One of my most boring entries.

It kills me what kids think are “cool”. I think I’ve mentioned this before. But I hung with the cool crowd exactly once in my life and it was totally random. Summer of 1989, between 7th and 8th grade. It was this big summer math program, I want to say for kids from underprivileged schools. The kids from it typically went to high schools like Oak Grove, Andrew Hill, Yerba Buena. Schools you will never see on the Newsweek list. Anyway, my Jr. High was part of the program so I went.

There was a weird mix of kids in the program. Some of them had to go, like they were repeating a class they failed or taking remedial stuff so they could catch up. And then you had the nerds who went to get a head start. I was one of the latter, taking Geometry that summer so I could take Algebra II in 8th grade. What’s the big darn hurry? No clue. But I dunno what else I was gonna do that summer so why not. Jieun tells me current educational theory is against the self-paced progress thing, favoring going into greater depth in a subject rather than moving ahead. But whatever, that’s what I did.

I still remember my teacher that summer. Mrs. Matl0e from Sylvandale. Here’s Sylvandale’s current profile. Fascinating. They have bilingual education in Spanish and Vietnamese. 58% Hispanic, 30% Asian, 5% Filipino, 5% White, 3% Black. Here’s the Jr. High I went to, if you care. It’s actually a pretty good school! And it won jazz awards in 2000! The program didn’t die! Yay! The racial mix looks about the same as it used to be. 46% Hispanic, 22% Asian (mostly Vietnamese), 18% White, 6% Black, 4% Filipino.

Why am I mentioning the school profile? Oh yeah. I dunno, I get defensive sometimes when people say I’m spoiled or whatever, having gone to Bellarmine and Stanford. I dunno, I don’t deny that I’m extremely privileged. It’s just, it wasn’t always that way, and my experience in my formative years was pretty different I think. I dunno, I went to Bell because the high school I would have gone to sucked. So what are you gonna do.

Anyway, this teacher was kind of a math Nazi, which is good I think. Like, she was insistent that “congruent” was pronounced CONgruent, not conGRUent like most people say. No clue if she’s right, I think Mirriam-Webster says both are acceptable, but yeah, Nazi about it. If you said conGRUent she would act as if she didn’t understand you. Hardcore.

So yeah, it was a summer math program, a full day of just math. Hardcore. So. Again, totally random, but for some reason, that summer, on the bus rides to/from, I hung out with the “cool” kids. I actually know exactly what it was. It was this girl C@rl@ Ch@varri@. She was a cool kid but was in band in 7th grade so we knew each other. Since this program took kids from a bunch of different schools all over there were only a handful of people you knew beforehand, and you ended up hanging with the few you knew. This is just on the bus rides. You didn’t really have time to hang out during the day, it was just math math math. So yeah, she wasn’t in my class but I hung out with her and the cool kids in the back of the bus, my first foray ever into the back of the bus.

I’ve said this before but I think there are 2 kinds of cool people. One are people who try to be cool, hang out with the cool crowd, and they’re generally punks. The other are people who are nice and just naturally cool, so they just end up hanging with the cool crowd, it’s not something they try to do. Dunno if that makes sense. But yeah, Carla was the 2nd, she was just a nice girl who got along with everyone and was naturally cool so ended up in the cool crowd.

What I remember about those bus rides was that there was this other guy, forgot his name, but he was the first kind. So on the bus rides, while Carla was there whatever we’d all talk and stuff. But her stop was before ours, so after she left, it was all awkward, because I was a nerd and he wanted nothing to do with me. I dunno, it was just funny, the contrast before and after Carla got off the bus.

So what kills me about that summer is remembering what was cool in those days. Especially music wise. All the cool kids were into these somewhat new groups. New Kids On The Block, who I believe had just come out with their second album, and Milli Vanilli. Uber cool stuff. That just kills me in retrospect. New Kids? Cool? I dunno, it’s just ridiculous.

Another cool thing clothes wise was Z Cavaricci. Also ridiculous. But all the cool kids had them. They were these pants that flared out in the middle and tapered back in. Kinda like MC Hammer wore during the Hammer Time era. That’s what was cool. Absurd.

So yeah, for one summer I was cool. Never before, and never since. No point to the entry. Sucks for you.

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