csberry: (completely different cross-dressing)
On Saturday, I attended the council's University of Scouting training day at Cullman High School (a small city about half way between Birmingham and Huntsville). The alarm went off at 5:45am...far earlier than I've awoken in months. I wasn't certain if I was going to get the preferred classes I signed up for in pre-registration and wanted to get there early if I needed to alter my schedule. Registration started at 7:30am and the opening ceremony was to begin at 8:45am, so I was aiming to get there around 8am. I was ready to leave the house early and the trip was shorter than anticipated, so I had a lot of time to kill between grabbing my schedule and when things started kicking into gear. I sat in the high school's auditorium killing time and trying not to fall asleep. When one of the scouts from my troop showed up, he verified that I looked dead tired.

I spent much of the day distracted by the school. The high school consists of several buildings grouped together with covered walkways connecting them. I've never been to a school where each building was essentially a hallway of classes and exterior covered sidewalks connected each of these hallway clusters.* It was a very rainy day, so some of my enthusiasm of attending a school of this sort was tempered by how wet I got below the knees from the blowing rain.

The cost of high school text books was another thing highlighted. Every class had the text book required for the class in the desk. No personal copies for these students. Considering the size of the text books, they certainly looked like they would compete with some of my college books on cost. I was already expecting to see whiteboards instead of blackboards, but was intrigued that every room had a SMARTboard. I just wish I could have seen them at work for any other purpose than a screen for the projected computer images.

When not daydreaming about what it would be like as a student at Cullman High, I was on the lookout for a high school friend of mine's twin boys. Liz and I were really good friends in high school and she has obviously regaled her twin sons with stories of our/my quirks and hi-jinx. Each time they spotted me, they'd touch my nose and say "Nose!" (something I did in high school), grunt "quark" (something Liz and I did during physics class), and call me "Honey" (which was how Liz usually addressed me and, to much laughter, accidentally my dad). I tried to warn the boys I had a cold and a runny nose, but they didn't pay that any mind. So...I hope they aren't sick this week. :)

The following may only be of interest to [livejournal.com profile] chris21718, who shares my enjoyment of exploring back roads. ;)

The trip was also nice in that I took a route I haven't taken in years. Twenty some-odd years ago, when traveling from Huntsville to B'ham, my family would take Hwy 231 south out of Huntsville, across the Tennessee River, and head west on state hwy 36...but instead of taking it to I-65 in Hartselle, we turned SW at Cotaco (essentially an intersection with a few abandoned businesses and a couple of gas stations) from 36 to take "Eva Road" that ran past Brewer HS, through Eva, and we'd take that to Cullman, where we would turn west onto hwy 157 to join up with I-65. My dad said it saved a few minutes when he timed it in the 80's. Now that we have I-565 joining Huntsville to I-65, a lot of people don't take 36 anymore and I certainly haven't had a reason to take Eva Road even when taking 36. On Saturday, I took that route and learned something particularly cool considering my circumstances. The north end of Eva Road is at 36 in Cotaco. The south end of the road comes to a halt in Cullman...right in front of Cullman High School. I had never ventured further south than state hwy 157 on Eva Road, so it was neat to see that just a couple of curves later on the road, I was delivered to my destination.

* The first comment you'll typically hear from folks that attended my high school alma mater is how Grissom doesn't have windows. Students navigate via an interior hallway that encircles the school office/AV Room downstairs and the library upstairs. Branching from that central circle are "pods" where the hallway goes to the middle of each octagonal pod with class rooms making up slices of each octagon pie-like pod. To see the weather, you had to go out of the building for a portable classroom or head to the south wing of the school where there was a large glass-fronted hallway between the classroom area and the gym, lunchroom, and music wing.
csberry: (Default)
This is the slightly "corrected" version that was published in the elementary school's newsletter.

A long time ago there was a squirrel that, of course, didn't get some presents from Santa Claus. Every Christmas he thought he would get some presents. Every Christmas he was put out by getting nothing for Christmas. He was 7 years old and he was put out by it. He finally wrote a letter to Santa that said, "Please Santa, make a Santa Squirrel or come to my tree!" When the letter got to Santa, he was surprised. "I wonder if I saw a squirrel around here?" He looked here and there, but he couldn't find a squirrel. At last he found a squirrel under a chair. He asked the squirrel, "Would you like to be Santa Squirrel?" The squirrel said, "Yes, that is what I was going to ask you." Well, let's get to it. All summer long Santa Squirrel worked. Finally, on Christmas Eve Santa Squirrel got on the sleigh with Santa. And all the squirrels in the world were satisfied. And on Christmas night Santa Squirrel sits right by Santa Claus and gives squirrels happiness.
csberry: (Default)
I know posting something which I actually have an interest in getting comments on a Friday is an exercise in frustration. However, after reading a MentalFloss post on yearbook quotes, I felt a desire to share.

I actually submitted two quotes (others had done it before and I couldn't narrow it down to one). Only one was printed and I've often wondered what the conversation might have been like when the yearbook folks came across my submission:

"My hippo is wet; I'm wringing him out."
"All praise and glory 2 God." - Prince
(Whoo! I love you, His Purpleness!)

They only printed the Prince one. The first quote was said by one of my younger brother's friends one night while waiting outside the mall. He had won a stuffed hippo in the arcade. While the other guys were busy tryin' to mack on some babes, Tim dropped his hippo in a puddle and was obsessed with getting it dry - completely ignoring the chicks. The quote was one of his replies to their teasing him about the obsession. I was a fan of farce (especially Eugene Ionesco's "The Bald Soprano") at the time and the quote struck me as sublimely dada-esque.

My favorite senior quote was from Becky Moore, who was a year ahead of me and also in theater. I couldn't use the quote then, but I've used it innumerable times since.

"If there is anything a nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity."

That's fucking brilliant! It disarmed many assholes in college while discussing punk/counterculture and elitism...too many folks rebel against the conformity of society by merely creating their own standards to which they judge others, as opposed to not giving a shit about who does what and live and let live.
csberry: (DispairDancing)
Thanks for implanting Cathy Dennis songs in my head! I am fighting nostalgic memories of trips to the "hip" clothing stores at the mall as a teenager now.
csberry: (Default)
I've borrowed from my parents my "school memorabilia" folder containing everything from report cards to programs for school plays to career placement testing results. One of the interesting things I found was an editorial I wrote for the Bama student paper, the Crimson White. This was written my senior year ('94 or '95).

How 'Forrest Gump' is similar to 'The Last Temptation of Christ' )
csberry: (Default)
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Every kid is picked on and called names. The laziest of all nicknames are plays off of your name. From my Army Brat perspective, I feel that my mobile childhood kept me in the low tier of societal bonding. "Cordless" was the easy nickname combining my name, the new-fangled phone technology, and the basic male jokes about genitalia. As a young teen, I yearned to develop enough of a bond to "earn" a nickname. I'm not W, but I like nicknames and will easily slip into using those...because I'd want people to call me by my nickname (why wouldn't people want that? - yeah, I know). My dad gave my brother the nickname "Shortlegs," but it's me that uses the nickname enough to keep it alive. Calvin calls my brother "Uncle Shortlegs" more than half the time.

The only nickname I've really had in my life is "RoadKill." When Darrell came to WTN, he wanted to have a stunt boy on the show. As the call-screener, I was available to leave the studio while Thom manned the board and did phones. This role involved putting me in sometimes bizarre, sometimes poignant, and sometimes abusive situations (as illustrated by the partial list in my userinfo). While my personality was a good fit for this, I needed a good nickname to use on air. It's easier to abuse a "Rat Boy" or "RoadKill" than it is "John Smith" and have the audience accept the event as entertainment.

So, with that in mind, we decided to let the show's listeners come up with the name. Some of the names the listeners submitted and voted for:
SpeedBump (my preference)
Possum Boy
Rat Boy
Gay Boy (yeah, w00t! conservative talk radio!)
My favorite part of the process was the morning we brought the guy that produced the show opening on the air. Bumper Morgan* set up shop in the production room next door, we were able to bring that room on the air, and we had him redo the show opening (with all of its bells and whistles) with the potential nicknames. Hearing each one from the list being voiced and edited into the mix live on the air was a hoot to hear. Because you don't just say the name. You have to try different ways of intonation and pacing. "...and Gay Boy...*cough*...and GAY Boy...and Gaaaay Booooy...GAy...gaYEh...gEeeeh-yah"

I think the voting fell how I've listed the names.

"RoadKill" hasn't really moved with me from radio. I've never had luck being able to use it as a username for any forums, boards, communities, or anything else online. It was created for a role on the show and with that show it will stay, I guess.

ETA - I have already thought of about a possible future nicknaming time - when I become a grandparent. I like the name "Grumpy." One day, I might be "Grumpy Berry." :)

* - God, doesn't radio have fun names! I'd love to be called Bumper, Spot, Liner, Dub, or any other radio jargon as a name! Well, I guess "POT" might be a hard one to have to explain all the time (short for "potentiometer" - basically it's the volume knob on a sound board). Selection of some of my fav radio nicknames of people I've met: Rick O'Shay, Gator, Scooter, Frank O. Pinion (actually, a hilarious host in St.Louis), Ian the Pion, Dingo, The Nighthawk, and Smokey Rivers.

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Cory Berry

June 2016

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