Wednesday, January 29, 2014

High School and Frontier

High School
            Right before high school we kicked off our Wymark graduation by taking a field trip up north to one of our teacher’s cabins. We had to canoe out to the cabin, which was hard work, but fun. I developed a new crush on this trip, but realized early in high school that she was trying really hard to get into the cool groups, and this was extremely unattractive to me, so this crush ended pretty early on. Anyways we tented on the island and would go out early to try catching fish, something I actually knew a fair amount about. One of the students kissed a fish, and us guys shoved some of the girls into the ice cold water. On our portage my knee gave out on me and I believe Karen’s did as well (little did I know that this must have been a sign of a relationship to come). I felt bad for my partner and had to limp back while someone else helped with the canoe.
High school was spent at the Swift Current Comprehensive High School. It was here that I became a floater. I jumped from group to group. I was friends with pretty much everyone, but not close to very many people. Something that assisted my floater status in grade ten was being labeled a “smart kid”. The “cool kids” who were either too stupid or too lazy to do their own work, would hang around me so that I would help them with their homework, joining my groups in classes. I knew what was happening, and put a stop to it when a couple of guys wouldn’t even acknowledge me when they were with their friends The next time they wanted my help I made it clear to them after that point that I wasn’t being used, so they could start doing their own homework. This cut the cords with a couple of my floater groups, but I could tell they respected me more after that point as others from their group stopped saying insulting things to me as I walked down the halls. One thing that killed this further was when I taught myself to walk up straight and learned to act proud as I walked down the halls, the teasing pretty much stopped after that, and I actually picked up a couple other new floater groups.
My grade ten year found me joining the drama production Antigone as a distraction. I had a lot of fun on this trip, but began to get anxiety attacks while at practice, which I would try to hide from everyone, and not bring up at home. We ended up going to Rosetown and won the regional title. I recall us enjoying this trip and still recall some great moments we had on this trip, including using the shower curtain to make it appear that a fellow drama student and I were caught in the shower. I believe she sent the photo to her boyfriend as a joke. From there we headed off to Regina where we came close to winning the provincial title, taking second. We lost to a group we thought didn’t deserve the title. We felt that the group that took third should have won over us and the group that took first. I went to my first dance at this point and was extremely awkward, but that got a few girls assisting me in trying to teach me how to dance, which was pretty awesome for a young high school student. After the production we loaded up onto the bus to go home and a couple of drunken guys got on the bus. When our teachers started shouting and telling the guys to get off the bus we were shocked, we thought that they were shouting at a couple of guys from our group, only to discover they were ordering these two drunks off the bus.
The summer of grade ten I took a job at Bonanza. The cooks always hogged the fans so I would swelter in my dishwashing corner, and learned fast that I had to drink Gatorade while working or I would be throwing up. I left this job to work at the Pioneer Co-op in town as a student. Here I would work for the last two years of high school. My nickname was Turbo as my organization skills made me really fast at “facing” the products on the shelves, the other students would be asking me to slow down so they didn’t get put to work on something else. I would end up being placed in the dairy section a lot as I was the fastest and most reliable student there. I would also end up picking up everyone else’s shifts when they were too drunk or hung over to come to work. As a result I was able to save to buy my very own top of the line computer, speakers, keyboard, and mouse (the keyboard and mouse are still being used today). I was also able to save a bunch of money while working there, as I drove my parent’s car instead of buying my own.
Grade eleven found me still floating, but as in grade ten my marks were way better than they were in pre-high school years. I still hated school with a passion, but the end was in sight. I would pass the time during classes by writing poems and working on my novels. This was actually a technique that helped me focus and eliminate the distractions of the students around me. Karen and I started sharing more classes and spares, and I began to develop a crush on her. It was grade eleven that Karen started working at Nutter’s with Mandy and they began to get close to each other, which encouraged Mandy to start encouraging me to take Karen out on a date. Sadly that kind of prodding has never worked on me, as I just get defensive. I kept insisting we were just friends, although it was obvious I liked her as I was talking about her more and more. I remember going with her, her sister, and some friends from school to the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. They saved me a spot in the long line outside so that after work I could watch with them. She cried at a few parts and was sniffling so I kept sniffling to tease her. I really got into poetry at this point and would later write her poems when we were dating.
I recall hanging out in the library all three years of school. I would usually end up with a crowd of about 12-15 at my table, and we were only supposed to have four at a table to keep the noise level down. I would end up kicked out many times. Those poor librarians! The librarians would say that it was a library not a party. I would always say “Party at my table” in response. We had nicknames for each librarian that was not the nicest, and I wish I had been nicer to them. I would sneak up the stairs with a friend of mine into the upper library, and we would line up books on the railing, then we’d declare “timber” and push them down into the lower level. Funny memories, but I sure wish I had been more mature.
In grade twelve my parents moved down to Frontier so my Dad could take a position as the CFO of Honey Bee MFG (they make farming equipment). Rather than taking me out of school in my senior year, they paid to rent a place for me in Swift Current. I got a taste of freedom and loved it.
I got the courage to ask Karen to be my escort at our grad and was relieved when she accepted. That was when everyone started asking me if I liked her, to which I would always reply that we were just friends. Eventually I would get the nerve to ask her out on a date. I had a creative way all planned out and even got to put my writing to good use. She had asked to borrow a CD of mine, so I put a poem asking her out inside the CD. One of her best friends almost spoiled this before it even began. When I went to hand the CD to Karen, her friend grabbed the CD. Thankfully she never opened the case! I believe I called her that night to discuss the note, and we decided to meet during our morning spare to talk. At this meeting we set out guidelines. We wanted a relationship that was going to be respectful to our Christian beliefs, and we certainly did not want the disgustingly physical relationships we saw all around the high school. We have never been ones who enjoy Public Displays of Affection. Eventually we would revaluate our relationship and set new guidelines.

Graduation came and it was a pretty happy day. We enjoyed escorting each other around, and the party afterwards was fun. I had a sad note on this day though. I had to leave the party early as we were moving me down to Frontier early the next morning. This would mean being away from Karen for longer periods of time.

            Moving to Frontier was difficult. The people are very friendly and are wonderful people, but there is not a lot there for young people to do. I had to leave my girlfriend miles away and I hated losing the taste of freedom I had gotten. I had to move back in with my parents and go to work at Honey Bee MFG which is not the type of job I enjoy. Still the job itself was not bad. I got to drive a parts truck across the border and pack people’s orders. I was doing this to save up to go to massage therapy.
            I would call Karen during this time almost every night, and went up for many a weekend. Occasionally she would come down to visit me as well. I wrote many poems for her during this time. 
            One day they decided to start training me on the forklifts. I was completely fine driving the big diesel, in fact it was fun. However I hated the little electric forklift, it moved too quick and was really hard to steer with just a stick to turn it. I was supposed to practice in open space, but was put in amongst the shelves instead. This resulted in my bumping into our wobbly shelving units which toppled over like dominoes. Luckily no one was hurt during this incident. During the winter, hours slowed down and I was transferred into the assembly line. One day while over there I was lifting a really heavy load with someone else and they did not lift at the same time. This resulted in a tear in my back muscles. I saw a chiropractor who helped me out, and after a few months I was able to return to work. I started out helping in the office, but as my back got stronger I was moved into the fabrication department where I was able to sit and do parts pressing and drilling. After this I decided that it would better if I did not go into massage therapy.
At one point I came to visit Karen and I would propose in poetry, she said yes. It was a time of trepidation for both sets of parents as we were so young, but we convinced them that we were ready. So the wedding planning began and would continue while I was attending Millar College of the Bible. Didn’t quite get our way with everything, but we weren’t paying for the wedding as our parents had agreed to split the cost.
            My doctor down in Frontier discovered that I had a heart condition. It would give me heart palpitations and cause tachycardia. I had to be careful with this and watch not to overexert myself. At one point we thought I was having a heart attack and I had to take an ambulance ride from work to the clinic in Climax. We discovered that it was an anxiety attack and the doctor would teach me how to deal with anxiety attacks and learn how to fight them off. My first heart procedure for correcting this problem was when I was attending Millar Bible College. I would return to Frontier for two weeks after this as part of the recovery. The procedure did not hold very long and I was scheduled to have the second procedure right after Karen and I were to be married. This one held at least so I would not have to go through this uncomfortable procedure again. I remember that during this second procedure I was in the hospital during the NHL playoffs. I was cheering for Anaheim as Travis Moen was on their team, and Anaheim won. I enjoyed giving the nurses a hard time while I was in their ward. My parents and Karen would sneak me in good food during this time.   

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    thank you :)


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