So my brother went to Farrell today for his last day ever to pick up his diploma, report card, and yearbook and, when he got home, he asked me if I knew where my diploma was. I said I knew where it was and went into our room. I dug into my drawer and pulled out a manila envelope containing my diploma, my final high school report card, and a bunch of small things from my graduation. My brother and I took the exact same classes as seniors except for one. I took French 4 and he took Speech, a new bullshit elective. We immediately started comparing report cards and I thought to myself “Wow, I never want to lose this report card or anything in this envelope.”
The first thing I saw on my report card was AP Chemistry. I laughed when I saw those grades. I could’ve sworn I had like a 77 average at one point but I looked and saw that I managed to keep above an 80 average all four quarters in that class thanks to the AP curve. Man, that class was brutal. But the teacher…well, the teacher was a whole other story. He can only be described with one word: genius. I didn’t learn too much chemistry but I did learn a shitload of other cool stuff like the one chemical that is common in every shampoo. Lauryl sulfate…look it up on the bottle, it’s there. It’s the cleaning agent that cleans your hair. He was truly an amazing teacher. Totally fucked up on the AP exam but I think it was worth it. My brother and I got the same exact midterm grade; 80. That midterm was pure torture, there was no way I got an 80 on it. But that’s what it said on my report card so I wasn’t complaining.
Then I saw my AP Calc and AP English grades. I didn’t do shit in calculus and I still managed to pull straight 95’s all four quarters. How? Everybody sucked nuts in that class so my teacher gave us a sick AP curve. It was weird how it worked but it saved my ass. My brother also did surprisingly well in that class. I remember he would tell me how he would get annihilated on tests and then still end up with a 90+ average. That, my friends, is one of the many wonders of AP classes at Monsignor Farrell High School. AP English I remember doing God awful my first quarter. I had an 81 average because I would walk in to class on multiple occasions and hear “Okay, take out a piece of looseleaf” and my heart would sink into my balls because I didn’t read a damn thing the night before. There were a couple of times where I’d just wing quizzes and shed a tear as I handed in my pitiful paper. I couldn’t cheat because I was right up in front by the teacher and the kid to my right was an idiot. But I ended up doing good in English the rest of the year. I got a 95 on my final paper but my brother got a 100 because my Mom wrote most of it for him. Cool.
Economics and government? Joke. I got a 91 on the final though. I had my AP US teacher as my proctor and he said “As they say in Detroit City…let’s rock and roll baby” before the test. How could I possibly take it seriously? But then I saw my French grade and I smiled. My Mom was in the room and I was like “Mom, I don’t know how I was so good at French. I don’t remember anything now.” I had at least a 94 average every quarter in that class Senior year and I got a 97 and 92 on my midterm and final. I really don’t know how I did it. Oh wait…the quiz team. I had a quiz in French class every single day and I never studied for any of them at home. They were usually 10 vocabulary words but sometimes they were 15 or 20 and, every day at lunch, my class would gather around and frantically try to memorize all the meanings in 15 minutes. But we all know lunch time studying wasn’t enough. Our teacher, a kindly old man, couldn’t hear very well. So what would be do? We whispered the answers to each other during every quiz. Most of the time I knew the answers but, sometimes, I didn’t. And that’s where the quiz team came in handy. Damn, cheating in French class…I miss it. I remember my class actually used to get excited to cheat in French. Now I have to take French in college as a language credit sometime or another and I’m praying to God I don’t get raped in it.
After we finished comparing grades and cracking jokes, we put our things away and went back to whatever that we were doing. I looked to my right and saw a whole line of yearbooks dating back from 2008. I took my brother’s 2012 yearbook and placed it in line with the rest of the yearbooks. That would be the last Farrell yearbook we’d ever get. Our Senior sweater is hanging in my closet. Unfortunately my brother had to use it and ripped one of the elbows. When we move out, I’m taking it with me. He obviously doesn’t know how to take care of relics. I still have about three Farrell polos in my closet just sitting there. My old Farrell baseball hat is by my bed all deformed and way too small for my head. I’m never throwing that stuff away.
But my Mom came up to me about a week ago and said “Now that Dan’s done with Farrell I want you boys to clean up all your Farrell shit downstairs, we have way too many books and tests and worksheets taking up space.” Shit, she’s right. In the closet in my basement there’s stacks upon stacks of workbooks, notebooks, and folders packed with worksheets from my brother and I’s high schools years. So I went down there today and I saw some stuff that I just couldn’t bring myself to throw away. All my French stuff…no way! I took French for 3 years with the same teacher, I must’ve done every single exercise in those workbooks. I’m never throwing that out! And what about my huge Math A and Math B textbooks? Those are artifacts! Math B went extinct after my sophomore year. All my notebooks with countless math problems and science equations, dissecting English poems, furiously writing notes in history class or AP Chem…I found myself skimming through each and every item chuckling to myself. Maybe I’m weird and maybe I’m a little bit of a junk collector but I came out of that closet (no pun intended) having thrown away the same amount of things as I did when I walked in—absolutely nothing. But I might have to revisit it, push away my nostalgia, throw stuff away and realize that this shit is completely useless.
…Or is it?