Middle School

Middle School was where I fermented and aged like a fine wine from the relatively innocent child I once was to a cynical and insolent little brat. Of course, it's not all my fault. Most of it is the fault of Karl Horster, who managed to abuse me into a monster.

Nonetheless, once I developed the defensive responses necessary to deal with him and his friends' constant abuse, I really had a lot of good adolescent fun. We had a lady visit us in sixth grade who was an expert in teaching kids what to do when confronted by strangers. Because she didn't know any of us, we all had to wear name tags so she could directly address us. In a flash of inspiration I took everyone's name tag who would give one to me and put it on my own shirt. I probably had about twelve of them. At the beginning of the class she went around from person to person asking their name and saying hello, and when she got to me I unleashed the perfect response for her inquiry: "I'm sorry. I don't speak to strangers." Of course I got a detention for that little stunt, but it was worth it because ever after I was the infamous instigator of the "Boraski Name Tag Scandal"

In seventh and eighth grade I took the option of walking and riding the bike to school, since it was less than a mile from my home. I was perpetually late for class, simply because I just didn't care. I would leave my house when I was supposed to get there, and arrive much later after taking a leisurely morning stroll. Missing home room was pretty close to becoming one of my philosophical tenets. Whenever the first period Spanish teacher would ask where little Christobal was there would always be a chorus of "He's STILL walking!" Everyone seemed to get a kick out of it. One time it was pouring rain and they saw me coming about half an hour late trudging through the rain and the entire class stopped to watch me take my time walking in.

Eventually detentions mounted from tardiness and insolence and I got a suspension. Virtually unheard of among the non-career deviants, I had the pleasure of sitting in a room alone doing work while a teacher watched over me. I got more work done that day than any other day in middle school and really enjoyed my time that day. It's almost too bad that I never got another one.

On the mischevious side of things, we enjoyed ourselves by making our psychotic health teacher go really crazy and playing bumper cars with our desks. We would get up randomly in the middle of class, turn around and walk towards the back of the room, slam bodily into the rear wall, turn around and return to our seats. One time I flipped a pencil from the edge of my desk so that it landed right above the teachers head when she was writing on the board, and she never quite realized what had happened. One person would start making humming noises like a race-car passing at high speeds and five or six others would chime in until the teacher went completely nuts. It was impossible to identify who was doing it. We took frog legs from dissection and put it in a squeamish girl's locker, where it rotted during the weekend. We played catch with fish eyeballs. Eric Kos and I would randomly stand up from our desks, say "Ooota! Ooota!" while hopping in synchrony and sit down and return to attention. One time a kid was exiled from the room to the hallway. He asked if he could take his chair and the teacher allowed him. When the class let out, he had it almost completely dismantled. We really should have been disciplined more harshly but I guess we were let off a bit because we were the smarter kids in the school.

Computer class was interesting. I took to computers immediately, and I understood everything and loved it all, so of course I became well liked by the teacher. One time another guy was insulting me verbally and I just cracked. I got up, pulled his chair out, and tipped him over. He was the one who got punished. My nicknames in middle school ranged from jelly belly (I was a bit overweight), to borax (my last name is Boraski) and finally settled on Slider. I wrote this little program that filled the screen with text and slid the lines off to the right sequentially. It was pretty neat and elegant little hack, and nobody else in the class could have done it, so I was pretty proud of it. My hubris caught up with me when the kids, unappreciative of the causes and only knowledgable of the effects, thought the program was stupid. That name of that program was, of course, Slider. I eventually got an award for computer proficiency when I graduated. For the first time since the award's inception, another kid got the award as well. That kid was Karl.

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