Disclaimer: You may have heard this story before. If so, I apologize – after almost six years of daily updates, I sometimes forget what I’ve written and therefore repeat myself. I don’t think I’ve told this story in its entirety though, so I will now tell you my shameful secret!
Ready? Here we go:
For all my verbal skills and penchant for using seven slyly descriptive words where a smaller one would definitely suffice, I’ve been hiding a fairly large secret from all but my closest friends. My own family doesn’t even know; so deep is my cavern of secrecy. However, in the spirit of the season I now invite you to explore my depths. Won’t you please come a-spelunkin’ in my caves?
I haven’t graduated high school.
I know, I know – in the grand scheme of the universe, this isn’t really all that shocking. Thousands of people haven’t graduated high school, and they don’t write auto exposés about it on the internet. Why am I so very special that I think my non-graduation is any different? Just who the hell do I think I am, anyway?
For starters, I
used to be have always been one of the “good” kids. Our kind never dreamed about dropping out or being anything less than perfect in every way. We lived for parental approval, and teachers always left the class in our charge when stepping out because we were just that smart and good and well-behaved and all had excellent heads on our excellent, over-achieving shoulders. I was one of these people; extra curricular activities out the ass and enough volunteer work to be up for sainthood. Yes, we were nerds of every flavour, and old people adored us because we were just so very GOOD.
So, what happened? How can I have fallen from grace? Why did I not receive the standard form letter from the Premier congratulating me on my successful completion of high school? Why do I not have a diploma that at the very least would get me an excellent job manning the fry vat at the Burger King on the corner?
I did not graduate high school on a technicality.
Just over one month before my high school days were to be put behind me, I was called down to the principal’s office. The school administration had been going through all the graduate’s transcripts, and had discovered something odd about mine. I had more than enough credits to graduation – 22 over the required 52, as a matter of fact – but I was missing one thing: I did not take Consumer Education in Junior High.
In grade 9, I desperately wanted to take an additional arts course that was only offered in one block. Unfortunately, that created a schedule conflict with my required Consumer Education class, a government-mandated course that all BC students must take in order to graduate. I seriously did not see how spending an entire semester learning how to write a cheque would help me in the real world, so I went to speak with our guidance counselors, who called a meeting with the principal.
Given my excellent school record and shining example of what every loser nerd ought to want to be, the principal decided that I would be given an exception so I could take my band class and not the required Consumer Education course. He explained that the course was outdated and on its way out anyway, and by the time I graduated high school it would no longer be a mandatory requirement for graduation. He wrote a note to have my schedule changed, congratulated me on being such an excellent student and hapless loser (albeit with a giant rack), and sent me on my delighted way.
Fast forward to May of my graduation year. Consumer Education had NOT been removed from the required course list, and as a result, I would not be graduating high school. I begged and pleaded and cried, but rules were rules – I missed a necessary class, and I would not successfully pass Grade 12. With one month left in the school year, there was not enough time for me to take the class and I was utterly, fantastically, fucked. 74 credits and my extra curricular activities be damned! No graduation for Kimli!
I managed to keep this a secret from my parents. The graduation ceremony things had already been printed, and my name was on it – so they got to see me on the stage with the rest of my class, but that was it. If you check with the government of BC, it will show that I did not graduate high school. I didn’t drop out; I just didn’t finish on a technicality. In disgust and anarchy, I didn’t bother trying to fix what I saw as the School Board’s failing and have since let the issue lie, only bringing it up when I have nothing else to talk about (as demonstrated here).
I am a total fraud and a failure.
I have, however, graduated college with three designations. No high school, but definitely college. I don’t even know how I managed to get in, but I wisely chose not to question the decision and just went about my total fraud and utter failure of a way. My secret haunts me to this day, with my great job and frankly excellent life – it’s all built on a technicality of a lie, and one day the past is going to catch up with me and it’ll all be stripped away and replaced with a paper hat and a salt shaker.
And that’s my secret. I’ll understand if you totally hate me now.