Friday, February 01, 2008

Algebra is your friend

Actually, no, it's not. But it can make you friends.

I'd met City Girl before 8th grade algebra. She had moved to the area after me and we occasionally road the same bus to middle school. But we never really spent any time together until we started taking accelerated algebra. It was a 9th grade class offered to a select group of 8th graders. It was the one and only "tough" class offered for our year. The only one that the homework took more than 30 minutes.

I did pretty well at it in the first couple of weeks. This I know because our teacher posted a "Top 10" list combined for both sections of the class he taught, along with the "Up and Coming" 11-20th placed students.

As one of the few people City Girl new previously who was in the class with her she called me for algebra help. And for the first few months we'd talk on the phone every night or every other night entirely about math.

As the year progressed we'd call each other so regularly and stay on the line so long that our parents dispared. It got to the point that one of us would lift up the receiver to call the other and find the line had already connected because the other person had already dialed through.

We started talking about everything except math. And I had a 4th quarter grade to prove it. I never did make that "Top 10" board again.

Then came high school. We talked through everything between us. First boyfriends, first kiss, first car, lead in the play, varsity letter, annoying parental units, study groups. She was the person I took with me when I won tickets on the radio to go see my favorite band. (Which was the most teenage moment of my teenage years!) We always had other friends -- in retrospect we had an amazing group of friends -- and whom we were closest to varied over year to year but she and I were always present no matter who else was.

What can I say? She understood me.

Now she and I along with Paralith, another great friend of ours from high school, blog at about feeling adrift in the world after college. Apparently, we three are still pretty good at understanding each other.

One of the most amazing things about Paralith, City Girl and I in high school was that we found each other and nurtured this shared passion of writing fiction and building characters, their plots and the worlds they lived in. They were my first writing group. Not long ago Paralith made a comment about the serial nature of my TreeSinger posts. Namely that it reminded her of how we would pass stories between us in middle and high school.

In those days we didn't have full length drafts to circulate, so we handed off whatever we had finished the night before and read it in the spare minutes between passing bells before handing it off to the next person to read. City Girl would correct my spelling, Paralith would fill the page with questions about what is this? or where is this going? or that's an incredibly cool dodad you've created! while I would hand back pages that bled with wording suggestions.

I can't remember any of our other friends getting into it. They'd read occasionally but us three were the ones doing most of the writing. Although there was some sort of group written soap opera featuring real live high schoolers all written about with their code names. Only I don't recall much of that one.

We've all dabbled on and off with writing, but I'm the one who is taking it seriously these days. Paralith found biology. City Girl found acting and now PR. These other passion are pesky and detract from lengthy writing sessions.

Highly Recommended