1 Nephi 1: 1, 3
...therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days. And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge.

^^That pretty much explains this blog.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

High School Activities

Today's question from my book:  In school, what extra-curricular activities did you participate in and why did you choose these activities?

During high school, my life was music, except for that one year when I was a JV cheerleader in 10th grade. That was a mistake, I think, looking back on it. I actually left District Chorus competition because I was an alternate cheerleader and they called in all the alternates.

The famous Diana Robinson, who was a TV broadcaster in Philadelphia at the time (now in Chicago), volunteered to mentor our squad. She had been a cheerleader when she went to Scott. When she saw there was only one black girl on the squad she had a fit. The captain of the squad told her there were four girls on the alternate list--three black girls and one white girl--me! So, I got in by default. She couldn't very well turn me down.  :-}

I remember Mona Trace rushed into the music room one day after school, where I was rehearsing with Miss Wamsher, the music director at Scott Intermediate High School (9th and 10th grades). Mona said, "Susan, all the alternates are now cheerleaders! Come on! Practice is now!"

I looked at Mona, then looked at Miss Wamsher, dropped my music on the nearest desk and RAN to the gym with Mona. I was a cheerleader? I was a cheerleader!

Well, in hindsight, this was a great and hilarious calamity. I have, and had, no physicality for cheerleading. Unbeknownst to me at the time, but known quite well in the present, I was/am a klutz. I have rhythm, so I could dance well enough to do the back and forth stuff, sideline hand-clapping (Let's go, Raiders! Raiders, let's go! clap-clap), rooting (Go! Fight! Win!), etc., but beyond that, no. The joke was on the cheerleading squad when they recruited me. Or maybe I thought I pulled it off. I don't know.

Cheerleading in the early 1970s didn't involve gymnastics like today. Cartwheels and the occasional fake split was expected, nothing too hard for a normal, nimble person, which I was not. I remember one time I did a required cartwheel and landed on top of Nancy Jackson. Poor Nancy. She rubbed her head and looked at me. I'll never forget that look. She was a sweetheart and didn't hold it against me . . . I don't think.

Being a cheerleader that year made me attractive to a certain boy and a romance spawned that lasted off and on my entire sophomore year, with not a little angst, but it was my first real crush. He thought it was funny that I was a cheerleader, but knew nothing about the game of football. I still, to this day, do not know how it works.

For instance, one Saturday, he and I attended the varsity football game. We were walking along the sidelines, holding hands, when he told me we should go sit with his uncle at the 50-yard line. Well, he went one way, I went the other and we tugged in opposite directions. I looked at him, baffled, and asked, "Well, which end is it?"

Needless to say, he rolled on the ground laughing so hard. I was clueless as I stood there watching him. We never did go sit with his uncle. Oh, yeah, there was an assembly put on by the football team and one of them dressed like a cheerleader yelling, "Which end is the 50-yard line?" Uproarious laughter from the audience, most of whom didn't know it really happened--and I never told.

I didn't forsake music altogether in 10th grade. I still sang in the Bel Canto Choir, the Scott Singers and my guitar trio. Oh, how I loved singing--still do.

Yes, I got caught up in being a cheerleader, but went happily back to music exclusively in my junior year. I didn't even tryout for the varsity cheerleading squad. Music was my comfort zone. Cheerleading . . . not so much.

I'm not sure, but I don't think I have one picture of me in cheerleading. In 10th grade we weren't in the C.A.S.H. yearbook and I don't think we had a yearbook at Scott.

Oh, well. It would have been nice just to prove I was actually on the squad. Nobody who knows me now would believe it, otherwise.


But I digress . . .
You can read of my musical pursuits in my May 1, 2011 blog post. I think I said it all there.