Monday, May 16, 2005

everlong

"And I wonder
When I sing along with you
If everything could ever feel this real forever
If anything could ever be this good again"


I have a choice.

I can either write a mushy, emotional, possibly heart-wrenching account of my life up to this point, looking back with astonishing aplomb and sensitivity, or I can write a song review.

As tempting as it is, I'll go with the first one.

Note: to get the proper tone for this little missive, you might want to crank up some early Foo Fighters, because we're about to get real emo real quick.

I am an academic success in the government sheep factory known as high school.

However, I'm tempted to say that I'm not much of a success on any other front.

But I won't, because looking back in anger won't do anyone any good, or so says Noel Gallagher.

I have a deep and abiding respect for most of you, at least the ones that read this. Others, not so much, but we'll get to them later if there's time.

The most fun I ever had in high school was producing a cover version of "Everlong" by the Foo Fighters. Steve Armour sang and played guitar, I ran the effects board and played bass. I spent a week getting the right mix on it (stereo, with a slow pulsing switch between channels so that, when you wore headphones, it literally made your head spin). I put a distortion effect that crushed the frequencies of Steve's acoustic into a smooth silky sheet of fuzz. I added three different echoes, one for each instrument and an echo plus reverb on Steve's voice, which he insisted be put so low in the mix that it can barely be heard.

This was in the class of the best teacher I ever had, Randy Card. He was a bit of a drunk his last year there. He didn't get his contract renewed because of it. But he, more than any teacher I've had in school, taught me what it was to be a man. He let my classes teach themselves, make mistakes, and generally let us think for ourselves.

He spent half of each class lecturing, not on technology, but on what caught his attention that day. One day we'd be discussing the structural integrity of the steel in one of the Taipei towers, the next we'd discuss the concept of God to the American Indians. We learned a lot about religion, philosophy, and character. He taught us semi-useful stuff, like how to steal gas from a filling station without getting caught, or how to get past the school firewall, but he also taught us how to respect everyone regardless of where they came from or how they grew up. He taught us how to live with one another, because we're in it for the long haul.

By the way, I know I'm rambling at this point, but let an old fool have his stories.

My favorite memories from these years, outside of the walls of WBHS, were spent riding on a bus from the school to wherever our AB team was playing, almost every Monday from September to November. It wasn't the work, because I could've done it blindfolded (which I think I may have done a few times). It was the people.

People like Jon-Boy, who was like the hyperactive little brother I never wanted. Joey, who was like the little brother I actually did want. Spencer, who was too excited for his own good most days. Jim, who despite his math/computer skills, was borderline retarded in anything not involving numbers. The first wave, people like Page, who put me in my place enough times to keep me humble, and let me do the same enough to keep the score even. Abshir, who made TJ George look downright slow. Cedric, who still holds the record for most times trash-canned by an underclassman.

And, most memorably, Kate, who is responsible for making me what I am today, whether she realizes it or not, for better or for worse.

This year, I got really close to Ryan (Rhino) Adkins, Adam (itsy bitsy Pittsy) Pitts, Vince (Mad Dog) Millucci, and even little TJ (no shavey shavey) George. I'm probably better off with them than without them. I also got to know Twiggs better, plus a few underclassmen who hopefully remember some of what I tried to teach them.

That's really the story of my high school years: I'm better off with them than without them, and I hope that somebody remembers what I've tried to pass on to them.

This has gone on way too long, but it only took me twenty minutes. If I could write this quickly normally, I'd have skipped a few all-night Lit workouts.

In closing, remember me not as I am, but as I was.

Or some shit like that.

4 Comments:

Blogger Twiggy said...

Thank you, Moley. You let my tears come...finally! =(...and =)

9:35 PM

 
Blogger Kate said...

I'm a little scared that I had that much of am impact on you...but okay. Incidentally, Card chose not to come back, he was offered his job again. I have the inside info on that, so ha. If he wanted to make my mom to be the bad guy that was his choice, but the truth is out there (X-Files, gah I'm a nerd.)

11:15 PM

 
Blogger Ashley B. said...

Dude, I was on the AB bus too...
Also, the Foo Fighters are not emo. Oh, yeah, I don't know if you know this but Liam is the lead singer of Oasis, not Noel.

2:55 PM

 
Blogger Joey said...

Ah, so heart-felt. Tears almost came to my eyes. Now I've got to write something....meh, I'll probably do it tomorrow. Ha Ha!

1:33 PM

 

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