Toledo Trip: Part 1

23 May

I mentioned last week that my dad was coming to town.  And so he did.  We had a great time and so-forth.  One part of the trip that stands out is our visit up to northern part of the state.  We went to my hometown of Northwood, Ohio.

Nobody really knows of Northwood – unless you’re from around there.  So, I always have to explain it as a suburb of Toledo, which is is.  It’s basically a big chunk on the east side of the city that is one mile by six miles.  A rectangle.  About half of it is suburban and the other half is farmland.  It’s an eclectic mix of trashy and middle class neighborhoods and rural family homes.

I wanted to break this trip up into several parts because there are some elements to it and I enjoy keeping these blog posts relatively short.  It holds your attention a bit better when they’re not too lengthy, right?  Well, at least that’s what I assume.

So, today, I’ll start with our first stop when arriving up there.  We swung by my old high school, Northwood High School.

I’ll start off by mentioning I hated high school.  I really did.  Everything about it was misery.  I despised waking up early, didn’t enjoy hardly any of my classes and just found the experience anything but joyful.

Plus, on a personal level, I was one of those awkward teenagers.  I was relatively quiet and didn’t spend much time socializing with kids from my school.  I had other buddies I would see outside of the place, but not really in school.  Nope.  I wouldn’t say I was “nerdy” (okay, I might have been), but I was definitely one of those 90’s alternative-kid wannabes that constantly tried to look and act cool – to no avail.  In fact, often I was called Butt-head because my sophomore year I kind of resembled Butt-head from the Beavis and Butt-head series (hair back, pimples, long nose, Metallica shirts, etc.).  I wasn’t called that in a mean way (most of the time), but it was my “cool” nickname.  I didn’t like it though so I grew out my hair a bit, thought it was awesome to smoke cigarettes and sleep in class.  I tried to make a new persona for myself – which worked.

I then became known more for my comics.  I drew a lot of cartoons featuring kids in school I didn’t like and made fun of them.  I’m guessing copies of my work are still in that place.  Teachers used to secretly ask me for copies of their own.

Eventually, my days at Northwood consisted of playing poker, drawing and not turning in homework. Really nothing else.

With my absolute zero motivation for school, I barely graduated.  In fact, it came down to the last day before graduation when they would let me know if I would get a diploma or not.  The principal and I didn’t mesh well together.  So, it was a feud between him and me and a missed test that – honestly – I accidentally missed (I swear).  I made it up though, and by a thread, I was able to walk down the isle.

I don’t want to elaborate too much on my actual high school experience, but there’s a taste of it.  This article is mostly about our recent trip up there.  Back to that….

Upon arriving at the high school on our adventure to Northwood, I noticed the place looked exactly the same.

IMG_0092The school had the same painting of an ugly butterfly in the window of the science lab still.  That thing was painted in the 80’s, I believe.  Not too appealing.

The parking lot looked the same (cracks and holes), exterior wasn’t changed since I went and absolutely nothing new.

Now, all of this is looking in from the outside.  No, I didn’t go in.  Maybe inside is fresh and new?  I don’t know.  I had no inclination of walking in there.  Maybe someday, but I didn’t care enough to go inside this time around.

So what are my thoughts?

Well, it’s what was expected.  I couldn’t imagine extensive changes to the place.  Knowing what shape the actual city of Northwood is in, I’m a bit surprised it’s still in business (I’ll get to more on the rest of the city on other posts).  It’s not the school’s fault if there’s not much money to doctor it up, so I’m not knocking it. I’m just being honest.

I wish the place the best of luck and hold no grudges.  It’s also not their fault I hated going to school so much.  I do remember there were some really awesome teachers there, people and a few classes I didn’t mind.  I think our school was kinda weird though.  How do I mean?  Well, maybe you had to go there – but it…just was.  It was very laid-back, casual and we had some strange people there.  It wasn’t your normal high school where everyone got together and had wild parties – nothing like that.  I’d say it had the feeling of just very divided but yet we were all in the same melting pot and socialized together to some degree.  Just different.  Hard to explain since that was my only high school experience.  Just, from hearing about others and their high schools, mine did seem out of the norm.  I think if you ask anyone that went to Northwood back in the 90’s they would say the same thing.  You had to be there.

But different as it may have been, that WAS my high school.  I have a lot of memories of the place and hope they can hold it together.  It was good seeing it again and probably wont be back by there in a bit.  But, maybe – just maybe – next time I swing through the area they could at least have their parking lot repaved?  (Oh, and maybe paint over that ugly butterfly in the science lab.)

So, that was stop number one.

After stopping at the school, I was anxious to see what else there was in store for us in Northwood.  We turned around in the parking lot, took a quick photo and headed east down Woodville Road to our next destination.

More on that in Part Two that is coming soon….


4 Responses to “Toledo Trip: Part 1”

  1. bearmancartoons May 23, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

    You draw cartoons for a living…of course you were nerdy haha


  1. A Whirlwind Week-In-Review | Nate's Ramblings - May 29, 2015

    […] I mentioned previously this week about how much I despised high school.  Part of the hatred was homework. […]

  2. Toledo Trip: Part 2 | Nate's Ramblings - June 3, 2015

    […] If you’re just joining me on this fascinating and insightful journey, you probably want to start at Toledo Trip: Part 1 […]

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