Highly motivated. I loved school, liked all of my teachers—with one glaring exception, and wasn’t satisfied with any grade below an A. My mom and dad expected me to get good grades, but they didn’t micromanage. I can’t recall my parents ever asking me if I’d done my homework, promising me a reward for good grades, or threatening me with punishment if an assignment wasn’t finished on time. I was supposed to do well in school, so I did. End of story.
I loved English, reading, literature, drama, and art—all the girly stuff. History and social studies left me cold, primarily because the texts were dry and boring. Although I did my best to understand math it was a mystery, especially sine, cosine, tangent, and all those other terms that boggled my mind. Never got them; never used them; don’t care about them now. I might have felt that way about science except for my favorite teacher, Mr. Gunderson, who had a brilliant smile and a terrific sense of humor. One summer he taught an enrichment biology class, and we students chased around after insects, collected plants, dipped nets into goopy streams, and generally had a great time. I did, anyway. During junior year—maybe senior—my friend Jill and I reassembled a chicken skeleton over the course of several weeks. The process was smelly, goopy, and gross, but it was better than sitting through study hall.
I tried to limit the number of times I raised my hand in class, but I wasn’t terribly successful. I know my relentless participation annoyed other students and probably some of my teachers. What can I say? I liked answering questions! I loved reading aloud, especially stories and poetry, and entered speech and drama contests.
For the most part I was respectful to my teachers. I wasn’t disruptive, didn’t pass too many notes, and hid my compulsive doodling under my notebook. Although I frequently daydreamed in class, I mastered the art of appearing to listen even when I wasn’t. One of the few ways I rebelled was by wearing short skirts and wild-colored clothes, which were ridiculously tame compared to today’s styles.
That was me: A studious, respectful, teacher-loving daydreamer. No wonder I didn't have any dates!