Friday, October 4, 2019

Skip That: Secret Subject Swap

Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 6 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.

Secret Subject Swap, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

My subject is: Did you love high school? Hate it? If you could go back and change something, would you? What and why?
It was submitted by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade.

I didn't love high school, didn't hate it either, although there were moments of each. The fun moments I remember with a smile. The cringe worthy times I try really hard (still) to forget. 

I didn't really find my tribe during those days. I had friends, but I fitted into and out of different groups, never really feeling that any one of them were mine. In fact, of my three closest friends from my high school days, two of them went to the other two high schools in town. It's hard when you (later in life) move halfway across the country, but one of those friends, Mark, I stayed friends with until just a few years ago when we lost touch. Another, Billy, I'd lost touch with many years ago but he found me through my sister on FB and we're now friends there and talk on the phone now and then. The third, Laurie, I've stayed friends with since the day we met. We're opposites, Laurie and I, but I adore her. 

The high school years were tough ones for me. Would I go back and change anything? In retrospect I have to say that I didn't have the maturity to take advantage of what was available to me. I wish I had been more disciplined, willing to assess what subjects interested me or what talents I might possess. Although I had gotten some good feedback from teachers about my writing and did originally plan on majoring in journalism in college. But I was spoiled and rebellious. Very rebellious. My parents were at this point divorced, my clothing was . . . well . . . indicative of the times and my mood (that's as good a way to put it as any) and my diet were frequently dictated by the level of my munchies, usually trending towards coffee and sweets.

Espresso Chip Irish Cream Muffins, have your coffee and eat it too. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #breakfast

Espresso Chip Irish Cream Muffins
Espresso Chip Irish Cream Muffins, have your coffee and eat it too. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #breakfast

The day I got my driver's license, my dad had a convertible waiting for me in the driveway. Probably because he'd seen me drive and didn't want me borrowing his car. Either way, that car was my freedom. I had been thrilled not to have to ride the school bus ever since the day, freshman year, when I smoked a cigarette at the back of the bus with some friends and all the older boys in the neighborhood stopped my mom on her way home to tell her. As poorly as that went, all I can say is, good thing it was only a cigarette.

Like with friends, I jumped into this and that (in activities and in persona), dabbled in this and that, never really planting my feet into anything. Joined the boys' track team with a friend, quit the same day, worked on the senior yearbook for a short time. Nothing was serious or based on any dream for the future, I was all about me.

When it came to my education, I did as little as I possibly could to get by, skipped classes often, put as little effort as I could into school work, and lived by the motto "fake it till you make it." How I got good grades and was accepted to multiple colleges, I still don't know. What I do know is that my mom bribed no one. 

And I must have done something right as I neither ended up pregnant nor have I ever been arrested.

I will say this, and it probably says a lot, I am Facebook friends with my high school principal. I doubt there are many people who can say that, but all these years later and I still, as I did then, like and respect the guy. Despite the way I used him.

As I said, I skipped school a lot. Well, more like I skipped classes a lot but every now and then I'd skip a day. I loved grabbing a friend and heading out for a snack, a ride, or even sometimes in the spring, a day on Cape Cod. How did I do this without getting in trouble? I had a system. First, skip full days only a few times a semester. The number of absences on those report cards had to be low enough that Mom wouldn't look at it and know it didn't look right. I learned this the hard way when she once questioned the number and I had to explain the whole (made up) computer glitch in the attendance system. Phew. 

When it came to skipping classes, mostly, coincidentally, when there was a test or a project due, I would simply come up with a problem. Just as the class started, I'd go to the principal's office with an issue. Al cared about the students, all of us, and not just in terms of our academics. I could go talk to him about anything. And I did, real or imagined. After about 10 minutes I'd thank him, he'd give me a "late pass" to give to my teacher so I wouldn't get in trouble, I'd get lost until 5 minutes before the class period ended, arrive to class with the pass and abracadabra, passed "go" and collected my $200.

See, I did learn something in high school after all. And I bet if I asked Al now, he'd tell me that he was on to me all along.   

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Espresso Chip Irish Cream Muffins

Printable Recipe

1/2 cup Irish Cream flavored baking chips
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
2/3 cup coffee flavored yogurt
1/4 cup Irish Cream liqueur
1/2 cup milk
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Espresso flavored baking chips

1 cup powdered sugar
2 TBSP Irish Cream liqueur

*Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place muffin cups in 12 cup tin or spray with non-stick spray.
*Finely chop (to crumb like texture) the Irish Cream baking chips in a food processor. 
*Whisk the vegetable oil with both sugars until smooth. Whisk in the egg, yogurt, 1/4 cup of the Irish Cream liqueur and the milk.
*In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in the chopped Irish Cream baking chips.
*Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add the espresso baking chips and gently stir until just blended. 
*Divide the muffin mixture into the muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch. Cool in the muffin pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
*Once cooled completely, whisk together the powdered sugar with the remaining 2 TBSP Irish Cream liqueur. Drizzle over the tops of the muffins.


  1. I LOVED high school. I got good grades, was very involved in school activities, had a wide variety of friends. Those years flew by too quickly. The only thing I might change now, looking back, would have been to be more sensitive to and inclusive of some of the kids who struggled with both academics and social skills back then. I didn't realize that not everybody else was having as much fun as I was, and that makes me sad that they were missing out.

    1. Sounds like you already had a good head on your shoulders during those years.

  2. You rebel, you.
    Oh, my. High school. I really just sort of coasted through. Not causing trouble, but not making myself heard (or seen) either. I was the invisible one in the back with her nose in a book. I had friends, good friends who stayed with me until graduation, when I dropped them all in favour of my new experiences. (Have I mentioned that I was an awful friend? Out of sight out of mind could have been penned just for me. I cared about them, but never thought to pick up a phone. Sigh.) I haven't hung onto anyone from those days. And it makes me sad. I've tried to reconnect and we seem to do well for a few days, then we drift apart again. See? Awful friend. If I could go back to high school with what I know now and the courage and confidence I have now, it would be a totally different experience for me.

    1. I don't find you to be an awful friend at all, in fact I value our friendship and am glad blogging gave us a chance to "meet".

  3. I was not a fan of high school...always wanting to be a cool kid but always on the outside. Great write-up.

  4. I was not a fan of school period and definitely would not go back. I was acquaintances with a lot but only a few friends. I was a wall flower, a follower, slick and lazy. Those things I would change.
    Now WHERE did you get espresso chips??? I need those!

    1. I'm in and out of so many stores, I've been looking for those espresso chips, I'll let you know when I find them again.

  5. Fascinating muffins (have never seen expresso baking chips, will have to look at them). High school was a mixed bag. I went to a specialized high school and it was partially to escape my local high school, which by then (let's be honest) was a high crime infested dump (and was since closed because of what it had become - it wasn't always that way) so thankful I could escape it but I never did fit in with many of the students. My principal has been dead for 22 years. Enjoyed your write up. I was more the kid who way underperformed academically. My attitude was far from good but it was an introverted sullen. But I didn't end up pregnant or arrested either, not that I did anything that would have resulted in either outcome. Alana

    1. Yay for those of us who didn't end up arrested or pregnant.

  6. The principal knew, and you were the kind of kid i wanted to be but was too scared.

  7. I don't know if I would change anything from Highschool. I took so many risks and it really helped me throughout my life:theater, choir , basketball, dance team, lots of social circles.. Maybe I'd change one or two things in college that would have helped me. Love this post.

    1. I think that no matter what we did in high school, it played a role in sculpting all of us.

  8. Sounds about like my high school experience. I was terrible and I'm not sure how my mom survived it all! (Rena)

  9. Computer glitch, huh ;-)
    If there is a connection between mood and food cravings, and if coffee and sweets are indicative of being a high school student, then I still am one!
    Sounds like all in all you had an OK time, spending days at Cape Code and stuff!

  10. I wrote about it on my own blog, but I had someone reach out selfishly to apologize for "not celebrating my bravery" in high school when I came out. he was a friend, and his apology was maybe a tenth of what he actually put me through. I'd gone through a lot by then, and being able to come out and be brave was a big thing for me just to have someone I trusted make me more terrified all over again of people I trusted. That says about all of my high school experience. it wasn't really a good time. I did a whole lot of rebeling, too, but that had a lot to do with how bad things had been at home and continued to be until I moved out and made it on my own.

    1. I'm glad he apologized but I do understand that it doesn't change anything, make those days any easier or less painful back then. I know your scars from those days remain.


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