Friday, May 15, 2009

Flashback Friday: Meeting Amy and high school English

Meet my friend Amy. I actually haven't ever met her. Not in person. But she's really nice, trust me.

We met accidentally on Facebook. See, Amy went to junior high with basically everyone I know. Seriously, everyone. At least, everyone in Utah. I didn't go to junior high with anyone I know in Utah except for my big brother, David.

I did go to high school with a lot of people I know in Utah. Amy didn't go to my high school, but Nancy Knight did. We took English from Mrs. Swenson together our junior year. I didn't care too much for Mrs. Swenson, mostly because she didn't like me very much. Now, I know that often students perceive their teachers as not liking them and their perceptions are misplaced because of bad grades, etc. I had good grades, though, and she still didn't like me.

She would always tell me things like, "You can't put yourself above the system," and "You're not as smart as you think you are," and "I guess you did okay so I'm giving you an A-. Not because you deserve it, but because I'm generous. Now I just need to figure out my grading criteria for this assignment..."

It was so weird because everyone else seemed to like her. We just didn't click for some reason or another, I suppose. It really shocked me when, at Emily's graduation, she was awarded for being the most influencial teacher (or something like that).

I still got an A in her class (even though I didn't deserve it, I'm sure, since I got a 4.0 in high school so obviously was not very academically inclined) and passed the AP English test that year without her help or the AP teacher's help. Sometimes I still want to go back and ask her what her problem was with me because I, frankly, have no idea.

She should have loved me. I was a model student. Meh. I hated high school anyway so I doubt Mrs. Swenson made it worse.

What boggles my mind is that my math teacher (I can't remember her name. Mrs. H...orton?) absolutely loved me. I was awarded "Student of the Week" in math several times. She would say things like, "I can tell you just love math," and I would stare at her with my jaw on the floor. I detested math.

Anyway, back to Mrs. Swenson. In her classroom we had to sit in alphabetical order. Ideally this does...something? Brings order to the classroom or helps the teacher learn the students' names or something. I'm sure it served a purpose. Even in grade eleven when I think students are responsible enough to and perfectly capable of selecting their own seat, I'm sure it served a purpose.

For me and Nancy Knight, it was just confusing. After K comes L, which meant that I sat directly behind Nancy Knight. That was rather annoying. Not because Nancy was annoying but because we were never sure who Mrs. Swenson was calling on.

Once Nancy and I both neglected to put our last names on a handwritten assignment. I think it was some vocabulary assignment or something. In my opinion, that's no big deal. Nancy's script was loopy and girly. Mine was, and still is, sloppy and almost illegible. So much that I could easily have gone to medical school. It's just that messy. My only consolation is that it is neater than Andrew's.

After class, Mrs. Swenson called us up and lectured us about how unprofessional it was to leave our last name off of an assignment and, get this, refused to grade them until we wrote our last names on top. Then she took points off for not putting our full name on the assignment. Clearly this was something that we should have been in the habit of doing since grade school and it was likely to reflect poorly in our grades once we got to college. Tsk. Tsk.

What I want to know is if she even batted an eye (or noticed, for that matter) if any other pupil in the classroom neglected to put their last name on their paper. I doubt it.

Furthermore, whether you put your name on your paper or not is no relfection of the quality of work.

Furthermore, I helped my mom grade tests and assignments for the college-level classes that she taught and if someone didn't put their name on, their work was still graded and no points were deducted. And then, my mom would ask whose paper was whose. Multiple students forgot to put their names on their assignments everytime my mom collected an assignment.

Furthermore, if she couldn't tell whose paper was whose she obviously needed to take a graphology class or something because, clearly, Nancy's was Nancy's and mine was mine. can probably see now why Mrs. Swenson didn't like me. I think I can.

It's not that I always have to be right. It's just that if I think I'm right and you think you're right and I happen to think you're wrong, I think I have the right to ask a few questions, especially if what you think affects me directly. Like in lowering my grade.

In short, I hated that class. But I survived. And I survived high school (kinda--I left after that year and went on to bigger and better things; who needs high school? I also left junior high early; either I'm a quitter or I get bored easily). And I even survived college (kinda--if you call a 3.96 surviving; I cried bitterly over every A-; I'm a nerd).

I got married. Nancy Knight got married. Amy got married. Not that I knew who she was, or anything.

Later, I got a job working as a secretary in the InBio department (because of all my stellar biology skills...or something completely unrelated) and met a girl named Rachel Fugal. She was one of the grad students whose life I helped manage. Oh, now I remember! I got the job because I'm good at nagging people. Ask Andrew.

She was nice, quiet, smart. Truthfully, I hardly ever saw her in my office because she was very on top of things and never needed me to write up petitions for her or show her how to add bookmarks into a PDF or anything like that.

Later, I started using Facebook and I got a friendship request from a girl named Amy Egbert. Her maiden name was Fugal. I didn't know an Amy Fugal and I didn't know an Amy Egbert but for some reason her name sounded really, really familiar. So I added her as a friend and sent her a message that said something like,

"Hi., how do I know you?"

And then she wrote a note back that went something like,

"I don't think you do. I think I added you by accident. I was looking for my friend Nancy Knight, but she got married and I don't know her married name and you kind of looked like her but your profile picture was so small so I couldn't really tell. Now I can see that you aren't her, but I went and read your blog and I think we should be friends, anyway."

And then I went and read her blog and wrote a note that said something like,

"I just read your blog, too. We should definitely be friends. I think you know everyone that I know, anyway. Do you know Rachel Fugal?"

And she wrote back to say that Rachel was her cousin (I think, I don't remember and don't want to sift through my whole wall to find the answer).

And that's how Amy and I became friends. Even though we've never met. (Amy, I think we really ought to meet someday).

And now she's pregnant and is due October 20th. And I'm pregnant and due October 27th. And so instead of mere cyber-buddies we're cyber-pregnancy buddies. And that's the perfect segue into my next post.


  1. Fun!

    I didn't care much for Mrs. Swenson's class either, but I heard the other Honors English class wasn't much better. *sigh*

  2. And not only are you cuber pregnancy buddies, but you are cyber pregnancy buddies who are thinking of naming a baby boy Thomas. So that some day, in some Swenson-esque teacher's class, Thomas Egbert can sit right in from of Thomas Heiss. It is only fitting.

  3. cuber. new word. definition: cyber. Maybe cyber-cucumber. I don't know. I didn't make it up on purpose.

  4. And from = front. Did you know that?

  5. Mom, I just spent like 5 minutes trying to locate those errors in my post. They were your mistakes though. :) I'm a little slow.

  6. Well, your writing wasn't perfect, either (secretaring), but all I wrote was 3 sentences, and just about managed to have a mistake in each of them! ARRGH!

  7. Well, you just finished putting together a 14 page bibliography so you have a good excuse. I'm seeing random punctuation and numbers floating around the screen, myself (alright, not quite but I don't think I would attempt to write anything after just finishing checking it for you).

  8. I'm so glad I thought you were Nancy Knight. And you're right, she has VERY cute flowery loopy handwriting, which (by the way) would NEVER be confused with mine either. We decided that there's something in the water in Orem that makes people write cute and loopy. Did you live in Orem?

    I'm glad we're friends and cyber-pregnancy buddies. And I'm glad I don't have to live in Egypt because you're doing it and I'm reading about it instead.

    When you move back from the other side of the world, I'm excited for us to finally meet. And for our babies to meet! :)