Saturday, January 17, 2009

Our Alma Mater

Those red and black colors - those are significant..... While it doesn't appear that Mikayla will be a future Thurston Colts* alumni, Mom and I are - and proud to wear the colors to prove it.

Today we went back to our former stomping grounds (with Dad as well - also an alum) to watch the Dance Competition that Thurston's Dance Team, "Cabaret" hosted. Mom was a member of the original dance team Thurston ever had, "The Ponytails", while I was a member of the Cabaret as a senior. I could spend a whole post discussing that miracle that I made the team....but I'll focus on today instead.

There was a running theme to many of the performances (about 9 altogether) - zombies, robots, dream creatures..... kind of freaky to be honest. But, some of those girls could seriously dance and hearing "Thriller" again was kind of fun. Thurston's team had their "High Kick" group (I would guess about 2/3rds of the team are a part of this) do an exhibition during the first round and I admit I was happy to see pink leopard leotards, leg warmers, and headbands all advertising their "Flashdance" routine. It was impressive, kind of a bummer that kicklines are really not included in many of the state performances anymore as they really are a crowd pleaser. Also, that was the one thing I could do well - really well. While most of that year of dance team was as hard of work as anything I'd ever experienced up until that point, I could manage to kick my leg up to hit my nose - and it was the only thing I was ever asked to demonstrate to show others "the right way to do it....". (It CERTAINLY was not my coordination!). So, long story short - I enjoyed Thurston's performance.

And, so did Mikayla. She left, sad that we weren't returning for the second round, and eager to hear when the next competition will be. She's determined she'd like to be the third generation to participate in such an activity, so I'm working with her already to try to figure out how to keep beat (as I honestly did not learn until that summer working with the team before my senior year!). I think it will also keep her a little more committed to her once a week dance class, at least for a while.

* If Thurston High School sounds remotely familiar to some of you "out of towners" - there might be a reason. In 1998, Thurston was the location of one of the worst school shootings of its time. A boy named Kip Kinckel walked into the cafeteria and shot (I believe) 14 people. This was after he shot and killed both of his parents before leaving the house. To drive it even closer to home, Kip's father was my teacher for all four years of high school (he taught Spanish) - and I even taught Kip on one of the days I substituted (it was his 5th grade year, he was a brat, and I told him I didn't think his dad would appreciate a phone call from one his former students regarding his behavior....). At the time the shooting happened, I was teaching in one of the feeder middle schools to Thurston - crazy finding out more information online on CNN than we were learning from any of the administration..... and then trying to hide our knowledge to the already panicked student body who had family members attending that school. Such a sad, surreal experience. Kip is now spending life in prison........

(Heather, feel free to elaborate or correct any mistakes I'm making, and btw, where were you when that happened?)


Anonymous said...

Hey, Steph (from Steph H.)
I was teaching at Walterville, where you subbed for Kip. I had two girls in my class that year who lived in Kip's cul-de-sac. And when I got to school, I was the only one who knew what had happened, mainly because I was a little late and had my radio on in the car. We didn't even know that the other Spfld schools had locked down...scary when I think back.

Family O'Foxes said...

I graduated from Springfield Highschool...class of '90.

At the time of the shooting we didn't leave far from Thurston high school. I totally remember in vivid details that day. :(

StephieAnne said...

Thurston High School, Class of 1990! Crazy how many paths we've crossed over each other, Amy!

Family O'Foxes said...

I agree it is crazy. I played tennis in highschool. I played tennis (#1 singles player for our team). I remember playing against your tennis team. I want to say the tennis coach was the lady who owned Food Value (remember those grocery stores?). LaRue or something like that was her name.

Also I remember Thurston offered a SAT study class. So, a group of us took that prep class in the evenings at your school.

Small world.

Anonymous said...

Steph, you were awesome at drill team - I was so proud of you!

The shooting: I was working at HP in Corvallis and heard a vague rumor about a possible shooting while I was in the car on the way to work...I was so upset about it that I took off as soon as I could to a nearby store to buy a cheap radio so I could listen to more info. I remember sitting there at my desk trying not to cry while everyone else, who was shocked, nonetheless went about their business. I just kept thinking, "That was my cafeteria. I ate there. I walked those halls. I jogged past the tennis courts and down that road dozens of times. I can't believe this is happening." My parents' house was literally right across the street from the school, and mom had a scary period when police came to the door to ask if she's seen anyone and advise her to lock her doors, because they didn't know if there was a shooter loose in the neighborhood. A couple weeks later I drove down and Mom and I walked over where the dozen news vans were and walked the 'memorial fence.' There were track numbers, signs, and all sorts of kind gestures and prayers from Spfd HS students and so many others. I still get the creeps now when I drive by there! I know it's irrational but I think I'd be scared to send my kids there. I didn't know you'd also met Kip, Steph. How creepie. I remember watching the Frontline episode about their family, and how tragic it was that he never seemed to fit in with his family, that his sister bore the brunt of the entire tragedy (and with such grace), that they'd done everything they could but it didn't help. Scary, scary stuff in our own backyard. I thought the whole Diane Downs thing was bad enough!