not on the same wavelength

The Zits cartoon below reminded me of the end of my sophomore year in high school when we were passing yearbooks back and forth.

I was very much involved in the speech program at Hemet High School. I was in the forensics class, which was the advanced public speaking class. We had our speech club, and we attended speech tournaments across Riverside County. However, for reasons not entirely clear, but perhaps related to budget, our teacher, Miss Palvadore, was not brought back for the next year. We were all very upset, and were concerned about the survival of the speech program for the next year.

One member of the speech group was a young woman named Paulette. When she gave me her yearbook to sign, I wrote in earnest about the future of the program, quoting a Top 40 song of the day:

United we stand,
Divided we fall,
and if our backs are ever up against the wall,
we’ll stand together.

When Paulette handed me back my yearbook I was crushed to read:

You are a nice boy.
You have a good summer.

Really? That’s it? I suppose I don’t need to say that the speech program the next year, taken over by the drama instructor, was not the same robust entity it was my sophomore year.

I still have that yearbook. It’s in our great room, just outside my office where I write this. I can’t, however, bring myself to open it up and find Paulette’s words. I’m not willing to open that Pandora’s box.

Some memories are better left undisturbed.

Zits comic



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