Observant little ...

I don't understand the answer, but I may have some ideas on the question...

When I was 13

It was foggy here this morning. I like walking in daytime fog - it muffles sound so that people and objects kind of loom up on you and you feel like you're the only person in the world until they do. The Story Bridge looked very cool this morning - the bottom half was covered in fog, but the very tip on one side was uncovered and the sun was hitting it. I really wish I'd had my camera with me so I could have taken a picture of it. I really wish I had a decent camera again. :o(

I think I like fog so much because it reminds me of my early teenage years. Which segues nicely into the story I've been working on all week. :o)

Last weekend, I watched Suddenly 30. I really enjoyed it. It was fluff, but it was entertaining fluff and good to see Jennifer Garner in a non-serious role.

As the movie ended, I started thinking about where I fit into the teen scene when I was 13yo. In many ways, it was probably one of my happier years over the whole pre-teen to early-teen age. Grades 5 and 6 (10yo and 11yo) were perfectly horrible - I went from being a pretty self-confident kid to one thought everyone disliked me. I was a tomboy, overly bright, and a smart arse who hated my teachers with a passion and I think the feeling was mutual. I ran away from school a number of times and there was talk at the end of grade 6 of me being expelled. Thankfully, my parents talked the headmaster out of it, and I settled down a bit in Grade 7 (12yo) with an exchange teacher who I really liked and who managed to get the best out of me.

Grade 8 (13yo) was the beginning of high school. I was going to a different school from everyone else in my primary school, and (for the first time in my life) a different school from my "perfect" older brother. It was a new start for me, but also a huge challenge since I was quite shy and had trouble meeting new people and making new friends. After going to state schools all through primary, it was also my first experience with a private school (what the English call a public school) and an all-girls school.

While I had trouble complying with the rules, and found some of the schoolwork challenging (eg I didn't know what a verb or a noun were, but I got straight A's in creative writing in English), I basically cruised through that first year. I made friends easily and quickly became the leader of my own little gang. I wasn't exceptionally friendly with the "cool girls", but I played netball and touch football, so I trained with them a lot and we basically got along.

I didn't really fit in to any of the usual groups - I was too rebellious for the "brains", and too brainy for the "rebels" - but I had a best friend for the first time in my life, rather than being good friends with bunch of kids. I thought that having a best friend was the be-all and end-all of "fitting in".

I was what US colleges call "an all-rounder" - I was involved in something every day before school, lunchtimes, and after school. I was in the cross-country team, the gymnastics team, the netball team, the touch football team, the choir, the concert band, the orchestra and I trained with the athletics team (I was pretty good at hurdles, but the top 2 hurdlers in my age group in Queensland were at my school, so I didn't have a snowballs chance in hell of making the team) and played competitive tennis on the weekends (at the school).

Things weren't perfect. Teenage girls are pretty cruel, especially when I had developed physically a little quicker than most of them, didn't have the same background as them (my daddy wasn't a doctor, a lawyer, or a rich farmer), and was far more comfortable with the boys than most of them. A couple of the guys from my primary school went to our brother school and were part of the "cool kids" over there. I wasn't particularly friendly with them, but I did know them and we usually chatted a bit at the school socials.

I was basically happy. I was still pretty awkward, and I could relate to some of the themes from Suddenly 30, but I knew I wasn't cool and didn't really try to be part of that gang. My close friends at the time were all at the same school and I got along pretty well with most of the teachers.

By the time I hit grade 9 (14yo), that had all changed. My best friend had started hanging out a lot with another gang of girls that I really didn't like. My friends at school were split - I was in classes with the brains, but I spent my lunch hours (when not on detention) with the most rebellious kids in school - both groups were outsiders and I wasn't best friends with anyone from either group. I had become way more rebellious and started hanging out with a group outside of my school a lot. Most of them were from one of the local state high schools that we were banned from associating with at school events. I was dating a 17yo guy who used to pick me up from school on his motorbike. I had to drop a lot of my activities because I was in detention so much. My grades dropped to a B or C average, instead of an A average. I started playing bass instead of flute and played in a heavy metal band with guys from the same local state high school we were banned from socialising with. I was generally considered to be a bad influence.

And this all lasted until my parents sent me to boarding school when I was 16yo. But that's a story for another day.

On a completely different note, I took the MIT weblog survey:

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

I can't see the results at the moment, but I suspect I'm about average for a weblogger.

Listening to: Garbage - self titled


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