With the CHS class of 2015 now officially graduated and into the world I have been left reflecting on some of my high school days and how drastically the world can change in 11 years.
I vividly recall some high school memories. Ironically, none of those come from inside the classroom. I remember getting my first car when I turned 16 – an older-model Pontiac Firebird. It was equipped with a CD player (fancy), T-tops and a UT orange racing stripe on the hood. I was destined for stardom. As if that were not enough, I added some light-up dice around the mirror, an automatic push-button start and the ultimate in cool – a blacklight that actually changed with the beat of the music.
Put all of that together and burn some gas cruising “the strip” and I was destined to pick up some ladies and headed straight for induction in the “cool kids” club.
Just last week I was in my Nissan Murano with Gracie in the backseat and the windows down, stopped at a red light with Taylor Swift’s “Shake it off” blaring loud enough for all around me to hear. Things have changed just a little bit. Gracie was singing. I was singing. No light-up dice. No blacklights. No racing stripes. Noticeable dent in the front where I hit a deer, though.
I plan to submit something in writing to the folks over at Webster’s to have a sidebar near the definition of “love.” Blasting Taylor Swift and dancing with the windows down to appease your 8-year old is love.
Over the past 11 years I thought I was losing “cool points” day by day. But I now know that thought is about as stupid as light-up dice around my mirror. All I’m losing day-by-day is my physique, which on a scale of 1-10 is around negative 25.
All I had to do to “pick up a girl” was stop trying so hard. I just needed to shed what I thought was cool in high school for my Mr. Mom badge. Doing that didn’t get me just any girl, but the girl I sat behind in Algebra 2 class all those years ago and didn’t think I could get because I wasn’t cool enough. How ironic.
It is interesting to think back to the high school days and what we thought was “cool” or socially accepted. Then fast forward to where we are now and understand just how stupid we were despite earning a diploma saying that we were done with public education.
The glory days are still ahead.
-Josh Peterson is the editor of the Manchester Times. He is a Tennessee Press Association award-winning writer and photographer. His column, “From the editor’s desk” won TPA first-place honors for best personal humor column. He can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 931-728-7577 ext. 105. Click here to follow him on Twitter @joshpeterson29