First, let me clear something up: For the most part I wasn’t an awful person in high school; I was mostly just an awful student.
Second: These are stories as I remember them, not deep dive researched facts. I reserve the right to get things wrong, to leave things out, and to contradict myself. I contain multitudes.
I wasn’t supposed to go to El Camino Real High School; I lived in Canoga Park, and my house was in the borders for Canoga High. But I wanted to go to ECR because they had a better drama department, and I wanted to be an actor (with about the same level of realistic planning as a five year old has when they want to be an astronaut who fights fires, and is also a video game champion).
The problem: LAUSD requires you to have a reason to transfer, and in the days before charter schools “I MUST SHARE MY GIFT OF ACTING WITH THE WORLD” wasn’t a good enough reason. So my folks and I found another way: a gifted transfer. I used a dubious gifted test from elementary school as an excuse to get back into the gifted program, and that was only offered locally at ECR. After a year of skating through the gifted program I returned to regular classes, where I thrived (or just continued skating at the new, easier level).
The “become an actor” plan didn’t pan out, but I did meet Katherine at ECR, and that was better. If you’d like to know how that story goes, you can read my ancient short stories I wrote for an English class when I finally decided to properly go to college instead of skipping classes and hiding in bookstores. That’s right, even my wild college escapades were boring.