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Monday, June 13, 2016

Don't Mind Me— Just Reminiscing About 10th Grade...

My high school alma mater...which didn't look like this back in 1996.

So 20 years ago today, I ended my sophomore year in high school by completing my 7th period English exam. What made this period memorable was that after the test ended and my classmates and I were exiting the room, I approached Desiree—a cute Filipino girl who I've been chatting with for the last eight months—and told her that it was nice talking to her. She said "thanks" and gave me a genuinely-warm hug before walking away. Before some of you think to yourselves "That's it?!" and "Why didn't you make a move, stupid(?!)," I'd like to point out that Desiree was the prettiest and most popular Pinay in my sophomore class, if not the entire school at that time. (And most of our initial conversations at the beginning of the year revolved around her asking me if she could um, copy my homework and quizzes. I probably shouldn't mention that here.) It was a victory for me that I managed to stay on speaking terms with her up until the very last day of 10th grade (even though I had to attend summer school a few weeks later... Bah), instead of annoying Desiree down the line by trying to flirt (moreso) with her and being all clingy, which I never did. I played it cool with Des for pretty much all of sophomore year...which is more than I can say about every other girl I've had a personal crush on since then. (*coughYennyandNancycough*) Or in 9th grade, junior high and elementary school for that matter.

Desiree is now married with two kids. Despite the fact that I was in complete shock when one of her high school BFFs told me in person that Des got engaged in 2002 [or was it 2003? The BFF also went to Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) like I did during that time], that didn't stop me from staying all sentimental about sophomore year 6-7 years later. It's because of Des that 10th grade and high school in general is still worth thinking about 18 years since I've graduated (on June 5, 1998)...even though social media sites (Facebook, in particular) have gradually caused me to lose whatever nostalgia I have left of those four adolescent years. The last time I saw Desiree in person was in 2004 (a few months after I graduated from college). She didn't recognize me since I looked different from how I did in 1996 (I didn't have a shaved head when I was a 10th grader), but it's all good. Desiree dyed her hair red for all of high school and much of college (I ran into her at different high school and college-related events, plus an import car show in Orange County, between mid-1998 and late '99...which covered my first and second years at CSULB); but her hair is now naturally black since much of her time is devoted (based on her Facebook pics... Yes, I'm friends with her on that site) to caring for her two young daughters. I'm glad that she became a devoted mom. I don't know what else is there to speak about in this entry, so I'll leave it at that.

Oh wait— The summer of 1996 was spent on me thinking about the awesome moments that I had with Desiree in high school, and how amazing the first Independence Day movie was after I watched it that July. And the sequel Independence Day: Resurgence hits theaters next week! 2016 is the 20-year anniversary for a lot of noteworthy events in my then-teenage life. But today is also the 5-year anniversary since my high school friend Richard Duong passed away in Japan. RIP, buddy. (Richard was in my 7th period English class in 10th grade as well. I think he was the one who prompted me to walk up to Desiree and bid farewell to her after our exam. And he was also a fan of ID4.) I'll end this entry now.

Richard Duong poses with Kobe Bryant at a basketball charity event in April of 2007.

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