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  1. ttb112

    ttb112 New Member

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    High school in the early 90's

    Discussion in 'Research' started by ttb112, Mar 21, 2017.

    Hey I’m currently working on a novel about boys growing up in the early part of the 90’s (book takes place August 1990 and goes til June 1994). They’re in high school during this period, so I’m looking to talk with anyone who was in high school around this time about political events, general high school life, fun things you did with friends, etc. I’m looking specifically to mine the “experience” of the 90’s—something you wouldn’t get from a Wikipedia article or Buzzfeed listacle. Specific sensations and moods and personal details you remember.

    I’m looking for anyone who graduated Class of 1994, but any time around there will work too. If you’re older/younger than that but recall something specific about high school youth around that time frame, feel free to post as well.

    I’d like to talk with people one on one so it could be a more private discussion, so reply here or DM me if you’re interested.

    Thanks!
     
  2. OurJud

    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm guessing, from your use of words like 'high school' and 'graduated', you're referring to American school life, but it may be worth making this clear as school life is going to be quite different depending on the country.

    Here in the UK 'high school' would be 'seniors', and we didn't 'graduate', we... erm, 'left'.
     
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  3. JE Loddon

    JE Loddon Active Member

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    I left Secondary School in 1994, but in the UK, so might not have much to offer you if you're looking at the US.
     
  4. ttb112

    ttb112 New Member

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    Yes, I meant to say high school in the US, thanks for the catch!
     
  5. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributing Member

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    Well, not high school, but I graduated from college in 1994 so maybe that's close enough?

    Kurt Cobain's suicide in 1994 was the first celebrity death that really affected me. I remember crying in my dorm room and feeling like the world didn't make sense anymore. Courtney Love's reading of his suicide note at a candlelight vigil is still such a vivid memory of mine, I'll never forget it.

    Woodstock '94 - I was so sad I couldn't go! Years later I am like wow that was super gross why would I have wanted to be there but at the time I really did!

    I don't think it's stood the test of time for me as an adult, but I remember being super impressed with the movie Forrest Gump. I think I saw it in the theater at least 3 or
    times.

    Watching the OJ Simpson chase on TV and wondering WTF was happening. I mostly knew him from the Naked Gun movies and was totally baffled.
     
  6. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Active Member

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    That's the first thing that jumped into my mind. I graduated high school in 1997 so I would have been about 16 or so when that happened. Kurt Cobain too. I played in a band that did a few Nirvana covers so that was definitely a WTF moment. Mainly I remember not having the internet, so if you wanted to learn something you had to go to the library or ask a smart person. And I had a car phone! A for real car phone back when nobody had cell phones yet. A doctor owned my car before I bought it (a $2000 Toyota Corolla--go figure), so that was the shit. And weed was still illegal so friends of mine were getting arrested all the time for that.
     
  7. Rob40

    Rob40 Active Member

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    class of '92. Most of this is going to be 1990-era. Computer labs showed up in my school, but mostly so kids could write an English paper. Teachers didn't know how to take the onset of the future so when a big computer virus was announced on the news, they shut down the computer lab for the day it was supposed to hit. Nothing was connected to any form of internet at the time; assuming they knew what that was.

    We were still group/clique split but not as bad as the 80's revenge of the nerds would make you think. Now, Metalheads were a thing for sure and that began it's crossover to the mainstream when Metallica really was accepted by everyone. Now I'm starting to talk about 1990-91, but that's when a big change came about. Musically, Guns N Roses was absolutely huge but so was Vanilla Ice and BASS music with lots of expensive speaker boxes in really crap cars. My friends and I always talked about speakers and stereos but nobody had the money to do anything about it, except Kevin. He worked at McDonald's and had awesomely huge Infinity floor speakers in his small bedroom at his parent's house. He bought a '68 Chevelle Malibu his Junior year (91) that was painted primer orange. It looked low and I suppose fast but that paint really didn't look good. We didn't care because it had glass packs for mufflers and made a wicked amazing roar. This was the midwest though so we didn't use words like wicked. The usual words like cool, sweet, effing awesome, gay, etc. We had passed totally back in grade school but we haven't reached wicked and awesomesauce in our vernacular.

    Socially, acceptance had not happened as of yet. Gay, Fag, Homo were used openly however not in ganging upon the victim settings at my school. We had an idea of who was different from the social norm and we just left it at that, but using the words to describe something or an action, oh that was an open game. Fights happened in school but usually, it wasn't between groups but within.

    What we did for fun. Well, there was the popular crowd that went out and drank on weekends at so-and-so's farm. There were the motorhead/shop class guys who did the same thing at a different farm. My friends and I were some of the middle-ground leftovers that couldn't figure out what to go full-steam with so we did a bit of everything. Sleepovers and playing Dungeons and Dragons or video games or just hanging out. We all had a sense the behavior was on it's way out and wouldn't be part of our lives much longer. Two years later and it was over, we were all gone to college or just, gone. The internet was non-existent. We went to libraries for a school paper and used the card catalog, found a book, realized it was outdated in my midwest town, and sighed and wrote what we would on the subject. We rummaged around places abandoned at the edge of town: The abandoned glue factory down a county road where supposedly the local Satanists would do their worshiping/chanting, but nobody ever saw, met or had proof of one ever actually doing that. A story I heard was a horse was still hanging in there. Eh. A story.

    Honestly, there was not a lot to do in my town unless people could drive an hour in any direction to the lake, or the college town, or another lake. My state had lots of fishing and farms outside of town without a whole lot for the kids to do besides little-league baseball in the summers or High-school sports. Cruising the boulevard looking for...anyone. It's hard to expand on what we did because a lot of it was asking each other what they want to do and all the answers were, "I dunno." and we just talked about whatever girl or rumor or story we heard about whatever.

    Politics: Berlin wall came down but we were never taught or shown what the real reasons behind that were. Not sure anyone really knew until years after the fact. Earth day happened in a big way and hippy culture appeared in the halls but they didn't have any reason behind it. So, Woodstock's revival happened as a result, but it wasn't anything like the real deal and it wasn't a very good resemblance. Our first exposure to nostalgia marketing not living up to the promise. Nirvana/Pearl Jam/Grunge showed up in my Senior year and was awesome. Flannel started but we still had a mix of hair rock and grunge together. Indie music through local record shops began to filter in but never got radio play and was only something heard from your friend's walkman on a tape he copied from his cousin who lived two hours away in St.Louis or three hours away in Kansas City. That's why I never found the Pixies until way after they broke-up.

    I could go on. I hope I helped a bit.
     

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