It was the summer of 1989, I was about to enter my junior year of high school in Portland Or. and I was dreading it! I was so bored of high school… I had gotten good grades, but I hated being there and all I wanted to do was surf (yes, surf)… I spent my days that summer plotting my rebellion.
Once I felt I had a good plan, I went to my parents (both of whom immigrated to the US from Germany) and told them I was done with school and that I was planning to move to Southern California so I could surf every day. When my father asked how I had planned to make a living and support myself, I was able to quickly answer (due to what I thought was great planning), “I am going to have a bbq and bento stand and sell lunch at the beach!” Almost in unison my parents replied with a resounding, “We immigrated to this country so you could have a better life… you WILL finish high school and you WILL finish college!!”
There is absolutely nothing good that comes from arguing with German parents, so I went back to plotting other alternatives for getting out of school (two other very German traits are stubbornness and rebelliousness – and I have both). I realized that if I wanted to accomplish my goal, I had to find a smart, productive, positive way to rebel… a “sophisticated” way.
I ended up doubling up on classes (going in early, staying late, etc) and testing out of other classes. Halfway through my junior year I had enough credits to graduate AND I had a 4.0 grade point average. There wasn’t much my parents could say against that. I got what I wanted – out of high school – and they got what they wanted, graduate with honors. It was that experience that sparked the Sophisticated Rebel in me and I’ve been breaking rules and doing things my own way ever since!