Friday, July 01, 2011

Speaking of Isley

While researching for the last post (memmmmories!) I found a folder that contained within it such treasures that I had to share, immediately.

First, let's talk about our bodies.

The first and last in-school sex talk happened at Isely. There was even a helpful calendar in the back to help me count down to my next ladies-time, month to month...

...back when I was born or, possibly, time traveling.

The materials were adorably old but hey, they tried. I do remember our teacher's patience being tested when, during Q&A, one of the girls raised her hand and asked "What is a 'blow job?'" Though, to be fair, I do believe she really didn't know...just like I didn't know what a certain phrase meant and, assuming it was an insult, screamed it at two teenaged boys while fighting over a raft at my grandfather's typographical union picnic. The look on my mother's face could be described as both "horrified" and "classic" when I screamed "Eat me, eat me RAW!" This happened. All I can say is: Thank God my mom was there and not my grandfather. I would still be humiliated to this day. Funny now, though.

Anyway, I obviously kept the booklets...I am not sure how they made it all the way to now as I've had many reckonings where countless knickknacks of memory and once-held, now-dead value were bagged and trashed to make way for new things, less sentimental, more adult.

I remember the image of this girl in particular tapped into my ever increasing sense of jealousy for all things I did not have and simply was NOT: athletic, shining, perky, preppy, and lovely. Imagine that, whilst the Tampax corporation was only trying to teach me about my body, myself, they instead gave me another--completely fabricated--visage to detest and idolize, an act so common and fraught during any girl's teen years.

Finally, related and unrelated, the Isely Contract. As I've mentioned, there were no grades at Isely...there were technically no grades on two levels: no letter grades and classes were mixed 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. Now, I hate to think I saved this particular contract out of some self-flagellating punishment for errors made so long ago, but I also hate the idea that I saved an average contract of mine showing my basic level of commitment. I will say there was a drawing on the back, I think of myself as Boy George, so that's probably why this, out of all the contracts I had, was the one that survived. So, here it is. Try (only try) not to judge.

To my credit, the "cave in" was very challenging. I admit the principal did have to come and talk to me about my performance--not just for this contract, but in general. I was not called to her office. Oh no. She came to my class and, while my classmates worked quietly (very quietly) around me, talked to me at my desk. They would hate to have to excuse me from Isely to attend another school because I could not complete the work. Isely made not have had grades, but you'd better do the work. That shamefest motivated me (the point, obviously) and they never kicked me out. Even so, I doubt I was ever the star, the runner up, or even high in the lower half of the class. Whatever the case, I got what I needed from Isely. Wonderful memories of a cutting edge school and knowledge of My Changing Body.

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