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Looking through my High School Senior yearbook
Bar Harbor
alexx_kay
I was friends with one of the major photographers on the Yearbook committee, so I show up a lot in this one, one way and another.

The first shot I recognize, however, is not of me, but of something I helped contribute to. Mr. Hellen, a math teacher and coach of the Math Team (which I was on) was particularly tolerant of student eccentricities. A bunch of us ended up turning one corner of his classroom into a sort of abstract sculpture, with strange things written on the chalkboard, and random objects piled on each other in the corner. An upside-down chair, a unicycle wheel, an abacus, a Gumby doll...

Someone on the yearbook committee also contributed various sketches, and I show up, scarfed and buttoned, with a word balloon from one of my Dexter Prize Speaking Contest entries. The story in question was a satirical piece by Norman Spinrad, "The Age of Invention". I recently came across a copy and reread it for the first time in years. I didn't remember it having such a sterotypically flaming gay character in it. I wonder if I performed him like that at the time, or if I was just too naive to catch the references, or if I chickened out and played him more straight? Memory fails...
ETA: An old classmate on Facebook writes: "...and for your memory, you didn't miss the overtly gay characterization in your Dexter speech senior year; A gutsy move in High School." Yeah, I guess it was. Go Young Me!

The Fall show was a musical for a change: "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown". This was my first and only lead in HS theater, and a very mixed experience. My early history made me well-equipped to empathize with the role of Charlie Brown, and I think I gave a good performance. But inhabiting that character for so many weeks was unpleasant, and detrimental to my mental health. And I performed without my glasses, which was also stressful. For the show, I shaved off my nascent beard, one of only two times I have ever shaved.

The Winter show was "Wait Until Dark". I had but a minor role ("Cop"), but I was proud to be involved at all in such a great production. We had great actors in both lead roles, and the climactic battle in the darkness was truly terrifying.

The Spring musical was "Godspell", and I was in the Chorus. The director said up front: "The only reason to ever do this show is to show off your energy and enthusiasm, so let's do that." We did, and it was pretty good.

My senior photo stood out from those around it. My eyes are very sensitive to light changes, so it proved impossible to take a flash photo of me with my eyes open. They eventually sent me to the photo studio to have it doen with bright ambient light, so I got a more interesting background, and a little extra time to prep. I sat in a big wicker chair (just like the White Guardian in Doctor Who!). I had my scarf, of course, and a Worcester Academy 150th Anniversary button -- upside down :-)

That was a specially-made-up button, with no plastic cover, so it would photograph without glare. I had been involved in the button-making operation, due to my experience with the equipment. Around that time, I would feed my addiction to nancybuttons by working for her during cons, and getting paid in trade :-) Even my quotation was from a nancybutton: "The meek will inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars!"

Looking through the pictures of the other Seniors, I am always amazed at how few of them I actually knew. On the other hand, there were several friends, many 'friendly acquaintances', and few enemies. My best friends were never of 'my' actual year, always older and younger. Which is a big part of why I haven't bothered going to reunions before now.

In the Class Superlatives, I was voted "Most Unforgettable". In those days, I was aggressively weird and non-conformist, so I saw that as a vindication. I guess at the reunion, I'll see if people actually do remember me...

There's a photo of me in the lunchroom, where they caught me in mid-motion of handing a hat to someone else. It looks like I'm holding the hat out and talking to it, so they captioned it "Alex's invisible friend." There's another picture of me on the quad, throwing a floppy frisbee, captioned "Alex Kay-Sportsman of the Year!"

Man, my hair may not yet have been long, but it sure was unruly.

A few pictures of the Cum Laude ceremony, with me, as always, in my scarf. No actual pictures of me at the Graduation Ceremony proper, but I do have a relevant memory. I was wearing my scarf over my robes, and wondering if I was actually going to get away with that. When they called my name, I walked up, and the Headmaster -- didn't immediately hand over the diploma, somewhat panicking me! Instead, he gave me an ironic little bow. My acting instincts (or something) kicked in, and rather than displaying panic, I bowed right back, and he handed me my diploma. Win!

One of the last pictures in the yearbook is me standing next to Ms. Willey's desk, which makes me glad. She was my favorite teacher there (Latin), and a cool enough lady that she often went out to SF movies with us. What tipped me over into deciding to go to this reunion is that she is being inducted into the WA Hall of Fame as part of the ceremony.

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I was wearing my scarf over my robes, [...] Instead, he gave me an ironic little bow.

Possibly because, with academic robes, a stole sometimes denotes some extra bit of rank.


Huh. Never occurred to me, but you may well be right.

That's a pretty good superlative.

No, wait.

That's the Best Superlative Ever!!

...and still quite apt.

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