So apparently I forget to pay attention for the past 13 or so years, and I woke up a few weeks ago to find my daughter will be in high school next year.
We took her to freshman orientation recently and, on the way home, she asked me — a proud graduate of Troy High School — what high school was going to be like for her.
So I took a deep breath and got a little misty-eyed as I told her the following:
“Well, honey, I think you are going to have the time of your life. For starers, you’ll finally be able to attend football games as a high school student. You’ll be able to sing the alma mater before games and sing the fight song during the games. I sure hope Deon Metz rushes for 1,000 yards again this season. After the game, you and your friends will be able to go to Noble Romans for pizza, just like I did when I was in high school.
“Of course, football games were just my favorite part of high school. Perhaps you’ll take on more scholarly pursuits. I sure hope you get Mr. Davis for English class. Do you know he often plays his guitar in class? It’s pretty much the coolest thing ever. I bet Mr. Rieck is still his hilarious self. Maybe Mr. Tompkins will let you eat some vegimite in chemistry class — did you know he’s from Australia? Just make sure you show up to school on time, or else Mr. Mauntler is going to need a note explaining why you are late. For the most part, all of the teachers over there are pretty cool — I mean, sure, there are some exceptions, but the less said about that, the better, I suppose.
“Every day at that school will be a new and fun adventure. You’ll get to watch movies in B-8. Make sure you take a typing class before your junior year so you can type your own term paper. They give you extra credit if you type it. You’ll decorate the hallways before homecoming. You’ll get to decorate the gym for prom. When you go to prom, maybe your date will take you to C.J. Highmarks for dinner.
“Of course, there’s plenty of fun to be had after school and on the weekends, as well. Once you or your friends get your driver’s licenses, maybe you’ll go cruising in Piqua or just hang out in the parking lot in front of Marsh. I know that may sound a little weird, but trust me, thats what all of the cool kids will be doing. You can rock out to all of the great tunes while cruising, you know. I was partial to Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer.
“And while I definitely want you to be one of the cool kids, don’t expect me to spend a fortune on all the latest fashions. You’ll only be getting a few pairs of acid-washed Guess jeans to peg around the ankles and only one pair of Reebok Pumps for you, kiddo. If you want to earn some extra spending money, you can get a job working the cash register at The Limited or even bagging groceries at Pangles.”
When I finished my trip down memory lane, I smiled at my soon-t0-be freshman in high school. She looked back at me and returned the smile.
Then she said, “Dad, I have a few questions.”
“Shoot,” I said.
“What are the words to the alma mater and fight song? I’m pretty sure people don’t memorize those anymore. Isn’t Mr. Metz the boys track coach now? He’s not still playing football, is he? What are Noble Romans, C.J. Highmarks, the Limited and Pangles? I’ve never heard of any of those places. All of those teachers you just mentioned? I’m pretty sure they are all retired. Some have been for quite some time. What is B-8? And I already know how to type. I have since kindergarten. I’m pretty sure they don’t decorate the hallways for homecoming anymore and I know they don’t hold prom in the gym anymore.
“What is cruising? It sounds like you made that up. And why would I hang out in a parking lot? Who are MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice? Because I’m pretty sure you made those names up. Same goes for Guess jeans and Reebok pumps. Pretty sure you made those up, too. And acid-washed? Come on, dad. I know that can’t be real. Are you sure you even went to Troy High School?”
It sounds like a few things have changed since I went to high school. So when she finished, I looked back at my sweet little girl and said, “I guess you are on your own, kid. Just don’t sit on the senior bench until you actually are a senior. I’m pretty sure that’s still a thing.”
Troy’s very own David Fong appears on Thursdays in the Troy Daily News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @thefong