Jaci and me. No one in our class had been in band since grade school and no one was a soloist in any form. The four of us who did sing agreed to do Michel W. Smith’s Friends arranged for two parts. The band would grudgingly play for our processional and recessional. We presented our plans and were told that we could not graduate with only one vocal piece of music. That there were going to be five speeches was not enough. Finally we got the boys choir to agree sing something.
That year for my birthday I did something I had not done since I was six. I invited boys to my party. I invited all seven of my classmates for sukiyaki dinner. As it turned out that night the school was having a presentation to introduce the taxpayers to a new interactive TV system that would save our school and expand the classes that were offered in the high school. The Operation Contact group was providing babysitting for the event and since Kevin, Jaci and Margo were on that task force and Jason, Peggy and Peter road with them (Terry turned down the invitation) my guests all left right after dinner. Even though life in the parsonage meant no property tax my mom was curious and wanted to go. Dad was at church, so by 7:30 I was home alone on my birthday. This surprisingly did not depress me. It was nice outside (by that I mean the wind was down and the temps were somewhere in the 40s) and the ice in the ditch was melting so I put on my father’s rubber boots and went out in the front yard and used my feet to move around the large thin sheets of ice that were in our ditch. Mom got home at 11:30 and we had tea and she told me all about the presentation.
Sarah came home that weekend bringing Bob with her. Bob was able to change the bit in our drill so I could start to put the hinges on my book case. I spent much of the weekend sanding them in the basement. Sunday night I drove myself to play practice. I was working on memorizing my lines as I drove to town: not a safe practice even in the low traffic environment of North Dakota.