Wednesday, October 06, 2004

I've Got The Music In Me

I can't do math to safe my life. I truly believe that it's not a genetic thing
but a side effect of my having been a graduate of Widefield High School.
When I was in 10th grade, all the sophomores were put into the same level math
class for 1/4 of the first semester. Then all students with a B or higher were
moved to Algebra II Trig. When they informed me that my B & I were being
upgraded, I told them I didn't want to go. I didn't have a great grasp of math
and Algebra II Trig sounded too difficult. Their response was "You'll only be
hurting yourself if you don't go."

So I went. I failed. I actually carried a D all the way through until I
bombed the final and ended up flunking the class. I blame the teacher...I
can't even remember her name but I do recall that she was a short round mean
thing with a bowl-cut hairdo. She never offered after-school assistance and
even when it was obvious by my homework and tests that I wasn't getting what
she was teaching, she just let me sink. When I went to get my schedule for the
next school year, they had placed me in Advanced Math! I mentioned it to the
lady that gave me my schedule that I had flunked Alg II Trig...why was I in
Advanced Math??? "Because that's the next step up from Alg II Trig, honey."

"But I FLUNKED! Failed! A big fat F on my report card!" It took my mother in
there explaining to them before they changed me to Algebra III Trig. That was
just a redo of II and with a different teacher in Mr. Jones, I got an A. See?
I told you it was the teacher!

Anyway...back to me flunking punishment for failing was no music
until I got my next report card which wouldn't be until October sometime!! A
whole summer with NO MUSIC!! How would I survive? There was so much great new
music out there...Motley Crue's new album was one I distinctly remember was
slated for release that summer...Bon Jovi, Cinderella, was torture.
Even when we went somewhere in the car, Mom kept the radio off.

I complained to my then best friend Rhonda about the situation as we sat in her
room listening to the radio. Her mother knew about my punishment so we had to
keep it low. Anyway, Rhonda took matters into her own hands and introduced Mom
to Stryper, the religious heavy metal band. Rhonda made her read their lyrics
and talked her into letting me listen to them. But only them. And maybe some
classical music, that wouldn't be too bad.

So I did chores around the house (laundry all summer was also part of my
punishment for the F) and earned money to go buy some Stryper tapes. They
weren't all that bad...I still really like the songs "Honestly" & "Lonely."
But after a while of that being ALL you can listen to....I was getting

During a trip to Sears (when they still sold music),Mom & Dad went to look at
vacuums or something boring, Derek went to the electronics sections and I
stayed in the music area. I found Bon Jovi's "7800 Degrees Fahrenheit" tape.
It was on sale for $10 and I happened to have $12 on me. I grabbed the tape
and ran to the nearest checkout line. I know I must have looked incredibly
suspicious glancing around furtively the whole time the sale was taking place,
watching for my parents or even Derek; if he caught me I would have had to have
bribed him in some way to keep him quiet ("Goodness gracious, great balls of
fire!"). Luckily wasn't caught and I got the tape home safely. It's still
one of my faves to listen to.

At some point that summer, we went to Grand Junction. I had my Walkman with me
for those stretches of road where we ahd no radio reception. Mom wasn't that
cruel to not let us have music during that 6 hour trip! But as soon as the
station was gone I popped the headphones on and listened to a special tape that
Rhonda had made for me. Every other song was Stryper in case Mom happened to
hear any music but the other stuff was Motley Crue, Cinderella & Bon Jovi. At
one point Mom looked at me and said, "I sure wish there was a way I could
listen to your music." I just smiled. I knew I'd be in the biggest trouble if
she could! I also remember that Derek & I were playing marbles in the
(haunted) basement and I had the headphones on & he heard "Girls Girls Girls"
coming from the earpiece and threatened to tell. I lost some good marbles in
that bribe. :(

I somehow made it through that summer only getting caught once - I had taken
the old portible radio and placed it under my pillow to listen to the radio
while I fell asleep. During the night my pillow slipped to the floor and my
head was right on the radio. That's how Mom found me when she woke me up. I
don't think I was in too much trouble, though. I think she must have known how
hard it was for me to keep away from music! But I got my report card, had an A
in math and everything went back to normal.

Including the fact that I still can't do math!

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