Monday, April 16, 2012

Blog #25: School Time

I'm taking a stroll down memory lane. this time I am discussing my Grad back in 1998. Hard to believe it has been 14 years since I was in school. Wow where has time gone?

The Fort Assiniboine School (picture from the late 90's-early 2000's)

Grad 1998
I graduated from Fort Assiniboine High School in 1998, but I almost didn't make it! It wasn't that I was dumb I was just lazy when it came to school work. Where I was lacking was in the science and math departments. In the first semester of grade 12 I failed Biology 20 so I had to drop down to science 24 so I could get my science credits for my diploma. I hated math so much that I waited till the last semester to take math 13 and 24 by correspondence. I'm just one of those guys who has to wait till the last minute to finish my tasks, I do better under pressure.
However by mid April I was called into Mr. Hardcastle's office, he was the Principal.
"Chris I have received several complaints by some in your Grad class that you might not meet the grad criteria and deadlines to participate in ceremonies." he informed me. I suspected who was behind these "complaints".
"No need to worry, I'll have everything complete by the end of June" I told him.
"How far are you with the math?"
"Oh I'm about half done both courses" which was a total lie. I had 2 units done in math 13 and 1 done in math 24.
"Good, bring them in tomorrow and we'll send them away for grading. If you are passing both courses I'll have no problem with you participating in grad ceremonies"
"OK. Thank you" and I left his office freaking out, I was so screwed!!! So I did the only thing I could think of...I payed my little sister to help me do my math units. She was only in grade 8 at the time but she was smart and ready to help for $15.00 per unit completed. So that night my little sis and I worked into the wee hours completing my math units required. I handed them in the next day and I got the green light for grad ceremonies.
My Mom and Dad always believed in me that I would graduate even when others in my class said I wouldn't make it. I had 2 math finals to write after our graduation ceremony (I like to put math off cause I hate math) and in mid June certain members of my class went to Mr. Hardcastle and complained again about me participating in ceremonies. They felt I wouldn't pass both my math finals, so they didn't want me going through Grad ceremonies. I was a little ticked off because some of them still had diploma exams to write and who was to say they would pass those? For some reason my school work was brought into question, but I passed all my finals and received my diploma at the end of August. I found out after that certain others didn't get their diploma's and they also participated in Grad but they were never called into question...but oh well I like being the underdog. Our Principal Mr Hardcastle was a great guy and he too knew I could do it and let me participate in Grad.
Uncle Ron & Aunt Rita, Aunt Betty, Barb, Grandma Yvonne, Granny Lockhart, Aunt Margaret, Aunt Elaine & Uncle Glen, Cousins Lenny and Irene (with her then new boyfriend Colin) were there that day for me. It was one of the greatest days of my life!. Our MC Mr.Tisdale told a great story about me from my Uncle Gord: I guess when I was very young about 3 years old I was out to lunch with my Uncle and I had to go to the bathroom. Uncle asked me if I needed help and I said I didn't. Apparently I did need the help and I opened the men's bathroom door after doing my business and with my pants down at my ankles and said "Uncle Junior...Can you help me!"
My buddy Clayton also did a poem for his classmates, he truly is a gifted poet. I remember my lines in Claytons poem:
Chris, the friendly giant,
Parties through the night,
A liquor bottle in each hand
You know he'll be all right!!
My Grad escort was the beautiful Brandy Lagace. I have been informed since then by several people that I had the best looking Grad escort, but I knew that that day. I actually had a hard time finding an escort for Grad because there is not alot of people to chose from in a small town. Originally my Grad escort was Gynni Lehman who was going to another school at the time but moved back to the Fort in the second semester. She was escorted into the ceremonies by my cousin Brian, whom she was dating at the time so I needed a new escort. But Brandy is my cousin Lenny's cousin and my sisters friend so I was able to ask her and she agreed and I couldn't have asked for a more perfect Grad escort, Thank you again Brandy!
The food at the Grad ceremony supper kicked ass!! We had all the good stuff including perogies...I'm getting hungry just thinking about it! My Mom gave the speech from the parents and she did a great job. I did the thank you to Mr Wold who was our guest speaker. He's a great man and I still see him from time to time here in Barrhead. I just found out recently that Mr. Millar just lives down the street from me. It is now ironic because most of my grad gifts consisted of a microwave, coffee maker, plates, etc...all the things I would need when I went to college. College never happened....but that's OK. I have made a good life for myself without it.
The only real shitty thing about our grad was the party, it just plain sucked. There was no parents there, it was in the middle of nowhere and it was a small turn out of people. Lenny graduated a year later and they actually had a social dance with a toonie bar which kicked ass and that is what we should have had! I had a blast at Lenny's grad dance, ours needed to be so much better than what it was.
Also that year in Fairview Alberta my wife, Crystal Oliver also graduated from high school. I've seen pics from her grad and she looked amazing in her dress, wish I had known her back then, but I had no idea where Fairviewwas back then. One strange connection Crystal and I did have back then was my cousin Irene's then boyfriend (now husband) Colin. He had previously lived in Fairview and was Crystal's neighbor and friend! It is a small world after all!!
Now its 14 years later and all is well. I've kept in touch with most of my classmates and those I don't see are my friends on Facebook. We missed our 10 year anniversary reunion, I started a group for our Grad on Facebookalmost 5 years ago and we had started planning a reunion. But I got busy with working overtime and we missed our 10 year, maybe we'll have something planned by our 15th anniversary.
And that is all folks!
- Chris

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