Editor's note: Through the Past Dorkily is a recurring feature that looks back at the embarrassingly dorky diary I kept as a 16-year-old in 1984.
Monday, January 30, 1984
WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Jump - Van Halen
2. The Heart of Rock n' Roll - Huey Lewis and the News
3. Looks That Kill - Motley Crue
4. New Moon on Monday - Duran Duran
5. Some Heads are Gonna Roll - Judas Priest
Second semester started today. I found out 4 of my grades. In Geography, I got 85 for the quarter, 84 for the semester; in Bi Sci I got 89, 91; in Alg II, I got 91, 90; and in French III, I got 89, 88. Mom was kinda pissed at me. I gotta get my act together, man.
Jesse Jackson was in Kingston today. Me and Jeremy saw him at The Waste Site after school. The bus dropped us off at Old Mill Road and we walked the rest. He gave a speech and I shook his hand. There were lotsa mean-looking Secret Service muthas there, including one dude with a semi-automatic in a bag.
Other than that, nothing much happened. I'm doing my homework in 1st period 'cause there's nothing else to do then.
- The Barbarian
Tuesday, January 31, 1984
WAAF Top 5 at Five
1. Panama - Van Halen
2. Looks That Kill - Motley Crue
3. New Moon on Monday - Duran Duran
4. Crybaby - Utopia
5. Leave It - Yes
School was cancelled today because of snow. Damn! This adds another snow day to June. Plus it means I gotta sit at home and be bored all day. School is my social life.
I went to the Gulf station today to ask for a job but they didn't have any. Now what am I gonna do for money? That was the only place I could walk to work. How can I get money for a car when I need a car to get the money? Living out here in the boonies sucks. If only Dad bought a house in town!
- The (still unemployed) Barbarian
Postscript: It's funny, looking at those grades at first glance, they don't seem so bad. But then I remembered that my parents had high expectations for me (as in straight A's), so the whole B+/A- thing didn't fly. Especially given that I did much better in my other schools when I was more focused on school work and less on my social life, such as it was. It didn't help that my little brother was routinely nailing straight A's, too.
It was New Hampshire in an election year, so naturally presidential candidates were all over the place, although Jesse was the only one I remember actually coming to Kingston. He spoke at a toxic waste site in town. At the time, the idea of a black presidential candidate was pretty novel; I don't think anybody thought we'd actually have a black president inside of 30 years later. Jesse had a high profile; he hosted Saturday Night Live later that year, I believe.
I was desperate for a job at the time. My only source of income was my allowance, although I don't remember what the amount was. I was still buying comics as well as music, so it didn't stick around. The job hunt would go on for a few more months before I landed a shelf-stocking gig at the Market Basket in Plaistow.