Writer’s Workshop: Fancy Meeting You Here!

The prompt today is to share a 10th grade memory. In other parts of the country, tenth grade is sophomore year of high school, at least that’s how I remember it.

In the summer between freshman and sophomore year of high school, Mom bought a house in the suburbs and we moved there. For the first time in my life, I would be going to a public school. Not that it made that much difference: high school is high school, and high school sucks, whether yours is an all-boys Catholic school (as was Loyola Academy, which was literally just around the corner from my school) or a co-ed public school, as was New Trier West.

Anyway, I was basically the new kid that knew no one, or at least until I went to my geometry class and saw a guy who looked familiar. I started thinking, where do I know him from? It wasn’t coming to me. The teacher was calling roll and I found out his name was Raul. I knew a guy named Raul in grammar school who left after sixth grade, but that guy had a Spanish last name and the guy in my class didn’t. Well, everyone has a double, I figured.

The more I heard the guy talk, though, the more I realized that they were the same guy. Finally, one day I asked him, “Didn’t your name used to be xxxxx?”

He said, “Yeah, I was wondering if you were the same John Holton.” Turns out the reason he left my grammar school was because his mom remarried and they moved to the suburbs, too. His mother’s husband adopted him, and he changed his name.

I only had the one class with him, and didn’t run into him again after that year. That happens sometimes when there are 623 other students in your class.

Speaking of “everyone has a double,” Mark (who comments here as lecycliste) and I also met in sophomore year, and when people would see us together they’d always ask if we were brothers. Guess you could say so, in a way, but really, we looked a lot alike. Even fooled his dad once…

I wasn’t an especially good student, but thanks to the weighting system they used, I ended up being at the very bottom of the top 20%. Seriously, I was the 20% line, tied with another guy, who I also met in that Geometry class.

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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

14 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: Fancy Meeting You Here!”

  1. Was that Raul Booth? (Think that was his last name at the time).

    Heading off to Wilmette today to visit family – my mother the retired New Trier West French teacher, for your readers who don’t know. She’s 97 and still clear of mind, even if walking is hard for her and macular degeneration interferes with her vision.

    Yup, the “Are you two brothers?” thing happened all the time. They wouldn’t ask that now – I’ve lost too much hair, while you kept yours. We both still look Scots-Irish though.

    My last name Bohrer came from my dad’s step father. His biological father Olin Caward died a month before Dad was born. So the family names are Caward, Waite, Proudfoot, Taylor, Dollar (my relative Robert Dollar is mentioned at the start of the Sand Pebbles movie), Paul (Captain Audley Paul fought in the Revolutionary War after emigrating from Ireland) and Hand.

    Lots of Scottish, English and Irish.

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    1. Yes it was; he was Raul Valdez when I knew him in grammar school. Great guy; sorry our paths never crossed after that.

      Again, hi to Mom and Doug and whoever else you see.

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  2. John,

    I have two distinct memories from my 10th-grade year. First, my incisors came in high and second I had my first major surgery missing more than a month of school. I hope to join Kat’s Writer’s Workshop again soon. Participating in the A2Z challenge last month spurred a new interest in developing my creative writing skills and using one of such writing prompts is an excellent way to do that. Thanks for sharing your memories! Have a good weekend, my friend! PS: I joined Six Sentence Stories yesterday, here, if you’re interested.

    ~Curious as a Cathy
    Friday Sillies & More

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    1. John, can you edit my screw up? smack forehead Are you not able to offer author comment edit? That would be nice if you can, so people like me can fix my mess ups. 🙂

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      1. I haven’t found the option for “author comment edit” and wonder if it might not be available at WordPress.com. Where do you have it? Meanwhile, I’ll try and fix your HTML issues…

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  3. Good memories! I couldn’t remember anything specific for the tenth grade, so I went with book reviews on Mama Kat’s. Enjoy your writing very much!

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