I hated middle school junior high too

This’ll probably end up being a bunch of unintelligible gobblety-gook because I have spent the last two days untangling a whole bunch of old spaghetti-like javascript. Now, don’t get me wrong. This kind of prodject (intentionally misspelled) is right up my alley. I was chompin’ at the bit when the long-suffering cat-herding person pointed in my direction. Gimme, gimme! I love to write code. I love to debug code. Any kind of code. This is web-based client-side code. So… Faaaar up the Faaaarfox error console, add a bunch of alert boxes or other output devices, comment code out and get one little bitsy bit of code working before stepping on to the next. Y’all wouldn’t think somebody as impatient as me would be suited for this kind of meticulous work but I am. In fact, I can get lost in it and forget what time it is. As fun as it is, my brain is fried after a day of doing that. I left work at a perfectly sweet breaking point today though! No leftover problems to give me processing dreams tonight. I don’t think…

Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe I ended up working in the IT industry. Talk about coming in through the back door. I was a blasted music major! When I first arrived at college, my roommate was interested in being an accounting major. Much more practical than music, don’tcha think? This was the early 1970s and she had to take a Fortran class. And *some* of y’all might know what that meant, right? First, you had to go to some kind of computer lab to type your program onto some keypunch cards. Then, you had to take those cards to [probably] some extremely nerdy boy at a window. And thennnnnn, some time later — sometimes muuuuuch later, if the “system” had gone down or whatever — you — dun dun dun — went back to that window and picked up your program’s output on 11×14 inch fanfold computer paper. The first time my roommate went through this agonizing process, she was presented with stack of paper a couple feet high, with like one or two characters or words or whatever per page. Yiiiy!! I was glad I was a music major. I didn’t have to deal with the computer lab or any nerdy guys or anything. Well, I did have to deal with nerdy guys but they were mostly afraid of me so that wasn’t much of a problem.

I never did end up working in the music world but that would be a whole ‘nother entry. Thanks to my cousin Pooh (thanks Pooh, really), I did manage to land a very lowly job at a computer operations shop for a government contractor over at the EPA. (That’s not exactly where I met the GG — actually I met him through Pooh too — but he subsequently began working for the EPA as a computer scientist and has had a long, good career there. Just had to make clear that we are still involved with the EPA even though I haven’t worked over there for years.)

After a rather clumsy, inauspicious start, I took to the computer world like a duck in water and I carved out a pretty darn good niche for myself there. A niche that eventually allowed me to work part time for *years* while I was raising young children. And I taught myself how to program Fortran, which *eventually* earned me some respect from the “boys’ club” there. Don’t get me wrong. There were female programmers then, there have been since the beginning, and there are now. I’m just saying that I didn’t really regard myself as a likely candidate for an information technology career and there were some hurdles to overcome because I was female (and didn’t have any experience back in the dark ages of the late 1970s). I did it anyway, having children along the way and taking time off to raise them. And no, I am not a CEO of anything. I would *hate* that!

Okay, where was I? I really did hate junior high. I wasn’t teased. I don’t even think people didn’t like me. I just couldn’t figure out how to be as happy as I was when I was a wild grade school kiddo running and jumping and riding my bike and just generally being wild and having fun. I didn’t know to make the kind of small talk with other people that smooths the world over and makes friends.

I am still awkward with small talk and don’t even talk to me about parties. But life is pretty damn good now. And I think I am done blathering for the night.

Love y’all

2 Responses to “I hated middle school junior high too”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I was awkward and shy, but loved both. They were way better than grade school where I was always one of the smallest in the class and got hammered at dodgeball. Yuck.

  2. kayak woman Says:

    I hated dodgeball too. I still don’t understand that game.