We made bannock out of my Baby

When I was finishing grade four we got a letter in the mail saying I had been accepted into Actel, an accellerated learning program for gifted students. I still think it’s because I knew what a perambulator was.

Most of my children’s books were british, and they of course mentioned such things as perambulators. Being an inquisitive person with access to a brit dictionary, I soon found out it was the brit term for a stroller. Anyway, one day in class we were reading a british book, when we came to the p-word. What was it? I was the only one with an answer.

I must have done other smarty pants things, because the next year I began Actel.

It was a funny mix of kids, some of us wondering when the Dummy police would barg in and take us back to regular school. They all played Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiago? There wasn’t much plot to the game, beyond naming the capitol of Indonesia and things like that. Still, it was better than my educational game, Math Blaster. I was always weak in Mathematics. Oh yeah, and we all sat around playing Uno during lunch. Uno, I don’t even remember how to play it now.

Even in a class full of nerds, the nerd-popular dynamic soon showed up again. I once did a magic show with one of the popular girls. She would yell Presto-Chango and our trick happened. Her name was Stephanie. She dressed kind of like Madonna in the late eighties, which I guess it was.

There was only one other aboriginal girl in the class, and two years later she climbed out the window and never returned. We drew a picture of her legs hanging out the window on our whiteboard, an homage to the turbulent girl who had departed.

There was this other girl, Karen, who somehow straddled the boundaries of nerd and popular. We were best friends for a very brief time, until my longtime best friend Lyndsey came along. We broke up our friendship a year after high school, it was very sad. Karen was a red head, and in retrospect I think I had a little crush on her. I wonder what happened to her. She was in some religious group, Sisters of Job I think. I think it was a secret society.

There was this other guy, Jimmy, who was such a nerd and had bookish ways, that he was almost above taunts. I think we all instinctively wanted to protect him. He was socially stunted and brilliant, dressing in little cardigans. Now he’s a computer science graduate.

We had all kinds of wacky academic adventures, school was suddenly really fun whereas before it had been quite boring. I remember our first orientation together we had to make something to cushion an egg that would be dropped from a ladder. We covered our egg in foam and cartons and all kinds of material.

Later on, during sex ed, we had to carry around an eight pound bag of flour and pretend it was a baby. This was to teach us that having unprotected sex had consequences. Later we made bannock out of my baby.

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