12th Grade Diary
Part 1

August 20, 1990 (Monday)
This is the diary of Suzanne Marie Saunders, aged 17 and 1/2. I won't actually start writing in here today because I have six pages to fill in my previous diary.

(Several hours later) Well, I finished those six pages, so the formal recital of events will commence as soon as anything worth writing happens.

I am: 5' 3", 120 lbs, in two days to start my senior year at St. Petersburg High School's International Baccalaureate Program. I live in Seminole, Florida, with my mother. My father, stepmother, and to-be-born-in-January step-sibling [actually half-sibling] live in Columbia, South Carolina. Both sets of grandparents in North Carolina. Bye for now.

August 23, 1990 (Thursday)
Today was the first day of my senior year. As first days go, it was decent.

Homeroom: Sucked. They mixed us in with the regular program people so none of my particular friends were there. When I first got my schedule, 6th period had been left off entirely. So it had to get better.

1st - Latin. Mrs. Chester-Munoz. She seems sweet. Mike Grossman, Charlotte Rhee. Class should be interesting.

2nd. English - Dr. Adkins, who I've never had before. She seems nice enough. Rabia, Michelle, (changed out) [the preceding written above the original in different ink] Keri. Nobody particularly cute, except maybe John Emblidge.

3rd. French - M. Logan! Jeni! Keri, Joy. Ca sera amusant!

4th - History - Mr. Burton. Keri, I suppose Mike Schmidt. Mr. Burton called Aaron's name but he wasn't there - hopefully just skipping the first day of school. The class will probably be goddamn boring.

Lunch - They've gone from three lunch periods to two, so it's incredibly crowded. I ate with Allana (who I don't have a class with) and Beth.

5th - Speech. Only person I knew was Dawn Piscatelli (Well, Christine Janowsky, if you could say I know her. [Christine was the younger sister of a classmate of mine who I knew very vaguely from the bus.]) but Ms. Stephens seems quite sweet.

6th - As I mentioned, originally this was left off my schedule. I was signed up for Art 2-D this semester and there is no Art 2-D 6th period. So I got put into Mr. Wartok's Sociology. John Wilson + some cute guy I don't know.

7th - Math (various things being fitted in) Mr. Townsend who I like. No Jeni, unfortunately. Mike Grossman, John Wilson, Jim O'Leary.

Still got airhead Mr. Washington + gorgeous John + Matt on the bus. Je peux vivre!

August 26, 1990 (Sunday)
Marie + I went and saw Pump Up The Volume today. Incredible movie, have got to get it on videotape the first instant possible. Writing this instead of doing my outline on Ecuador, but I've already finished my annotated bibliography. Incidentally, if/when Aaron comes in to history class, he'll be stuck in a front row seat next to me (dribble, drool!) and my locker is next to Jeni's.

September 9, 1990 (Sunday)
Bored on a Sunday afternoon. Little updates: The cute guy in Sociology is named Jordan (don't know last). He's blond, wears glasses, and looks a little like Tony Natale but it looks better on him, you know? School is fine. Have to prepare for a demonstration how to needlepoint for Speech.

September 11, 1990 (Tuesday)
Ohmigod. Marie just called me. She's in a mental hospital. Apparently on Saturday she went out with Dawn + some of her friends and got drunk and they trashed whoever's house it was and the parents came home and said they were all gonna go to JDC [Juvenile Detention Center] so Marie grabbed a bottle of pills and took a bunch (you know how Marie's impulses, 'it's better to be dead than in jail') so she's there. She doesn't know for how long, but gave me the number (can only call between 7 + 9) and says her counselor or psychologist whoever says she doesn't have many suicidal impulses. One may hope. I'm shocked, stunned, dulled, blunted.

September 24, 1990 (Monday)
Marie's out of the hospital. She's fine, except for being under observation so she won't drink, etc. So since she's going to night school and has nothing to do during the day we got permission for her to come to school with me today. It was nice. She agrees mostly with me, especially on Aaron! Now suffering Marie-withdrawal, knowing I'm gonna have to go to school tomorrow without her!

November 9, 1990 (Friday)
Just got back from Keri/Joy's birthday party. Pretty fun. Only 4 guys there, two uninteresting (Jason B. and Casey) and two good but taken (Tom and Michelle's boyfriend Joe) (Tom is going out with Janette, and I'm very jealous, but Janette's too nice to wish evil on.) And Keri, Michelle, Sara from middle school, Allana, Jeni, Kristie, Jennifer, Beth, Chrissie, Monica, Charlotte, and Janette. We watched Bill + Ted's Excellent Adventure + Pretty Woman. Janette sat on Tom and Michelle on Joe the whole evening, I was so reminded of Keri's tenth grade party when Jim + Cindy were lying next to each other and somebody called out, "Just don't get her pregnant, Jim!" I envy them that closeness, that union that even friends don't totally enter into and non-friends, not at all. I wonder what it's like.

November 18, 1990 (Sunday)
On Friday, Mom had surgery to remove a cyst, on her labia or somewhere (she just says "down there") She's OK now, limping around the house even though she won't bend over or drive.

Today, Granddaddy drove me down to the Eckerd College Library to research Ecuador and Mike Schmidt was there too. He was nice, helped me to use the computer to find stuff. He looked really sweet with his glasses on that he doesn't usually wear. I got six more sources (I think that totals 14).

Thanksgiving Day 1990 (Nov. 22)
Well, we went and ate a great dinner at Martha's. Grandparents leave tomorrow morning at 8 (promptly, Granddaddy insists.)

There at Martha's I was reading an Agatha Christie (The Mirror Crack'd). And the thing was that this movie star was in a show, and this girl with German measles put powder on the spots and went to meet her, and German measles is very contagious, and the movie star was a few months pregnant, and she caught it and the baby was born an imbecile and years later they meet again, the movie star not knowing until the girl tells her and it being an Agatha Christie... But the plot has stuck in my head as a motive for murder in casual contact.

Mr. Burton teaches Marie's night school history class (they recognized each other about two weeks after I brought her to school) and they've been having subs lately and Marie asked one why Mr. Burton wasn't there and he said that Mr. Burton had some type of cancer and was being treated. Subs are often mis-informed, but do you suppose? Maybe I should just ask, not whether he has cancer but just why Marie's been having subs. If I can gather the courage.

December 7, 1990 (Friday)
My history guided coursework is turned in, thank God that's over! (Except that I can't ceremonially rip my first draft into little bits yet because I still have to do my oral Monday, but I'm glad I'm on the first day, get it over with.) But typing it up on Mr. MacFarlane's computer, although he was awfully sweet about it, was an awful nuisance, having to get out of classes + such. My extended essay, which I've taken to calling me my extended j'essaie! ["j'essaie" = "I try"] will probably be just as bad. Relief + apprehensions and the cold I have coming on, all mixed.

December 20, 1990 (Thursday)
Oral went fine. FSU + USF applications sent in, St. John's will be soon.

I am such an idiot! I wanted to look nice today, so I wore those black flats Martha bought me, and I listened to Mom when she said socks didn't go, and borrowed a pair of her knee-high hose. Last day of school before Christmas vacation, and I limp around getting blisters! So getting on the bus I say fuck it, take off shoes and hose. So I walk halfway home from the bus stop without much trouble, but when a guy (young, nondescript) offers me a ride. He stops [outside my house] and asks if he can kiss me. So I says yes and he does with tongue. To be honest, I don't see what the big deal is, but it might be better with someone you like, which this guy I can't say I really did. He wanted another kiss before he'd let me out, but I said no. I gave him my real phone number -- what could I have been thinking of?! Well, I'll let the answering machine or on or Mom answer for today and tomorrow and Saturday morning I leave for Joe's. I'll warn Mom (tell her Marie gave the guy my number). Well, at least, I got kissed before the end of high-school -- didn't have to go up to Mike G. at graduation and ask him or something stupid like that. Maybe this will teach me not to take rides from strangers, really!

December 22, 1990 (Saturday)
In South Carolina, checked suitcase isn't. Waited an hour in Tampa for 1st flight, missed connection in Charlotte, sat there 2 and 1/2 hours waiting for next flight to Columbia. Got here + green suitcase didn't. It's only 10 to 9 now and I got up at 8 but waiting is so tiring that I want to go to bed now.

Christmas Day 1990 (Tuesday)
At Grandparents S. We opened presents yesterday. I got, importantly: a nice watch, $50 in money, $22.59 in change, a $50 gift certificate for Waldenbooks, copies of Borgel, The Snarkout Boys and the Avacado of Death, and Macbeth, and the B-52's Cosmic Thing, the Black Crowes' (why do I keep wanting to underline the band's name?) Shake Your Money Maker, and Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti and Presence. I got other stuff but that's the interesting bit.

New Year's Eve 1990 (Monday)
Well well well. Another year five hours away from being over. In five hours will begin the year in which I graduate high school, enter college, and hopefully do some other more interesting things.

Being at Grandparents S's limits things, my Eve traditions. No cable so I can't watch the MTV ball, even though Cinderella and the Black Crowes would have been worth watching. Not at home, so I don't have my Decline tape like I watched last year. Since there is a VCR + a radio here if I stay up my options are limited to WXRC (maybe, but not up to my standards) my own audiotapes (not really!) or the videotapes I have with me (Doctor Who, mostly, or videos from 1984, although a groupie documentary might be symbolic enough.) or Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve (but I don't even know if anyone decent will be on.) Plus I don't know if Granddaddy will be still up (I'm sure Grandmother won't!) I ought to dig through and find sones relating to music (this inspired by right now hearing AC/DC's "Long Way to the Top") and play them as a vow. This is not going to be anywhere near as much fun as having my own house to myself has been the past two years.

I don't have the traditional purple ink to write in (as you can see from the previous entry that pen is long since out of it) but anyway here goes:
    New Year's Resolutions
  1. "Me I'm just a rocker/Ain't got much to say/I never did things by the rules/I always did them my own way/And that's all right/Cause that's the way I am!"
  2. "Caressez longtemps votre phrase, elle finira par sourire." [Caress your sentence for a long time and it will end up smiling.]
  3. "Didn't take long/to understand/That one guitar/Slung way down low/Was a one-way ticket/Only one way to go/So (s)he started rockin'/Ain't never gonna stop/Gotta keep on rockin'/Someday gonna make it to the top/And be a jukebox hero/With stars in (her) eyes"
  4. "Can you hear them? They talk about us...Pay no mind, to what they say/It doesn't matter anyway/Our lips are sealed."
  5. "Il faut cultiver son jardin." (Decide for yourself what that applies to, if not everything.) ["it is necessary to cultivate one's garden.]

Well, that's that. And in several years I'll reread this and wonder what the hell I meant by quoting Trixter, The Gogos and Voltaire, but I know what I mean now and that is when I need to.

So bye for a few hours/until next year. "For those about to rock, we salute you!"

New Year's Day (12:03 am) 1991
Tonight is also a blue moon; 2nd full moon in one month, which hasn't happened since 1971. (When the moon is full on Opening Night -- Nineteen Years' Night!) [A reference from Diane Duane's The Door Into Shadow]

So I'm watching Dick Clark after having spent from 10:30 to 11:56 watching a surprisingly interesting ballroom dancing competition. Good luck for my legal adulthood year; only 26 days to a real milestone!

January 2, 1991 (Wednesday)
I'm so scared. Grandmother had been having very bad diarrhea and her coughing wasn't any better and it got really bad during last night so Granddaddy called her doctor and they took her to the hospital. I didn't want to go -- what could I have done besides sit and worry -- but staying here isn't much better. Like I scribbled in another notebook, hell is helplessness.

January 15, 1991 (Tuesday)
Update: Grandmother was fine if still in the hospital for observation last I heard, more than a week ago.

Hell is still helplessness. At midnight tonight, the time given Saddam Hussein to pull Iraqi forces out of Kuwait will be up. Chances are the United States will be at war with Iraq soon. I think all wars, especially ones like this one that are unprovoked (not like Pearl Harbor) are stupid. If there's a God, I pray for the souls of those of all nationalities who die. Whether or not there is, I hope this is over soon.

Well, a combination of Marie calling and a Trixter video has brought my feet firmly back to Florida and guys who probably won't ever be drafted (J'éspère!) I feel better. Bye.

January 18, 1991 (Friday)
Well, my half-brother William Stephen Saunders was born at 4:12 p.m. today. Well, what can I say? I was born the day before the treaties to end Viet Nam were signed; I don't suppose that this one will have such luck as to be born the day before Iraq ends. But I wish him luck, and Melinda too.

Grandmother S. is still in the hospital. Apparently, she had let herself get into pretty bad condition; we all hope she will be built back up. Joe not so quietly hinted that I should send her a card.

January 21, 1991 (Tuesday) [should be Monday]
Grandmother Saunders died last night. Joe just called me. I don't think it's sunk in, hit me yet. I'm not sure if this not-really crying is reflex or what.

January 22, 1991 (Tuesday)
First day of the new semester. To get me into Art 2-D they had to switch my French and history classes but mostly that was fine because a lot of other people got switched too, except that I don't have a class with Jeni or Kristie.

1) Latin - same as ever except Charlotte's out (as well as some other people I don't even know after a semester) but Mike G. + Ivan are still there.

2)English now has Michelle, Monica, + Mike S. and I think John E. is out. Steve, John W. + Dave M. still. [written in margin: "Charlotte? Keri still"]

3rd)Well, I left my history class but Mike S., Aaron, Ingrid + Erica are with me in the new one, and Michelle + Allana (Steve, John E.) were already there.

4)Art 2-D. Ms. Cheek. She seems quite nice. I know Ingrid and that guy Rich (with the Vanilla Ice haircut) here.

Lunch - Kristie doesn't have this lunch anymore but I can still eat with Allana + Beth.

5) French. Has Aaron + John W. (and real fun, Juan, John P. + Mark G.) Kristie was in this class (but isn't now). Dave M. (Jeff, Sandra) transferred also in.

6th - Law Studies. Mr Miller. I think he seems ok, and after sociology, any class will be an improvement. Some vaguely familiar faces from sociology, including (yes!!) Jordan, and John is scheduled for this but is supposed to be transferring out (damn!) leaving me the only IB person in the room, and Jordan said that Mr. Miller likes to pick on IB students.

7th Math - Kristie + Mike G. out. (Shit!!) Dito in. (Dealable.) Aaron, Tom, Tony N., John W., Tuan, etc. still in. Should be more interesting than ever. Nous verrons.

January 23, 1991 (Wednesday)
Marie got kicked out of her grandmother's house and is living with her fiancé Chris and his mom.

January 26, 1991 (Saturday)
Well, I'm officially 18 years old today. Marie + Joe each called to wish me a happy birthday, and Joe let me hear Will gurgle over the phone (and Chris yelled "Happy Birthday person" in the background while Marie was talking.) (Bulletin: Chris's mother kicked them out of that apartment and Marie's grandmother let them both stay at her house but Marie said this morning that her Grandmother said Chris has to be out by Monday or they both go.) Anyway, now I can legally buy Lotto tickets albums with parental advisories on them, get into non-all-ages shows, clubs (with a stamp on my hand so the bartender won't sell me anything, not that I care.) It's not like 18 feels different. Sitting here listening to the B-52's, waiting for Mike [Mom's boyfriend] to get here, Mom invited him over for dinner. So, we'll see, je suppose.

February 23, 1991 (Saturday)
Updates: Myself, Jeni, Mike G., Julie, Roberto, Tony N., David Wr. (+ that Kira person) are all National Merit Finalists. This assures me lots of money from a state college, and to me more important, a place in the side of the podium reserved for Honor Society seniors and people receiving awards. Being me, I would find it horribly embarrassing to sit with people who haven't done anything recognizable, conceited as that may sound. [I had the grades for Honor Society but didn't join because I'm not a joiner type and couldn't attend meetings because I had to ride home on the bus.]

Chris was arrested two weeks ago for a burglary he + some friends did last May. He confessed and was released and is staying with Marie because the landlord will kick his mother out if he lives in her apartment.

Extended essay finished + turned in.

On to the next section
Diary Index

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