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High School Memories
Bar Harbor
alexx_kay
My 25th High School Reunion is coming up in a few weeks, and I'm actually going, for once. Last night, I started looking through my old yearbooks to spark memories.

1981, Freshman year.

Huh, that French teacher that I thought was so hot was named "Alicia". Not that she shares anything other than a first name with my eventual wife, but still, amusing.

Little trace of me in this book. I do appear in the Freshman Class group photo. I wasn't sure I found myself in the picture at first. But then I noticed that my hands, though reservedly down at my sides, had split fingers a la the Vulcan salute from star Trek. Yeah, that would be me. Still somewhat repressed/depressed. The new school was better than the old, but of the three friends I had made, two were seniors who were leaving, and the third was enough of a delinquent that he seemed likely to drop out at any time (and eventually did).

1982, Sophmore year.
By the end of this year, I am definitely doing better. I show up in the photo for the Dexter Prize Speaking Contest wearing several nancybuttons and my Dr. Who scarf. This contest was an important step in my development as a storyteller.

In the Sophmore Class photo, I showed off my sophmoric sense of humor and the aggressive weirdness I displayed during that period. My jacket was on backwards, and I had a pencil held up by my glasses, pointing down my nose.

This was also the first year I got into theater, another important step in my perfomance life. Two small roles in "Witness for the Prosecution" -- Acts 1 and 3 I had grey hair, Act 2 I didn't, so there was a quick mid-show shower involved. In the Spring Musical, "Kiss Me Kate", I played Haberdasher -- who is a lot like Chorus, only he has one (1) line. "The hat milady's worship did bespeak," IIRC.

1983, Junior year.
Early in the book is a color photo of me leaning against a wall, scarf and buttons on, bookbag by my feet, reading a copy of _The Illuminoids_. By this year, I was clearly *me*, even if only in larval stage.

This year, I helped found The Adventurers' Guild, an official school club for playing D&D. (My memory is imperfect, and the Yearbook is self-contradictory. In one place it says that I and Jim Lockman founded the club. In another, it says that it was all mssrcrankypants' idea. Regardless, all three of us were definitely founding members.)

In February, I was in the school production of "After the Rain", which was *awesome*! It was extremely challenging for High School students, but I think we pulled it off excellently. The play is a strange postmodern SF sort of thing. Most of it is set on a houseboat containing six people who are, so far as they know, all that is left of humanity after a new Great Flood. They discuss life and philosophy and slowly go mad. Eventually one of them goes messianic, and gets (most of) the others to worship him as a god. Yet all this is actually a play-within-a-play. It's *framed* as a lecture by a member of the dystopian society that descends from these survivors, hundreds of years further on. The 'actors' are all criminals who rebelled against the social order, who have been brainwashed into performing these roles as a kind of therapy. Every so often, the Lecturer will interrupt the action to comment on it, making a loud click with a small device, and thus causing the action on set to 'freeze frame' while he talks. Very dark and complex, and deliciously challenging to work on. One of the high points was the "storm at sea" sequence, where, by the careful application of simple Star Trek bridge-shaking techniques, we created a convincing illusion of motion on a completely still stage.

In June, the Musical was "Little Mary Sunshine", a bit of fluff that bore an amazing resemblance to Dudley Do-Right. This was my first experience with the long-standing tradition of a show that sucks right up until the penultimate rehearsal, but then magically pulls it all together at the eleventh hour. I was in the male chorus of Forest Rangers. "Stout-hearted is the Forest Ranger, he's a scout! He's thoughtful, brave and courteous and kind. He's reverent and grave! He's fearless and he's brave! He's clean in soul and body and mind -- yes sir!" All that while grinning broadly, of course.

In the Dexter Prize Speaking Contest, I came in second with a performance of "The Lacquer Liquor Locker", a delightful nonsense tongue-twister by David McCord. Well, more *three* performances, actually. I thought it was a bit short for competition length, so I actually did it three times. First, slowly and deliberately; second, considerably faster; and finally, at hyperspeed. Learning it that well burned it into my memory, and I can still perform it to this day -- though I may need a bit of warmup to manage the hyperspeed version :-)

By the time I finished looking at the '83 book, it was late. I know I show up a lot more in my senior yearbook, so I left that for another day...

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Jeeez, 25th year reunion. You make me feel OLD! (Yeah, I know, my 50th is coming up in another year...) And in speaking of your development as a storyteller, let's not forget all those days your Mom drove you to school in the morning and you read her part of a book, always carefully timing it so as to end on a cliffhanger of some sort.

I always marveled at your amazing performances in the Dexter Prize Speaking Contest. I always wanted to participate, but never had the guts. And Kiss Me Kate!!! I remember Becky singing Mata Hari and dreamy Doug Phillips running around in leggings. :counts on fingers - Holy shit! I was 15!

Tamson

Wow Alexx! You brought me back!! I can't wait to see your next installment! Loved your Dexter Prize pieces always.

Kathy

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