29 July 2010

"Up in Here!"

My senior year of high school I joined the Spanish Club. I took Spanish all four years of high school, but I never got around to joining the club until the final year when it dawned on me that I really should beef up my extra-curricular activities since I dropped band/color guard that year.

Basically every club designed a new t-shirt every year. My Spanish teacher, Mrs. Taylor, requested in every class that students submit their designs for the t-shirt so that the Spanish Club could vote. There were not very many submissions, and soon Mrs. Taylor began very strongly encouraging us to submit our designs.

The day of the deadline my friend, Shane, and I decided to come up with the most absurd t-shirt designs ever and submit them to Mrs. Taylor. Of course, we did this during AP Biology, also known as the class wherein we held piggy back ride races and played "the color game" and didn't ever learn anything.
(From left to right, front row: Shane, Tayo, Roberto, Natalie. Back Row: Jennifer, Me (Sherry), Ms. Baron,B'Ann, Shauna)

Now, it's important to note that I attended a rather ethnically diverse school. About 40% of the student body were white, 30% were Hispanic, and 30% were black. (This diversity is not clearly displayed in the photo because you are looking at an honors course. That's why there are two Indians, who actually fit into the "other" category and made up less than 1% of the student body.) In high school, I frequently referred to my school as "ghetto." Because seriously.

When you walked down the hall, people shouted out their year of graduation, almost chanting it. "Oh-One! Oh-One! Oh-One!" Words and phrases like "girl, shoot!," "crunk" and "don't hate" were used abundantly - not by me.

First of all, I was white, and I knew that those things were not for me to say. But also because I thought they sounded stupid, and I imagine that even if I hadn't been white, I would not have been saying, "Girl, shoot! Why you gotta be hatin'? This backpack be crunk!"

Which is precisely why I created a Spanish Club t-shirt design that said, "Don't hate! Conjugate!" I found it rather hilarious. (If you know me at all you know that I am more likely to laugh endlessly at my own jokes than anybody else's.) Shane and I also created shirts that said, "Shane Alexander is Awesome!" and "El Club-o Del Spanish-O." At the conclusion of AP Bio, Shane and I rushed upstairs to D-Hall and proudly submitted our t-shirt designs. We didn't have time to wait for Mrs. Taylor's reaction, but we knew she would be amused.

When it came time to vote on the t-shirt designs, Mrs. Taylor (and whoever the other Spanish Club sponsor was) weeded through the various entries to get rid of any inappropriate and completely ridiculous ones. Only, somehow, my "Don't hate! Conjugate!" design remained. And it won.

I had totally forgotten about this until I was looking through my Senior Book and I read about it. I only wish I still had the t-shirt or at least a photo of it.

And just for kicks and giggles, here is a photo of Shane and me sumo wrestling during the senior party at the end of the year. I teased Shane mercilessly, and he occasionally teased me back. I think this photo is really indicative of what our friendship was like.


Jenn said...

Oh boy, what good memories you just brought back with those photos!

P1 Steven said...

Notice how you recognize my senior class '01 as a more vocal of the senior classes. BTW I have a HS yearbook of yours.

Jenny said...

I'm not TELLING what year I graduated...

The Everitts said...

yup. and in 05 when I graduated it was not much different. seriously. ghetto.

Ana said...

Did you go to East High? I meant to ask but forgot?