When I was in high school, all the cool/popular/wealthy kids took Latin as their second language. I don’t think it was because of an inherent love of antiquity so much as it was about Latin Convention.
In the spring, all the Latin students went to Latin Convention where they dressed in togas, played games and competed in smart people shit. They got to stay overnight away from their parents, meet kids from schools all over the country, and stay in a hotel – which I’m sure was the real appeal. I’m not sure if crowns of laurel were mandatory.
I didn’t take Latin. I took French. I am a francophile and have been since my tweens. It’s a beautiful language and unlike SOME languages, it isn’t dead (side-eye, Latin).
The popular/cool/wealthy kids talked about Latin Convention all year. When they got back, they passed their photos to each other surreptitiously during class (this was before the Facebook era, when “sharing” a picture meant handing a piece of photo paper with an image on it to someone). Many times, I had to pass shots of frolicking classmates from one to another while my teacher was looking away. All the while, I felt left out and missing out. The yearbook had pages of pictures of all the best and brightest (and coolest and most aloof) making lifetime memories at this weekend-long event. When I signed yearbooks, I inevitably viewed others’ scrawls wherein they wrote about their “awesome time at Latin Convention.”
I was never part of the crowd.
This weekend, in San Diego, which is a mere 90 minute drive from where I live, there is a “Blog Her” conference and I am not there. Everyone who’s anyone on the internet (who can afford it) is there. It’s kind of like Latin Convention all over again. I feel like I’m not “one of them.” I’m nobody. I don’t exist on the blogsphere and I will always be a discontented high school teacher, squinting at bad essays, dreaming of being a writer. Out there, the cool kids, the successful talented kids are all together having a good time. I’m supervising the tree trimming through the window while I walk my six week-old around the house and beg my two year-old to take her nap. Maybe I’ll pick up some clippings and make myself a crown of laurel.
Yet, earlier this week I was reading a blog I follow and became annoyed at the “woe is I” envy of the writer for a more popular blogger. Projection, I guess. Because envy is what I feel right now.
Maybe this year just isn’t my year. Yeah, I’ll go with that.