The Speak Easy

Scot:  Since my background is in education, do you have any regrets when you were in high school—anything you wished you had done different?SpeakEasy01

Jack Henry:  I love this question and the answer is YES!
High school is nothing but regret to some.  For me, specifically.  I was the biggest LOSER in 9th and 10th grade, and half of 11th grade.  Gawky, too tall, too skinny, bad hair, bad teeth, acne, no personality, clumsy, nervous, zero confidence, etc.

Mid point in 11th grade (1981) I had an epiphany.  I stop carrying about the opinions of others.  This worked for me and I eventually cleaned up, started dating, fit in, etc.  But it also failed me.  I went so far the other way I lost invaluable learning opportunities.  Back then I thought the teachers were idiots (in retrospect many were) and had nothing to offer.

To answer specifically I wish I had actually tried academically in high school.  I graduated with a 1.7 (3.975 in MFA so you don’t think I am a complete idiot and, btw, the lowest grade I got in my MFA program was a poetry class).  If I put in the effort it would not have taken 10 years to get a BA, working fulltime at shitty jobs, school at night.  I also would have dated Brenda So and So before I made a certain life altering decision.  (no need to explain, very boring.)
But, as I mentioned, all life experience has value and leads to something we are “meant” to do or be in our future.  If I had not struggled so much in high school I doubt I would have become a writer.  If I graduated AND got into a normal college, received a four year degree in four years, I would have become a business person and nothing more.  Now I am an angry business person with a worthless MFA (at least for the moment) and a body of poetry I am pretty proud of.

Chris Toll: I was just a complete outcast – I had a few outcast friends – but I was not popular and it would have been nice to have some cool girlfriends.

Todd Moore
:   got into a lot of trouble in school.  Looking back now, I think that is how it had to be.

Father Luke:
In school I stayed pretty much to myself, and I wrote. I’m in college now, and I still keep to myself and write. My “ambition” is to get my PhD, and teach adults how to write.

School was just the current background in my life at the time. But again, I have no regrets. None. I even got kicked out of class for making the kids laugh. It was a big thing for people at the time. But, I have no regrets.

A.D. Winans
:  Instead of being the class pop-off and running around with the wrong crowd, I would have paid more attention to what teachers were trying to do for me, rather than mocking them.

Eugenia Hepworth Petty
:  Not really. I had enough freedom to have some amazing experiences in 70s Santa Cruz. I was very fortunate that it was the 70s. Despite the fact I received two Ds my junior year (in Advanced Algebra and Chemistry), I was accepted into a prestigious private college. I’m not sure that would have happened today. I can’t say I wish I had had more self confidence or consciousness because I would not have had the experiences that led me to where I am today if that had been the case earlier on.

Alan Catlin:
Gone to another school.      Learned typing, Latin and paid attention during grammar lessons.

Rebecca Schumejda
:  Ha. I wish I got kicked out of high school earlier because the alternative high school program that I attended helped change my perspective on life and on education.

Misti Rainwater-Lites
:  I wish I had tried harder at science and math. I wish I were an astrophysicist.

Christopher Robin
:  Maybe not smoked so much weed, went to class more, but I have few regrets overall. Compulsory schooling destroys creativity and individuality, we are lucky if we get those things back once we’re older, I’m holding on to mine.

Jennifer Blowdryer:  My high school sucked. Nothing could be done but leave, which i did.

Scott Wannberg:  Some teachers were good some a bore…the same in college. Don’t think i did anything I’d want or need to redo

Hosho McCreesh:  There were a handful of girls I really liked & I wished I could’ve told them so. Couldn’t do it though–I was too shy.

David Pointer:  Yes, I should have written a stack of love poems and given them to Andrea Lurten.  Also some political poems for the principal would have been good too.

William Taylor Jr:  I wish I hadn’t have been so afraid of girls.

Bradley Mason Hamlin:  I wished I had known I would meet the blonde later. I could have read more comic books.

F.N. Wright: I wish I had quit high school earlier than I did. I began reading at a young age & by my sophomore year I felt I was learning nothing. I began skipping classes & what did I do? Went to the public library & read.

Howie Good:  Smoked less dope? Smoked more dope? This is a tough one.

One Response to “The Speak Easy”

  1. Father Luke Says:

    Why hasn’t anyone yet thought to do this with the poets of our generation?

    Kudos to Scot.

    – –
    Father Luke

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