One of the odd things about this picture are all of the people who aren’t there. The class was cut by roughly a third in between the 7th and 8th grade. The end-result being that a lot of people I have a lot of memories with aren’t in the 8th grade picture.

Another of the odd things are people who bring up visceral reactions, but that’s all I remember. I singled out #3 below and thought about singling out more, but they are too numerous. Not all of them are negative. Some of them I can immediately remember their name and that’s it. I don’t even know how I remember their name. Often it’s just “LIKE!” or “DON’T LIKE!” without much recollection of why.

Below is a list of recollections of various people. It’s far from inclusive, but I had to draw the line somewhere and chose 25 (though there are two #9’s and I should have combined #1 and #2). Assuming I remember this time, I will be fuzzing this picture up in a week or so. The row descriptions are inexact, but include both the cheerleader and faculty rows. I will neither confirm nor deny guesses as to which person in the photograph I am.

#1 (Third down, center-right): Stabbed a bully in the eye with a pencil

#2 (Middle row, off to the right): Was stabbed in the eye with a pencil by the Bullyslayer (he survived).

#3 (Third down, center-left): I hate this girl with a passion. Seeing her face makes me think “HATE! HATE! HATE!”… I cannot remember why.

#4 (Top-right): The Weatherby Twins

#5 (Bottom-left): At least two guys I know had a crush on her. Pre-cheerleader.

#6: The principal. She was an unremarkable principle, except that she followed a completely inept principal. The district loved her, though. She was promoted to a high school, then sub-intendant, then super-intendant, and how has a friggin’ school named after her. It’s the weirdest thing.

#7: Gave me my first F, changed my life.

#8: Got me grounded for three-and-a-half weeks. She was just out of school and quite attractive.

#9: Pink had an FBI agent for an ex-husband. Aqua had a former NFL linebacker. These are great ways to win points with middle-school boys.

#10: The infamous counseller who informed my parents that their son was not college material. (She did this while the counseller of my elementary school).

#11: My remedial reading teacher. She called my parents in for a conference. Scared me half-to-death. It turned out the meeting was to ask why I had been put in remedial reading and if it would be okay if I just played at the computer lab across the way since I was obviously so bored.

#12: Ex-marine who fixed shop class.

#13 (Fourth row up, near-center): The inexplicable wallflower.

#14 (Top row, right): This kid was a good example of the upside of athletics. He was a brute until he had coaches to tell him not to be.

#15 (Top row, left): He was a friend I don’t talk about much. His parents were deaf, but he wasn’t. He also appeared to have different ethnic routes than they. That suggested adoption, though the story was otherwise. In any event, he was the only good friend I had who had trouble in school for reasons other than lack-of-effort.

#16 (Fourth row up, far right): Clementine!

#17 (Third row up, mid-left): Nice girl, smart girl, cute girl. My friend dated her (a few years after this picture was taken) on this basis. It was a nightmare within weeks. A future post, I think.

#18 (Middle row, mid-left): I still feel guilty for how I treated this guy, theoretically a friend. He’s one of only a couple I’d like to go back and apologize to. The other guy I treated rotten deserved it.

#19 (Fourth down, center-right): The only kid my parents ever forbade me from hanging out with.

#20 (Third or fourth row up, near-left): A nerd’s nerd who somehow “made it” in high school. It was like his father needed to die for him to be comfortable with himself and therefore make friends.

#21 (Fourth row from bottom, mid-left): Moved to Deseret and joined an atypical religious sect.

#22 (Center): A friend with this sister… she was not remarkably attractive (indeed, I wasn’t positive when I first met her that she was a she instead of a non-masculine he, though to be fair she was 12), but man did I fall for her and hard when our families took a trip together.

#23 (Middle row, far-left): Did okay for himself.

#24 (Third row up, far right): Pregnant the following year.

#25 (Fourth row up, center-left): Lived a couple houses down. We were never friends, but I did get along with his older brother and had a special relationship with his younger sister. He had some behavioral issues, though I hear he turned himself around.

Category: School

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23 Responses to My Eighth Grade Class

  1. trumwill says:

    Dangit, right after I get this up I notice a couple of people. Enlarged picture updated:

    #26: A friend who became a Lost Causer and a degree of white supremacist.

    #27: The guy whose homework I did which kept the bullies at bay, before I became a pro.

    #28: A girl who said no.

    #29: A girl who would have said yes.

    #30: Smokin’ hot, and she signed my yearbook! More to the point, we were friendly enough that I felt comfortable asking her to do so. We made friendship through #27, oddly enough. I never did her homework, but would have if she’d asked. She was at the high school reunion. She won the award for having the most kids: 6.

  2. Peter says:

    It doesn’t surprise me that #25 had some “behavioral issues” given the way he’s looking off to the side with a big grin.

    It’s also not surprising that #14 was a top athlete, given that he looks more like a high school senior than an 8th-grader.

    At that age I would have looked more than a bit like a slightly thinner version of the Weatherby Twins, especially the twin on the picture’s right.

  3. Scarlet Knight says:

    I can’t see numbers 26-30.

  4. trumwill says:

    Thanks for the heads up about that thing. I’ll go over it when I get a chance tomorrow.

    Numbers 26-30 are in the first comment.

  5. trumwill says:

    Peter, what’s noteworthy is that everybody looking off to the side falls into one of two categories:

    1) I didn’t like them and can’t remember why.

    2) I didn’t like them and here’s why…

  6. Scarlet Knight says:

    Numbers 26-30 are in the first comment.

    Yes, I see the comments, but I don’t see the actual numbers on the picture.

    #5: I don’t know what they see in her.

    #8: I don’t know what you see in her.

    #23: My current governor. (not really, but they look alike)

  7. Kirk says:

    #10: The infamous counseller who informed my parents that their son was not college material. (She did this while the counseller of my elementary school).

    Well, your spelling is pretty badd.

  8. trumwill says:


    #5: Smart, nice, and pretty goes a long way.

    #8: Well, look at the other teachers…

    #23: Well, he does live in the northeast and is a Republican. So there’s that.

    Image updated, #26-30 added.

  9. Scarlet Knight says:

    #5: Smart, nice, and pretty goes a long way.

    Maybe the picture doesn’t do her justice, but I don’t think she is pretty compared to the other cheerleaders.

    I am struck with how dowdy their uniforms are. The next time you attend a middle school football game, take a look at a uniforms they wear now.

  10. trumwill says:

    Looking more closely at it, the picture doesn’t really do her justice. She was probably the third most attractive of the lot, in my estimation, after the middle one and the second one to the right. She was, however, one of the two most uniformly nice of the crew (third from the left being the other – third from the right being nice in the overall, though had a phase of very un-nice).

    Oddly enough, I haven’t seen any middle school cheerleader uniforms. They used to wear them on gameday back then. They don’t seem to in Redstone.

  11. Scarlet Knight says:

    after the middle one

    She is the prettiest of the bunch. Do you know what she looks like now?

    {Redacted for detail}

  12. trumwill says:

    She looked about the same at the reunion. She was attractive in a pro-forma sort of way, but in person she was more mannequin than human. Also, she wore nail polish. Here’s a more recent pic. That is… not what I would have expected her husband to look like.

    Regarding the redacted section, I appreciate you putting the link in there so that I can remove detail. The better way to go, though, is to put “moderateme” (one word) in there. At some point, I’m going to stop sending all comments with links through moderation.

    You are (obviously) correct about the logo. Maybe or maybe not on the other thing.

  13. Scarlet Knight says:

    #30: Smokin’ hot

    See in the picture that doesn’t come across. She looks like a barbie doll, very plastic. TBH the girl on the left looks to be about 17 and is very much my type. It makes sense that she looks older since she is in the back with the tall kids.

    Thanks for the updated picture of the middle cheerleader, but the link is broken. As for requesting a comment be held for moderation, all I have to do is type that word anywhere in the post?

  14. trumwill says:

    Interesting. She was actually more “wrong side of the tracks” than Barbie Doll, though she did know how to apply make-up.

    I assume you mean the girl to her-left-our-right? I remember her only a little, but in a slightly positive way.

    The link has been fixed.

  15. trumwill says:

    Yeah, all you have to do is type moderateme and the comment should go straight to moderation.

  16. Scarlet Knight says:

    That is… not what I would have expected her husband to look like.

    LOL It’s like the real life version of Knocked Up. She turned out to be a very attractive adult.

    I assume you mean the girl to her-left-our-right?

    No, I mean the one immediately to our left, with the checked jacket, not the one to her left, who was sleeveless.

  17. trumwill says:

    If she is who I think she is, she is someone who did something very nice for me. To the point that when I went to the reunion, it was on my mind to thank her (since I didn’t at the time), and probably remind her because she probably forgot it and me. I could have sworn I wrote a post on it, but I can’t find it. I’ll look again and if I can’t find it, I’ll explain.

  18. Ω says:

    I’m impressed that you remember so many of these people after this length of time. Most people think I have a good memory, but I doubt that I would be able to recall the names of even half of my eighth grade classmates, much less any biographical details. I would probably recognize their faces as vaguely familiar. Perhaps I am subconsciously suppressing unpleasant memories.

    Do your former elemenntary or middle schools ever host their own reunions? The school I attended for K-6 does, although I have never attended one. If that practice is not the norm, it probably relates to my private alma mater’s need to attract donations.

  19. trumwill says:

    Well, I was picking and choosing. I doubt I could remember half of their names. I have vague memories of some despite their name. Others I’d remember more if I knew their name, probably.

    The only reunions we’ve had are high school ones. It used to be that you could go to the Open House at the elementary school and there’d be other former students there, but that wasn’t organized. Then the collective freak-out over school security put an end to that.

  20. Kirk says:

    Like Phi, I’m pretty surprised you can remember so much from that far back. I have one hell of a time remembering much of anything even from high school, let alone grade school.

    It’s all one big mash.

  21. Barry says:

    So many of the people I went to elementary and Junior High with, I continued to be with them through High School. I need to dig out an old annual and see if how many of them I can ID. Although I don’t think we ever took a class picture, that I remember…

    My daughter’s now going into 8th grade. She looks younger than these here, and they look older than what I remember my 8th grade year. What year was this, Will?

  22. trumwill says:

    Barry, the picture would be from the early 90’s. Keeping in mind that this is at the end of the 8th grade. So they’re closer to 9th graders than where your daughter is.

    I went to high school with these kids, too, though our high school consisted 2/3 of people from the other middle school. Add to that the fact that the kids in the above picture, that I went to school with, are disproportionately likely to drop out of school or get sent the alternative school. Also, living where we did, there were a lot more kids moving around than would be in (for instance) a small-town high school where to change schools you had to move out of the town entirely.

    So, combine the gargantuan size of my high school with the attrition rate, and the vast majority of kids from this picture I remember primarily from middle school rather than high school.

    Interestingly, a couple of these kids it’s sort of the opposite: I remember high school but had little idea that I attended middle school with them. The Latino kid on our left on the second row from the top. Many unpleasant memories from high school, none from middle school.

  23. Scarlet Knight says:

    I think that in Trumanverse, you should refer to your school as D Wire Newman Middle School.

    As scary as this sounds to people, I can name all of my 8th grade classmates. Some caveats…

    1) There were only 60 or so of us.

    2) My town was untransient, so I knew most of them since 5th grade, and went to high school with most of them as well.

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