mark monday's Reviews > Articles on Education in Santa Ana, California, Including: Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, California), Orange County High School of the Arts, Saddleback High School, Middle College High School

Articles on Education in Santa Ana, California, Including by Hephaestus Books
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Mar 23, 2012

bookshelves: unread-forever, super-private-journal

a completely off-topic review... dedicated to my favorite secret group: The Legion of Doom!

How mark monday Got Himself Placed on the Honors Track in High School and So Became a Smashing Success in Life... through Fighting and Lying!

in 9th grade, on my last day of school before moving from Virginia to Orange County (mid-school year), some joker told me that he was happy i was moving. so i grabbed my lunch tray and proceeded to bash it over his head repeatedly. i hate people who are discourteous!

in the Vice-Principal's office, i was told "This is the Last Time. You are Suspended for a week!"

to which i responded: "ha, ha, this is my last day, i'm moving to California tomorrow, stupid!"

and to which i was told: "We will hold your records until you have served your suspension, no matter where you go." ... Uh Oh

so in beautiful, peaceful, sunny-beyond-belief Orange County, California, i went in to register for my new life, second semester 9th grade. i got my id, filled out the forms, was told to return in a week, when school started up again after the break.

but that next week, they were perplexed - for some reason, my old school wasn't sending me my records! and yet my old school was also not communicating (God Bless Administrators Everywhere) and so my new school did not know what was going on. the trusting administrators at Los Alamitos High then just went ahead and asked me this key question:

Why Don't You Just Tell Us What Classes You Were In?

it was a make-it-or-break-it moment. in Virginia, i was purely Average. i was average at being average. but i was struck with inspiration and decided to lie and put myself in all of the Honors Classes. Advanced English, Advanced This and That. and they believed me! i couldn't believe my good fortune.

so merrily i went to Mrs. Bennett's Honors English class. upon walking in, i noticed they were doing some foofy role-play about The Illiad - which i had read like 3 years earlier. i thought to myself man they saw right through me! I'm back in Average Classes.

ha, i quickly realized i was wrong! the academic standards in California were so low in comparison to Virginia (and South Bend, Indiana, where i went to school before Virginia), that Honors English was actually not just equivalent to regular ole English in those other states... it was actually far less challenging. goodbye, Average Kid. hello, new Straight-A Student!


relevance to the book in question

very little, except i sorta did go to the Orange County High School of the Arts... back when it was located at Los Alamitos High School. The School of the Arts was an odd kind of add-on to Los Al, and so folks from all over the O.C. came to Los Al for this Arts Program that went on before and after the regular classes. usually dropped off in their family limos, no joke. since then, the Orange County High School of the Arts chose Santa Ana as its high school site.

i wonder why? maybe because of these types of shenanigans:

Los Al was also the site of much controversy in the late 80s, when a School of the Arts student was not allowed to exhibit her explicitly lesbian painting - unless it was covered up and the tagline "Let me live for the day when two women can love each other in peace" was changed to "Let me live for the day when two people can love each other in peace". Happily, the ACLU got involved and swinish school principal Carol Hart had to relent. Uncovered lesbianism on display at Los Al!

Much later, a certain Mayor of Los Alamitos got himself into a bit of trouble because of a so-called "joke" email he forwarded. That email was "An Obama Easter", featuring watermelons on the White House lawn.

and yet:

Newsweek Ranks Los Alamitos High School Among Nation's Top Schools

UPDATE: this article has now disappeared! but imma keep the link up anyway, just because.


(view spoiler)

and finally, lots of semi-famous Los Al graduates:
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
April 1, 1915 – Finished Reading
March 23, 2012 – Shelved
March 23, 2012 – Shelved as: super-private-journal
September 20, 2013 – Shelved as: unread
October 3, 2013 – Shelved as: unread-forever

Comments (showing 1-25 of 25) (25 new)

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message 1: by Mariel (new)

Mariel I was Smart in Alabama...

message 2: by mark (new) - added it

mark monday i was Advanced Placement at Los Al!

and now i'm reminded of another personal Los Al story that i want to add. time to edit review!

message 3: by ~Geektastic~ (new)

 ~Geektastic~ Dude, Virginia standards are better than other places? I don't believe you! My high school was a joke (except for AP US History, that shit was killer).

message 4: by mark (new) - added it

mark monday ha! well, this was the 80s. i bet things have changed! i also bet that Los Al is a much better place, so many years later. at least i hope it is.

all that said, i actually had an idyllic time at Los Al. high school was a wonderful time for me.

message 5: by mark (new) - added it

mark monday and on the other hand, Virginia was miserable. Franklin Cox High made me crazy. and at Bayside, the Virginia middle school i attended, i remember race war type fights. for a while i carried a chain around in my pocket, just in case the whites or the blacks decided to take issue with the browns (like myself) instead of with each other. and i also lived next door to a sewer plant. ah the sweet-smelling memories!

message 6: by ~Geektastic~ (last edited Mar 23, 2012 05:34PM) (new)

 ~Geektastic~ I can safely say there were no race wars at my school. There was a weird animosity between the rednecks and everyone else, but that's a given. I went to a tiny, tiny school (graduating class of less than 70). And we went on a field trip to the waste plant, but fortunately were not right next door.

message 7: by mark (new) - added it

mark monday lucky Amber! i think?

message 8: by ~Geektastic~ (new)

 ~Geektastic~ Lucky enough, anyway. Made it out alive and went to college. All you can really ask of your high school, I guess.

message 9: by Brandon (new)

Brandon mark wrote: "to which i responded: "ha, ha, this is my last day, i'm moving to California tomorrow, stupid!"

Can I assume that when you said this, you stood up and pointed at this person?

message 10: by mark (last edited Mar 23, 2012 06:59PM) (new) - added it

mark monday Brandon wrote: "...Can I assume that when you said this, you stood up and pointed at this person?

i think yes... and no doubt using the typically sassy (but of course exceedingly masculine) way that i engage with all authority figures!

Scott wrote: "I see this is available in hardcover or paperback. What about Nook or Kindle?"

i don't know... i think this is the first time that i've actually thought of the book in question.

book, don't be mad! i'm just using you but i have nothing against you. let's be friends!

message 11: by mark (new) - added it

mark monday never served any time. i have much gratitude towards easily confused & quickly disinterested school administrators. (no offense, school administrators)

Stephanie *Very Stable Genius* I recruited for employees at those schools.

message 13: by mark (new) - added it

mark monday the schools of the book's title or Los Al? if Los Al, i'm really curious as to your impression of the place.

Stephanie *Very Stable Genius* The book title, Los Al, I don't remember if I did. Long time ago and my old brain gets fuzzy.

message 15: by midnightfaerie (last edited Mar 27, 2012 05:43AM) (new)

midnightfaerie oh my god! that would have been heaven for me! I can't tell you how many idiot teachers I had that wouldn't put me in advanced classes for one reason or teacher hated my older sister...another hated my older thought i couldn't handle algebra, after getting not an A mind you, but an A+ (got all answers right on every test and bonus questions too) in his he put me in prealgebra! a whole year wasted! then there was the english teacher who disliked me cuz she was outgoing and liked to be loved, and i was quiet, shy, and bookish. i know i annoyed her. i tried everything to get into advanced english my freshman year after these stupid middle school teachers did this to me...but to no avail. Instead, finally giving up, I borrowed the book list from the advanced classes and read all the books on my own. Man, how nice it would have been to pick my classes!!!

great review! wait - what was the book again? :)

message 16: by Eileen (new)

Eileen Your reviews are a joy to read.

message 17: by mark (new) - added it

mark monday thanks Eileen & janine!

janine, don't you just love how some folks just love to put people in their little predetermined compartments? must make things easier for them, despite the impact on the actual people. ugh. sometimes i think a job where you are regularly engaging with other human beings can just wear some folks down, and this becomes a default way to handle a job that they are no longer truly connected to. i've seen this happen in both social work and government/public policy (which are the worlds that i work in). it is depressing - and degrading and often harmful to the folks they are supposed to be supporting.

message 18: by midnightfaerie (new)

midnightfaerie agreed!

message 19: by Miriam (last edited Apr 12, 2012 09:39AM) (new)

Miriam My grandmother pulled a similar fast one when she moved from Baltimore to Philadelphia, only in reverse: she realized the Philly schools were much better than the ones she had been in, and rather than be in the same grade and behind everyone else, she lied and said she was 11 instead of 14. With the age advantage she did very well! Of course then she had to keep lying about her age for the rest of her life...

I'm glad your never suspension never caught up with you!

message 20: by mark (new) - added it

mark monday wow, that is... awesome! your grandmother was really thinking outside of the box. although it is sorta funny to think that that meant she was 3 years younger for the rest of her life.

yeah, never caught up with me. i guess these california administrators are just too mellow to worry about such inconsequential things such as school records. works for me!

message 21: by Miriam (new)

Miriam It worked so well that she subtracted a few more years later, in order to date younger men :)

message 22: by mark (new) - added it

mark monday ha! i love your grandmother!

message 23: by Amanda (new)

Amanda That story pretty much made my day. (I, too, have often grateful for easily confused and quickly disinterested school administrators--albeit for other reasons!)

message 24: by mark (new) - added it

mark monday a teacher approves! well now you have made my day.

message 25: by Amanda (new)

Amanda mark wrote: "a teacher approves! well now you have made my day."

Hey, you were just showing all of the initiative and creative thinking that should define an advanced student!

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