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So, I’m going to tell you guys about some of my experiences in high school. This will be a multi-part blog, but I’ll start a little bit before high school since that’s when I arrived in the town I ended up going to high school in. In February of 2003 I left Miliani, Hawaii because my dad was stationed in Tulsa, Oklahoma as an active duty adviser for the Oklahoma National Guard. We arrived in Tulsa in March and lived in a hotel in Broken Arrow for several weeks before we finally found a house in Bixby, Oklahoma. Our real estate agent assured us that south Tulsa had the best schools and that we would be more than happy in our new home. She failed to mention that our house was located in very, very small town and that 99% of the people living there had lived there their entire lives and their parents were from there, and their grandparents, and so on. It was a rural farming community and while my house was located north of the river in town, my school was located south of the river in a largely agricultural area. Now, while I grew up on Army bases, I went to my grandparent’s home in Alabama every summer where my grandfather was a farmer. I really loved that lifestyle and thought it was so cool; every summer I would pick up eggs in my counsins’ family’s chicken house and help my grandpa with his cows and I even thought I wanted to be a bovine vetranarian. When we lived in Hawaii I used to beg my parents to let me move to Alabama and live with my grandparents so I could be in 4-H and FAA and all of that! My mom went to the high school in Alabama in the town that I had always begged to move to, in a town smaller than the one we moved to in Oklahoma, and she tried to warn me not to romanticize it too much and explained how it would be, but I didn’t believe her. I imagined everything you see in the movies or hear about small town high schools: football, cheerleaders, dances, parties, sneaking around, being young…but the key is that I imagined getting to be a part of all of those activities, I never imagined what it would be like if you went to that ideal school, but weren’t included in these things. I met some really nice people when I first moved to Bixby and several people were really friendly to me (and continued to be friendly to me until 10th grade). I remember being shocked that there were so many cute guys (I had tons of crushes on island boys in Hawaii, but they never paid attention to me because I was “haole”)…

For that one month in 8th grade I sat with a group at lunch that was really friendly, but then something happened that was indicative of the rest of my years at Bixby. It was the last month of 8th grade (I think I checked into school in late March and we got out in mid May, so not too long after I had moved there) and I was in the cafeteria. Mind you, our stuff was still being shipped from Hawaii, so we were living out of suitcases. I think I only had a few outfits and they were Hawaii style outfits…just jeans and t-shirts. I was a MAJOR tomboy and I had worn GAP and Vans brands before, but that was it. I knew I didn’t fit in because I saw that everyone dressed in Abercrombie & Fitch or other brands of clothes, but up to this point I had never even heard of those brands (weirdly enough Abercrombie & Fitch will play a large part in my narrative of high school). I had a burgundy wrap shirt on and some jeans, but I was young and still wore “granny panties”, specifically white cotton with a thick waistband. The cafeteria tables were in rows and I was on the last row in the room, on the bench that placed my back to the rest of the cafeteria. I remember I was eating salad with ranch dressing and the next thing I new I felt someone behind me and I felt my underwear being pulled up really hard. I didn’t turn around, I didn’t flinch, I didn’t scream, I just kept eating. Everyone at the table stopped and stared at me and the cafeteria got really quiet with a few laughs, but I didn’t even know who had given me the wedgie. A few days later (it may have even been the next day, but I don’t think so), I was called to the principal’s office and a cute, tan, blonde girl was in there. Apparently the girl that had given me the wedgie felt bad about what she had done and confessed to the office and they made her apologize to me…

A few weeks later, school got out and I had only made one friend so far. I hung out with her throughout the summer and we decided to try color guard together in 9th grade…

What were your best years of school? What is your worst and best memory of school, before high school? What advice would you give someone that is being bullied? What advice would you give kids that bully others?