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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Gobsmacked


I didn’t see it coming.

High school, that is. Of course, I knew my daughter was in eighth grade. It wasn’t like I was unaware, but somehow I didn’t expect high school to appear so suddenly on the horizon.

Granted, I was stunned to see her walk out on stage in the eighth grade play, looking poised and confident and lovely. As a narrator in Aladdin Jr., she not only had solo speaking lines, but several solo singing lines in the number Arabian Nights, as well as its numerous reprises. Yeah, I got a bit teary. That was my kid.

But this past Wednesday evening, I sat beside her in the high school auditorium for orientation, my mouth hanging open. I felt like I’d been slapped back 30 years. How long has it been since the words electives, credits, pre-requisites, tracking, AP exam have been important in my life? She seemed to get more out of the presentation than I did, nodding her head along the way. “Our teachers told us this,” she said. “Yes, that’s what my guidance counselor said. Uh huh, I’ve already got my teacher’s recommendation for Honors Biology.”

High school is the same – and oh, so different. Typing is now Keyboarding. Taking an elective in Microsoft Office is recommended, so you can learn how to make Word insert all your citations and compile your bibliography for you. It can do that?

Gabbey’s priority is to get into the graphic arts elective. I’m not even sure that existed way back-in-the-day – and if it did, it certainly didn’t involve any computers. (I started using computers in college. Think floppy discs and dot matrix printers.) She’s also debating taking Italian (which she really wants) or continuing with Spanish so that she can qualify for the AP Spanish test in her senior year and get college credit. And of course, she bemoans the fact that the creative writing elective isn’t open for freshmen, but she doesn’t plan on letting that hold her back from writing.

I am thrilled to see her so motivated. But I can’t help but wonder: What happened to THIS kid?

12 Responses to Gobsmacked

  1. mshatch says:

    oh wow. they do grow up awful fast. I can’t believe how old my son is sometimes which makes me…older!

  2. Yes, my oldest is a junior in college and my youngest is a senior in high school. Sometimes I’m in awe of the young men that have become. It seems like only yesterday they were fighting over who breathed their sticky breath on who first. Why is it that often the most significant moments of our lives flash by without us realizing it? I guess that’s life. Have a great week, Dianne

  3. Linda G. says:

    Aww. Squeezes the heart, doesn’t it?

  4. Oh man, and to think I was freaking out about my daughter getting ready to leave kindergarten…

    Yikes it all goes by so fast!!

  5. Talei says:

    Aw, wow. So true. You’re making me teary here!

  6. JEM says:

    Oh man, I do not miss high school :). Congrats to the kidlet, and I’m super jealous they did Aladdin at school! I love the pic, she looks lovely.

  7. Katie Mills says:

    Yeah, I’ve realised something now that my oldest is seven, my youngest is going to be four this summer and I no longer have any chubby cheeked babies in the house- Kids grow fast. SO fast. But still, highschool in the states is so fun for both the kids AND they’re parents I think. Its a fun time, catching glimpses of the adults they’re gonna be someday. Enjoy it!

  8. Holy crap! It’s so hard to believe that little girl I saw running around school is going to be a …a..freshman! WOW. It’s sounds as if she’s doing a fabulous job. That picture of her is adorable.

  9. Orlando says:

    I still look at old photo’s and long for the days when mine were so little they looked like dolls.

  10. Lenny Lee* says:

    hi miss dianne! wow what a cool picture for that play. im just real glad you could be there with your kids for watching them grow up. i like that you got teary. it made me teary too.
    …hugs from lenny

  11. Christine says:

    Yes, high school is coming up. I still have to figure out what courses I want to take…

    I like the pictures. 🙂

  12. Lori W. says:

    This is so sweet and bittersweet because it does go by too fast, doesn’t it? It sounds like your daughter is more than ready for this next stage and has a lot of exciting choices.