It’s snowing again.
I have a funny story to tell about the snow. I was talking to my good buddy Elle over instant message, and as usual my fingers were flying across the keyboard. I wasn’t really paying attention to what I was typing, and when I looked back at the screen (I touch-type, but I think I was distracted by the tv), I realized I had made a major typo. Instead of “snowing,” I had typed “SNWOING!” Elle cracked up and said it looked like a made-up cuss word, so now when we want to cuss, we’ll write “SNWOING!” instead.
Do you know how hard it is to mistype something when you’re actually trying to do it? It’s hard! Try it!
I’m kind of thrilled about the snow (sorry, Cosmic). The last snowfall hadn’t completely melted by the time it started up again, so there are areas where it’s snowing on top of old snow. I don’t know why that’s so exciting to me, but it is. I think it’s because most other places I’ve lived, the snow has always melted before another fall began. I wish I remember more about living in Nebraska, but then I only spent the two winters there.
Living in Nebraska was really awesome. I so enjoyed it because I felt like I had really found my niche. Being a Navy brat, we moved around a bit — not as much as most military brats, but enough that I attended six schools between kindergarten and twelfth grade. The first time we lived in northern Virginia, I was trying to adjust to a new home and a new family. My father and stepmother had just gotten married, they were both in the Navy, working long hours, and my sister and I came to live with them the summer before I started first grade. We all had quite the learning curve, especially since at times, the four of us were like oil and vinegar. No matter how much you shook us up, we were never going to emulsify into one family. It eventually happened, but not while we lived in northern Virginia. As a result, I had a tendency of acting out in school. I was sort of a pain in the neck. I was one of those kids whose desk was always shoved up against the chalkboard when all the other kids’ desks were in groups of four. I just couldn’t be trusted to keep my mouth shut and pay attention. The other problem was I was one of those smart kids, yet I didn’t test well enough place into the gifted & talented program until just before we moved to northern Illinois. I think I figured the tests were a joke, and I didn’t care about them. At any rate, I was incredibly bored in school — hence the non-stop talking. They should have just let me read my way through the school day!
Which is all a long and roundabout way of saying I didn’t fit in at my elementary school in northern Virginia.
Next up, northern Illinois. I went to a very, very, very, very tiny school there. Four hundred students in kindergarten through eighth grade. There were only something like ten or twelve girls in my grade. It was insane. We did have a gifted program, at least until right before we moved again. So I was slightly less bored in school, but now I was Different. For one thing, I still sucked my thumb in the fifth grade while in class. For another thing, my last name was obviously of Jewish extraction. I was called Jew Girl every single day. How the kids knew I was of Jewish ancestry, I have no idea. Why it even mattered, I don’t know. But everyone in that school were white and Protestant, and because I was supposedly white but not Protestant (though I was attending church at the time), I was labeled as Different and therefore open for being made fun of.
I had a few friends, a few of whom I’m still friends with, but we were sort of the nerd faction in the school. Again, there was no niche found.
Then a couple of months into the eighth grade, it was time to move again. This time it was to Nebraska. My first year there was hell. I went from a tiny school where the entire junior high (sixth through eighth grade) was only 100 students, and where we had very little in the way of class selection, to a school where two grades (seventh and eighth) totaled up to at least 500 students. The culture shock was severe, and it didn’t help that I started there as a new kid halfway through the year. One girl who was highly disliked by the rest of my section attached herself to me on the very first day, so there went any option of having friends since I just couldn’t cold-shoulder her like everyone else had. I was only popular when it was time to pick partners for various projects because hey! Karyl’s smart! Let’s be her partner so she’ll do all the work! Fortunately the teachers knew I did all the work and graded accordingly.
But then the very next year I switched schools again because now I was starting high school. The majority of the kids I went to middle school with went to the other high school. I was with all new students — and for once, it was a great thing. Somehow I found a niche of goofy smart kids, and I became Miss Popularity for that year. I had so many friends, I started having to keep track of them. I had boyfriends, I had friends, I went to get-togethers… it was awesome. I also was being challenged in school for the first time, so I actually had to pay attention! No more reading novels during class time.
So when my father told me we had to move back to northern Virginia at the end of the school year, I wanted to cry. It did get me out of being in the marching band, but I really didn’t want to leave. I didn’t fit in back in northern Virginia! But you know, that’s what military brats do. So I sucked it up and got through the last three years of high school with a little help from my friends. The education part was easy; it was the social part that was hard for me. But I found a group of like-minded nerds, and things went all right until I broke up with my high school boyfriend of two years. I spent my senior year of high school trying to find someone with whom to fit in.
I have fond memories of my ninth grade year. I only wish I could have spent all four years of high school there. As it is, I wouldn’t trade anything to give up my time in Nebraska because it taught me that if I look hard enough, I will find like-minded people, even if it takes a little bit of time. And that is so very true.