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Why Sending Your Daughter To A Private All-Girls High School Isn’t The Absolute Worst Thing You Can Do For Her – But It’s Still Not That Great

29 Jul

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No one has had an “easy” high school experience, probably in the history of all people ever, but most notably for young women. As a previously-young woman, I can attest to the massive amounts of bullshittery that amasses in a girl’s adolescent years. I faced lots of personal image problems, academic inadequacies, social retardation, and many other common dilemmas that still face teenagers today. The plot twist? I attended an all-girls, private high school. It was a good fit for me, but only because it was hell on earth, and I knew I got to leave someday.

——

Community

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The only “community” experience I gained from high school was my experience in the community outside my school. I lived in the suburbs, but my school was in the city; and centrally located near two big college campuses. This lucky scenario landed me opportunities to get involved with museums, libraries, and cool local musicians. Actually, the community within the walls of the school was so unpleasant, it actually made me explore my other options more so than if I had been more comfortable at school. I didn’t take AP courses. I didn’t play soccer. I didn’t go to more than one Spanish club meeting. All the communities I tried to fit in with figured me out pretty quickly. I was so. Weird.

 

Community Service

A typical day.

                       A typical day.

I actually never realized this until just now, but my school never really did any community service. My youth group did, but it was based out of my hometown and had zero affiliation with my school. I think there was a club for service projects, but that generally meant going to the old folks’ home next door and having a “prom” for them, which generally freaked me out anyway. Most of the students’ volunteering efforts were put towards raising more money for the school. During my time there, they built a new cafeteria, a new gym, and started work on a new chapel. The cafeteria went from costing $3.00/day to “a la carte”, which meant you had to pay for everything on your tray individually. A full meal ended up costing about $7. I lived off of soft pretzels. 

And I have seen that new chapel, and it is ugly as hell.

 

Academics

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             U.S. Government 201

Freshman year, 2001, I was automatically enrolled into “Honors” English based on my entrance exam scores. After freshman year, I achieved lower than an A-, so I was bumped down to “Regular” English. After sophomore year, I was deemed “too smart” for “Regular” English, so I went back to “Honors” my junior year. And then – surprise! – I was back in “Regular” English for my senior year. This web of contradiction says very little about my academic prowess, and much more about the school’s standards for what “honorable” means. From what I can discern, it means more way more pointless work and more strict scoring. It has no bearing on comprehension, aptitude, or skill. The “Regular” classes were all cake-walks. The “Honors” classes held unrealistic standards. In neither situation did I feel like I was surrounded by like-minded individuals.

 

Makeup

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Lots of girls wore makeup in high school. It didn’t matter that we spent 80% of the day away from boys. If I didn’t wear makeup, the cool girls would be able to see my acne, and then they would torment me more than regularly. Even the uncool girls wore makeup. It was one of the only ways to express yourself outside of changing your hairstyle (within reasonable confines). It wasn’t until I graduated that I stopped wearing makeup, because once I was in the real world, I realized that nobody caked that shit on more than catholic schoolgirls. 

 

Uniforms

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In retrospect, uniforms made it really difficult to adapt to normal job attire later in life. I had to teach myself how to coordinate clothes together. I WISH the real world had a uniform. The only real thing uniforms in high school taught me was how to dress like a complete bum when not in school. 

 

Self-Esteem

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Some of my actual high school friends.

I was only trying to be different! In a private, single-gender school, being different is the last thing you wanna do. I wasn’t trying to cause problems. I wasn’t trying to stand out. I was just trying to figure out how to be myself! And yes, my high school environment did help with this; by making me realize that the only people who understood me were my very close friends. 

 

Lack of the Male Species

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We didn’t even get a real health class to teach us about sex. Our health class talked about goiters and used calipers to measure our BMIs. Boys were not extra-excited to us. Creepy, much-older, much dirtier boys were excited. The guys from our “sister” school were just as mentally fucked as the girls in our school. And shouldn’t all-female institutions be trying to disassociate themselves from things like “needing a male prom date”? Getting a date to the dance wasn’t easier because “the girl is the one asking”. In fact, it was much harder.

But don’t worry, guys! I made it out!

I did it!

                                              I did it!

Man, that was a great day.

-P

________________________

This is an article written in response to the “Thought Catalog” post, titled “Why Sending Your Daughter To A Private All-Girls High School Is One Of The Best Things You Can Do For Her”, written by Laura Lapham. 

Worst case of “the Mondays” that I ever had

21 May

Went to bed late last night.

Woke up late this morning.

Didn’t shower yesterday.

No time to shower this morning.

Late bus was extra late.

Arrived at work. Immediately set off door-triggered fire alarm.

Ate coworker’s nasty apple-flavored cake with soggy peanuts in it. “I haven’t made it in years!” she said.

Maybe that’s why it tasted like it was from 1969.

…BUT THEN…

Visitor walks in. I say, “Can I help you?”. He says “Yes Mike Birsic, Gordon Fisher.”

“…uh, did you say Tom Birsic?” I ask. That’s a guy that works here.

“Uh, NO!” he replied. “I am MIKE Birsic. I’m here to SEE Gordon Fisher.”

“Okay, sir,” I giggled mindlessly to come off as a ditz. “Sorry, I am not familiar with Mr. Fisher! Silly me! My brain is too full of lists of boys I want to kiss and shoes I want to buy.”

Slight exaggeration.

I look up this Gordon Fisher in our directory. Nada.

“Sir, I’m sorry, I’m not seeing a Gordon Fisher here. Do you have the correct office?”

“Uhhhh,” he blurbled*, as he fumbled for his Blackberry. “Let me call my brother and check with him.”

Sho ’nuff, he had the wrong building entirely.

“You were right, I did have the wrong building,” he said as he booked it to the elevators. “Oh, good!” I replied, knowingly.

HAVE A GREAT DAY!

2011: A Year in Pamview

30 Dec

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the Pam’s Weird Lyfe year-end roundup! Whether you loved it or hated it, 2011 proved to be a monumental year for everybody in one way or another. Personally, I’m not quite sure how I feel about it yet. Maybe I will by the end of this post – LET’S FIND OUT.

January 

Snow was actually on the ground. The Steelers went to the Super Bowl and embarrassed themselves. Cee Lo’s “Fuck You” was merely a viral sensation, and had not yet usurped itself into every facet of pop culture. I was giving piggy-back rides in Barnes & Noble.

weeeeee

January was boring.

February

I think I went to a Pens game. I also became obsessed with Shark Tank. That’s all. No picture necessary.

March

According to my Facebook timeline, I was very sick this month. Somehow I got to see Bomb The Music Industry in Cleveland. But most importantly, the world lost a really really great person, whom I miss very much—

Patrick

Patrick Gilbert

April

April was full of more punk rawk shows, Based God and really nice weather. Peoples became my official Favorite Restaurant. Koala T had his first solo show!! And many great times were had playing BATTLETOADS.

Battlejerks!

May 

Osama Bin Laden was killed, and it left many people feeling…okay? I guess? The Weird Paul Rock Band melted faces off of marathon runners at the break of dawn. Bushido Blade became the retro-game-of-choice (but NOT Bushido Blade 2), and Koala T released my favorite song ever (and it happens to mention Bushido Blade in it!). Suddenly, a wild Craigslist ad appeared! It used “ACQUIRE NEW APARTMENT”. It was super effective!!

Little Italy Haze

June

Summertime! My sights were set pretty high, and they were set on adventure. I told HR Screening Services to take their job and re-staff it. To celebrate, I went to two amazing shows – DEVO and PEELANDER-Z!!!

Peelander-Z

Taco-taco-taco-taco-taco-say yeah!!

July 

STARTED MY VERY AWESOME JOB on the very first day of this month. With a newfound confidence, I started hitting up local karaoke joints with friends. U-Hauls were at a premium, but we somehow managed to get Lily & Chris’s old couch into my apartment – much to the dismay of Street Elmo.

Elmo

D:

August

We all thought summer was coming to an end – who would have guessed it would stretch into December? “Lopez Tonight” got canceled and the world rejoiced. And MY BEST FRIEND GOT MARRIED.

Pam and Lily!

"Ah-ooooooooo!"

September

Many things happened this month, but none more important than my musical accomplishments! I wrote and recorded my first song, and played my very very very first show!

Like I give a fuck.

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

October

Saw many hockey games, occupied some things, and dressed up like Fox McCloud for Halloween. Unfortunately, I accidently went “full-furry” and nobody thought my costume was cool. Only embarassing. I also went to the dentist for the first time in like 50 years!

Dentist

"I went to the dennnnnnntiiiist!"

November

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii turned tweeeeeeenty-fiiiiiiiiiiiive! But I still act like I’m 10!

 

December

Oh crap, I caught up with my present-day self. This is going to cause all kinds of space-time problems. Uh.

no need

Okay.

Happy 2012 everyone! 

holiday roooaaaAAaaohOOaddd!

20 Dec

Welcome to another jarring episode of Pam’s Weird Lyfe. Today’s topic:  Christmas!

Around 7:00 on Thanksgiving, as my corpse-of-a-body melted into the most comfortable chair available, I began to wonder how soon that Christmas-sy feeling would set in. The following two weeks of 65 degree days didn’t help. The lack of snow certainly deterred me. Even the over-sized ornament outside my building just made me feel more confused than cheery.

LOL

Where do you purchase these?!

And then, like a shining star in the o’ holy night, I got a call at work. We get a lot of people calling who have dialed the wrong number, our conversations usually last two seconds and end with someone grunting angrily. But this gentleman apologized for dialing the wrong number, and then proceeded to hang up…but not without wishing me a “happy holidays!” first. Dude warmed my heart.

It’s really the biggest reason that I enjoy the holidays at all anymore. For whatever reason, the general public’s expectation for people to be better around this time of the year is really…awesome to me. It makes me feel like we might still have a chance – “we” as in Pittsburgh, as in the country, or as in the whole world. Maybe it’s stupid to think of Christmas in such a whimsical way, but I prefer it over being a total grinch about it.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, DUDES!

sunday morning simpsons

18 Dec

File Photo

What do you do when life gets you down? Something that comforts you, or that you can always rely on to make you feel good. I’ve been watching The Simpsons for as long as I can remember. I feel as though I’ve lived my life in a Simpson-centric way, with the same ideals and morals that are promoted in the show; honesty, compassion, forgiveness, etc. I highly suggest a Simpsons morning if you are feeling bad about something.

A thing called “love”, not the one by The Darkness

6 Dec

What is it, exactly, about love? Why is love so special? Why does it seem to dominate my entire life?

Every moment of every day, I’m contemplating what I love the most. Like, “What restaurant am I most passionate about today?” or “Those flowers are okay, but I don’t love them.”

I cover my bedroom in little plastic hearts, and fill my headphones with quirky ballads about love gone sour. My life demands passion in everything I do.  So doesn’t it make sense that I’ve spent my whole adult life focused on relationships? Is that a bad thing?

:D

I love love love to love love you, love.

Lots of people have tried to define “love”, with little success. Webster’s defines “love” as “a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.” There’s also stupid stuff on Facebook, like this:

ugh

Oh my God, shut up.

Whatever. The point is, love is great. I love being in love. Love makes people happy. I love being around people and places and things that I love.  And when I do things, it is always with the most amount of love possible. If you have ever sampled my peanut-butter-chocolate-thumbprint cookies, then you already know this.

The problem these days is that I’m in love with somebody who can’t decide if they want to be “with” me or not. And if I love myself at all, I should really quit holding on to this hope that he’ll love me back. In the same way that I love him. How long can I wait? Is it worth it? Was deleting my OkCupid account the best decision I ever made, or the worst? So many questions left unanswered. And so on a cold, foggy Tuesday night, my brain feels the same –cold, foggy.

dululululululdulululudululu

TIME FOR A FLASHBACK - DULULULULU

“I really like Dru a lot. He’s a flirty guy that could pick up any girl he wanted. I’m too insecure to ask for Splenda in my latte, because I don’t want the barista to get annoyed with me. In every other way, though, we’re a perfect match. He’s a sweet, loving and gentle person – would do just about anything for anybody if they really needed it. But he also has the alter-ego of a jerk, which just makes me more enamored. He’s a good listener, but he also can talk for a really long time about video games and doesn’t get pissed if I just say “mmmhmmm” and kiss him. He’s super smart, but not above anybody. He’s got the most cuddleable body and he’s sexy and his arms are just the nicest. He’s also in a pretty fucking talented band and has impeccable taste in music. He’s great.

I’m so worried I’m going to fuck this up somehow.” – LiveJournal, 7/25/10

OBSESS MUCH?

Okay, shut up, shut up. You know how I know I’m not a hopeless romantic?

Because all I’ve done for the last year-and-a-half is hope that I’m wrong about this. Hoping is all I have now. What else do I have?

Well, I still have my weird lyfe. I love it a whole lot. I have my friends. I have cats. I have those frozen Pepperidge Farm multi-layer cakes. Life will be okay regardless of if this man loves me back or not. But dammit, I don’t know if I’ll ever quit lovin’ him back. Ugh. Maybe I will just consult the internet on what I should do…

…fucking nevermind.

Have you met you?

29 Sep

A phrase that I’ve taken a liking to recently – “Have you met you?” – is as flexible and multi-faceted as phrases get.

I use it when my friends are discouraged. “Of course she doesn’t like you. Have you met you?”

And I use it if a co-worker has beef with our boss. “He said you were rude? Don’t worry! Have you met you?”

But it’s not something I’ve really asked myself. I assumed, all these years, that I had met myself. Not in a Dr. Who sense, in which I time-traveled and shook hands with 14-year-old me, but I am me! How could I not know me? Where, along the path from high school to college to “now” (whatever “now” is) could anything have changed?

The internet is basically a time machine, because it archives everything that touches it forever. Unless you’re Geocities. But generally, everything that has ever happened on the internet will be archived for, seemingly, ever.  Even your dim-witted, and at times downright boring high school blog.

“It’s Sunday, February the 2nd. I got my throat blessed today at mass. I came home and changed clothes…played with the digital camera some more. Alex came and we watched Baseketball (my first time seeing the movie) and ate dinner around 5pm.”

Wow, self. Go on. I can’t wait to find out what you did next. Please spare no excruciating detail.

“I have made Honor Roll at my school the whole first semester. 3rd quarter is usually the most difficult, so I’m going to have to kick things up a notch. This isn’t the best time to have to kick things up any notches. “

Just wait until you get to college, little lady. You can’t even start a sentence with a number unless you write out the word! You have so much to learn!

“I’ve realized that sometimes I just get screwed over and there is nothing I can do to prevent it. Stuff happens…and no matter how bad it seems, there has to be some good out of it.”

…you what now?

“I felt so great about myself; I actually had some confidence because I felt somewhat “loved”. It’s not okay that it was all basically a facade, and it’s not okay that I was crushed. But there’s a time to get over things, and that time is now.”

Where the hell did you pick up this attitude? Church?! How dare you be happier than your adult self! You’re a lame high school freshman with greasy hair and bad skin. I thought you were a hopeless romantic. I don’t even know you.

“I tried with everything I had to fix things, but who was I kidding? I know now that, if I get into a situation like that again, friends are friends and love is never ever what you think it might be. Get verification before you give somebody everything you have.”

not bad

Well goddamn.

If time travel were possible, I think 14-year-old Pam would slap me silly. I was such a good little grownup. Now I can’t stand the thought of being an adult. MAKE MY TOOTHPASTE BUBBLEGUM-FLAVORED, PLEASE. Honestly, I’ve spent every day since graduating college dedicated to staying young. Making sure I don’t go to bed before midnight. Growing up shouldn’t be something I want to avoid. Obviously, going against my gut isn’t very “me” at all.

“On top of that…I think I like Devo. Life – Current Status: Pretty Hilarious.”

If you only knew you, little Pam…if only you knew…