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Assimilating into the high school environment

QuarterMasterQuarterMaster Registered User regular
edited February 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
How do I do it? Or at least temporarily. I've been home schooled all my life (except for a brief stint in 1st grade) and have never been exposed to the jungle of classes and people that is high school. The reason I'm joining is because, frankly, home schooling is boring. To "spice up" my life. I'm a Sophomore this year, and will attempt to join our local Running Start program for my Junior year, but I wanted to try out H.S. for at least a little bit to see what I'm missing and whether or not it's something I would like to continue part-time. If I decide to go, I'll be starting up this Monday with a couple of classes that piqued my interest.

Naturally, I'm extremely nervous. Like I said above, the most kids I've been exposed to at one time is maybe in the low 30's. And never a large group of peers. Also, being male, getting used to having several hundred mini-skirted girls of my age walking around will take some time. I do know one person who attends my local school, but probably won't see him, so that's not much help.

Anyhoo, I'm just wondering if there is any advice out there on how to successfully adapt to the high school environment without going nuts on my first day.

tl;dr I'm officially in my Sophomore year of H.S., but have been home schooled all my life. How do I adapt to American H.S.?

Thanks a lot for any help. :|

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
QuarterMaster on

Posts

  • Marblehead JohnsonMarblehead Johnson Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Kick someone's ass the first day, or become someone's bitch.

    But seriously, there's not much to it. You won't start out with many friends, so it's best to just keep to yourself. You should pass through it fairly uneventfully.

    Marblehead Johnson on
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  • QuarterMasterQuarterMaster Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Kick someone's ass the first day, or become someone's bitch.

    Just for future reference, preferably not anything to do with these two things.

    QuarterMaster on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Well, you've got two options. Either jump the biggest guy you see in the cafeteria the first day, or become somebody's bitch.

    Seriously, your goal should be to find a couple friends in the first couple days. Just talk to people. They don't bite. Also, it'd be handy if you have lunch with your friend who attends the school, because that can be a good time to shoot the shit and meet some more people.

    Basically, if you sit quietly in class and walk by yourself from class to class you'll probably be lonely and miserable. So just talk to some people. That's assuming that some friendly people don't just up and talk to you first, which they probably will.

    EDIT: Also, as for girls...eye contact. Mainly because if you're looking at their eyes you aren't starting at their ass or chest.

    mcdermott on
  • CeloisCelois Registered User
    edited February 2007
    I can't help a whole lot at the high-school level but can only share my experience at my community college.

    I was home schooled since 4th grade to 12th grade (So basically 7 or 8 years without any large-scale human contact), then I attended a community college for the first time last year. It was basically my first experience at real life and I adjusted fine despite knowing no one at the time. Most people there are totally chill and really great people, just don't act like a douchebag and relax. I made plenty of friends first semester there and now have a decent contact list of friends and work as a tutor there helping people.

    As I said, I can't really help you a whole at the high-school level, but if you find it doesn't work out, then if you can, depending on your state and school system, try attending a local community college or something. You'll learn a lot more and be exposed to a lot better people (imo) but I can understand wanting to try high-school.
    Seriously, your goal should be to find a couple friends in the first couple days. Just talk to people. They don't bite.
    If I wasn't so lazy I'd lime this so hard. A lot of people really don't mind you talking to them, in some cases they're probably just as bored and looking to meet new people too.

    Celois on
  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    First, talk to and then hang out with people who have similar interests. Ignore this one if similar interests involve things like getting high at the mall when you should be in class or stealing cars.

    Second, don't be confused if the high school social cliques seem like a festering fit of backbiting and sociopathic behavior. Ever see Mean Girls? High school is really like that. So if you go to school one day and it's all cool, and the next day you can't figure out why everyone hates you and vice-versa, don't take it personally, that's just what happens when you put a thousand teenagers in a building and tell them that they're not allowed to fuck each other senseless. Hormones will fuck you up.

    Third, don't make enemies without a good reason. You have to put up with these people for at least a few years, so it's better to just bite your tongue and ignore people than it is to develop a hate/hate relationship.

    supabeast on
  • QuarterMasterQuarterMaster Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Thanks for the suggestions so far everyone. :)

    I'm usually pretty good at meeting people once I've gotten past the initial first-contact shyness, so hopefully it'll help make a few connections. I've also emailed my friend asking what lunch he has, so maybe we can meet up at some point during the day and get me at least a little oriented.

    Also, is it true that I will automatically have an affinity for coffee when I start high school?

    QuarterMaster on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • CeloisCelois Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Also, is it true that I will automatically have an affinity for coffee when I start high school?

    I hadn't touched coffee before I started my CC, even after trying it a few times I still despise it. Its really more an acquired taste that you'll like after trying it for a few years I suppose, but there are far more preferable ways to obtain caffeine (hurray for tea), if needed at all. Caffeine is rarely required and terrible in the long run. I can usually pull an allnighter if need be without caffeine but being in HS, I imagine you'd rarely have to stay up really late to finish anything anyways.

    Celois on
  • QuarterMasterQuarterMaster Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Good. :lol: I like tea anyway.

    Something I forgot to mention is that I'm only going to be taking two courses as of now (Graphic Design and Web Publishing), and possibly joining a couple of clubs. So homework should be minimal. 8)

    QuarterMaster on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    If people rag on you, don't get too worked up over it. Basically shrug it off.

    Some people feed on the misery of others. But in the end its how you handle yourself that matters.

    This is just how to handle the dicks. Cause you know, there tend to be some of those in high school.

    Al_wat on
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  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited February 2007
    Lay low for a little bit, and observe people. This isn't a hard rule, having never met you, but most of the people I've met that were homeschooled most of their lives have very poor social skills, and frankly tend to irritate people they're around. Get a feel for what kind of behavior flies, and what doesn't.

    Bionic Monkey on
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  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2007
    Lay low for a little bit, and observe people. This isn't a hard rule, having never met you, but most of the people I've met that were homeschooled most of their lives have very poor social skills, and frankly tend to irritate people they're around. Get a feel for what kind of behavior flies, and what doesn't.

    Home schooled kids are actually more socially adept.

    Anyway, just treat it like you would going to any other public place. High school isn't a special place. That only applies to middle school, oh dear god is that horrible.

    FyreWulff on
  • Xenocide GeekXenocide Geek Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    FyreWulff wrote:
    Lay low for a little bit, and observe people. This isn't a hard rule, having never met you, but most of the people I've met that were homeschooled most of their lives have very poor social skills, and frankly tend to irritate people they're around. Get a feel for what kind of behavior flies, and what doesn't.

    Home schooled kids are actually more socially adept.

    Anyway, just treat it like you would going to any other public place. High school isn't a special place. That only applies to middle school, oh dear god is that horrible.

    :?

    I really wouldn't say that. I briefly went to a school that was literally for home schoolers, before going to my CC, that had a very small population...

    While there were a "few" people who knew their way around socially, most guys, and I'm really singling out guys here, were terrible socially. But it didn't matter in that circumstance, because since everybody was homeschooled nobody has pre-set standards and stuff.

    Xenocide Geek on
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  • SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as Dohaeris Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Don't be too worried if you immediately don't hop into place. Try to do some sort of activity you like, like theater or a sport. Those usually get you meeting people and bonding. And if someone calls you over to their table or something, don't be afraid to go say hi. At worst they'll throw yogurt at you, but it might just be friendly people.

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  • IriahIriah Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    FyreWulff wrote:
    Home schooled kids are actually more socially adept.
    In my experience, they aren't. But there are of course exceptions.

    Iriah on
  • WeeSneakWeeSneak Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Talk to people, but dont hang out with them. Half the time dont even say hi in the corridor, dont try too hard to make friends, really. Someone who actually has friends will despise this.

    Talk to your friend about it and eat lunch and shit with him for a while. I changed schools 3 times in 5 years and by the second i learnt just not to try, dont go round actively trying to start conversation with people, eventually you will get to know people in your class and you just take it from there.

    I dont know if you do it, but when i started smoking at my third school i was hanging around with the smokers on the very first day, not a good thing may i add, but if you smoke give it a shot.

    WeeSneak on
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  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2007
    Iriah wrote:
    FyreWulff wrote:
    Home schooled kids are actually more socially adept.
    In my experience, they aren't. But there are of course exceptions.

    I went to public school all my life. I'm socially awkward and shy.

    All 3 of my brothers have been homeschooled. The longer in homeschool, the more social.

    Look... wait, no. People are too stuck in their stereotypes. Wait, I guess I can try

    1) Homeschooled kids, despite the name, do not spend all day at home.
    2) Homeschooled kids do have friends and go out to places. GASP
    3) Socially closed off homeschooled kids are probably at or less than the ratio of socially closed off public schooled kids. School is not a place to learn to socialize, in fact it's the worst place to learn how to socialize. You only get to see people for 9 months and then most likely never again. You only see them inside a building. You can only talk to them directly for about a half hour a day, otherwise you're in class learning. Kids learn to socialize by adopting neighborhood friends, going to local events/parks/Boys&GirlsClubs, whatever.
    4) Yes of course you have the crazy parents that lock their kids inside all day and everything outside is evil blah blah blah, those are an extreme minority but the most visible and news-worthy minority.


    2 of my brothers made the transition from homeschool to high school just fine. The OP shouldn't worry about it too much.

    FyreWulff on
  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Meet a couple of friends

    Go to a school dance and just kinda "hang out"

    Find a girl and start dancing with her

    I found that gr 9 girls (at least when I was in gr 9) were clingy at dances, and sort of thought of it as the first step to becoming boyfriend/girlfriend. So from there it's likely they'll introduce you to any friends they have with them.

    Just try and pickup as many AIMs/MSNs/whatever (Even at dances, if you end up dancing with a girl for quite a while just whisper "Got an AIM?" and hope to hell you remember it) is popular in your area, and make up an excuse to start talking. I generally wouldn't ask for them, because asking someone whos just in your class and you dont really know that well can be awkward, but if you see them write it down for someone else.


    (A decent example of an excuse is) "I'm in your english class, and just wanted to ask, do we have any homework?"

    Or you can just talk to people that sit around you in your classes, and they'll likely catch the same stupid crap the teachers do and generate a feeling of "remember that time when...?" which is always a good start.

    (Through that method back in gr 9 I gained friends that never even realised I used that to get to them. And those are mostly my closest friends now.)

    Wezoin on
  • RaslinRaslin Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Someone posted a good piece of advice, though you probably don't smoke. The smoker group is actually your best bet, most likely. Why? They're fucked up people, that tend to be just unpopular enough to accept you, but popular enough to be a stepping stone. You don't have to smoke, I went months with the smokers before I started smoking(and they didn't cause me to start, really).

    Otherwise, just don't be annoying. It really doesn't matter what you do, as long as you don't annoy people.

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  • edited February 2007
    Raslin wrote:
    Someone posted a good piece of advice, though you probably don't smoke. The smoker group is actually your best bet, most likely. Why? They're fucked up people, that tend to be just unpopular enough to accept you, but popular enough to be a stepping stone. You don't have to smoke, I went months with the smokers before I started smoking(and they didn't cause me to start, really).

    Otherwise, just don't be annoying. It really doesn't matter what you do, as long as you don't annoy people.

    You can replace 'smokers' with 'band geeks' or 'orchestra people' or 'stage crew' or virtually any "minority" group in the school. If you have a particular interest, the clubs are often the best way to meet people who share some of your interests. Also, the 'popular' crowd is often the most vicious and back-stabbing group, so don't bust your nuts trying to get into it. Just find a bunch of people who like some of the same stuff you do.

    This is written from the perspective of somebody who was not at all popular in highschool and didn't figure out how to relax until he was almost done. I joined the school play and the orchestra and met some neat people. It was about that time that I realised that highschool was not the be-all and end-all of life and that things could only get better.

    DaySleeper on
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  • QuarterMasterQuarterMaster Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Like I said, clubs are definitely on my to-do list of things to look into. Probably Knowledge Bowl and the debate club. I'll hopefully meet some people with similar interests in the two classes I'm taking as well. It's kind of fun sorting out the people into their groups though - just on the walking tour I got from a counselor there it was easy to spot the 'punks', 'preps', etc. :D

    QuarterMaster on
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  • RaslinRaslin Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    DaySleeper wrote:
    Raslin wrote:
    Someone posted a good piece of advice, though you probably don't smoke. The smoker group is actually your best bet, most likely. Why? They're fucked up people, that tend to be just unpopular enough to accept you, but popular enough to be a stepping stone. You don't have to smoke, I went months with the smokers before I started smoking(and they didn't cause me to start, really).

    Otherwise, just don't be annoying. It really doesn't matter what you do, as long as you don't annoy people.

    You can replace 'smokers' with 'band geeks' or 'orchestra people' or 'stage crew' or virtually any "minority" group in the school. If you have a particular interest, the clubs are often the best way to meet people who share some of your interests. Also, the 'popular' crowd is often the most vicious and back-stabbing group, so don't bust your nuts trying to get into it. Just find a bunch of people who like some of the same stuff you do.

    This is written from the perspective of somebody who was not at all popular in highschool and didn't figure out how to relax until he was almost done. I joined the school play and the orchestra and met some neat people. It was about that time that I realised that highschool was not the be-all and end-all of life and that things could only get better.

    Except band geeks, orchestra, etc tend to stick together, and have a hard time moving up the hierarchy. If you're interested in that stuff, go ahead, but they aren't stepping stones. Drama, well, that's different at times.

    Raslin on
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  • precisionkprecisionk Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Make it with the hottest teacher at school. That is the sure fire way to be accepted into the elite club of men.

    In reality, just be friendly. Start up conversations, don't act weird and just be yourself. You will do fine.

    precisionk on
  • edited February 2007
    Raslin wrote:
    DaySleeper wrote:
    Raslin wrote:
    Someone posted a good piece of advice, though you probably don't smoke. The smoker group is actually your best bet, most likely. Why? They're fucked up people, that tend to be just unpopular enough to accept you, but popular enough to be a stepping stone. You don't have to smoke, I went months with the smokers before I started smoking(and they didn't cause me to start, really).

    Otherwise, just don't be annoying. It really doesn't matter what you do, as long as you don't annoy people.

    You can replace 'smokers' with 'band geeks' or 'orchestra people' or 'stage crew' or virtually any "minority" group in the school. If you have a particular interest, the clubs are often the best way to meet people who share some of your interests. Also, the 'popular' crowd is often the most vicious and back-stabbing group, so don't bust your nuts trying to get into it. Just find a bunch of people who like some of the same stuff you do.

    This is written from the perspective of somebody who was not at all popular in highschool and didn't figure out how to relax until he was almost done. I joined the school play and the orchestra and met some neat people. It was about that time that I realised that highschool was not the be-all and end-all of life and that things could only get better.

    Except band geeks, orchestra, etc tend to stick together, and have a hard time moving up the hierarchy. If you're interested in that stuff, go ahead, but they aren't stepping stones. Drama, well, that's different at times.

    That is a good point. I was in orchestra from fairly early on, so that's probably not the best idea. Drama tends to be a lot more inclusive, though you have to have a fair amount of self-confidence to make it there.

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  • IceblazeIceblaze Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Play sports.

    Iceblaze on
  • CptKemzikCptKemzik Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    FyreWulff wrote:
    You can only talk to them directly for about a half hour a day.

    I'm sorry but where did you go to high school. I clearly recall socializing with friends for way more than half an hour a day.

    Also not to disprove your points, but high school can still be an area to meet and socialize with people.

    If you have no success talking with somebody, chances are you have only been tryin to hang with assholes. You shouldn't have to overtly try to meet with people in high school, but at the same time don't try to avoid them either. If you know how to socialize like a human being, and can sniff out the HS bull you'll be fine.

    CptKemzik on
  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Don't let high school get to you. Some people will tell you it's the best time of your life.

    Those people are liars. It might be awesome, it might suck, but either way, in the long run, none of those people, except for a few close friends (and even then, maybe not) will matter to you in 5 years or so. If it gets tough, just buckle down, finish it out, and move on to greener pastures.

    Also, avoid getting too sucked into the whole sex/drugs/rock'n'roll thing. It's much more fun once you're out of high school, and will fuck up your life less.

    Vincent Grayson on
  • WeaverWeaver Who are you? What do you want?Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    You seen Office Space? The main character, that attitude he develops after being hypnotized, where he just has no anxiety and doesn't get worked up over anything? Try to channel that. Nothing is a big deal. Pay attention in class, don't pay attention to anyone trying to give you grief, and stay cool. You're there for you, nobody else. If people want to be friendly, be friendly back, but don't go around actively trying to forge friendships with people. Friendships happen through natural, casual interaction with your peers, not by walking up to people in the hall and introducing yourself and asking them to be your friend. As for girls, the less you seem to be actively trying to hook up with one, the more eager many will be to pay attention to you.

    Weaver on
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  • WeaverWeaver Who are you? What do you want?Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Also I always just hung with my cousins, my GF and some of the other ROTC peoples.

    Weaver on
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  • designMcGeedesignMcGee Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Weaver wrote:
    You seen Office Space? The main character, that attitude he develops after being hypnotized, where he just has no anxiety and doesn't get worked up over anything? Try to channel that.
    This is actually really good advice.

    Now, not every teenager is exactly the same, but High School tends to come around at a point in life where a lot of people think "Oh God, everyone is looking at me." More often than not, this isn't the case.

    But yeah, Weaver's advice is remarkably well put. Don't let the garbage of High School ruin anything for you. Life does not end after High School.

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  • SithDrummerSithDrummer Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Raslin wrote:
    Except band geeks, orchestra, etc tend to stick together, and have a hard time moving up the hierarchy. If you're interested in that stuff, go ahead, but they aren't stepping stones. Drama, well, that's different at times.
    Different at different schools. The choir folks certainly weren't plugged into the social pipeline, but many people in the band were. The drama team was the most cloistered at our school.

    Essentially, you need to be friendly, outgoing, and if you can, throw some humor into your interactions. That goes a long way toward people enjoying your company.

    SithDrummer on
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  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    The best advice I can think of for people going to high school is: remain calm. Just don't ever lose your cool and everything will be fine.

    Having said that, "assimilating into the high school environment" is not exactly something any reasonable or intelligent human being should want to do because the entire high school social structure is fucking bullshit, rewarding stupidity and crassness whilst punishing intelligence and respect. If you're not glad when high school is over, there's something wrong with you.

    Azio on
  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Well, really, you need no advice. High school is one of those things that just kind of sorts itself out. I was home-schooled in middle school, which was more just like a big vacation, and ultimately it didn't matter in the slightest. The only thing I would say is, if the stress is getting you down, take up a sport or exercise. It helped me a lot through some bad years.

    Social anxiety and such is normal. High school is when you learn how to deal with that, to some degree. It's trial by fire, but in the end it doesn't matter in the slightest when you leave, and has some valuable educational benefits. Both in Algebra and self-confidence. If your school has "high" and "low" tracks, don't wimp out. Often "low" just means "discplinary problems". Discussion classes can be fantastic. I was totally lost in them at first, but after I graduated I was capable of analyzing things and forming my own opinions, all thanks to the anxiety caused by my five classmates who always had an opinion and made me feel clueless by talking a mile a minute about stuff I was still confused about (even though ultimately they were often the clueless ones).

    LoneIgadzra on
  • thorpethorpe Registered User
    edited February 2007
    Azio wrote:
    The best advice I can think of for people going to high school is: remain calm. Just don't ever lose your cool and everything will be fine.

    Having said that, "assimilating into the high school environment" is not exactly something any reasonable or intelligent human being should want to do because the entire high school social structure is fucking bullshit, rewarding stupidity and crassness whilst punishing intelligence and respect. If you're not glad when high school is over, there's something wrong with you.

    Or maybe your high school just blew?


    Anyway, the important things to remember are A) Talk to people, and B) Keep Thy Cool Yeah Yeah

    thorpe on
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  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Just don't be the kid who answers every question in class and feels the need to talk at length with the teacher about the current subject while everyone else is just waiting to move on and get the fuck out of class. There were a few home-school-turned-high-schoolers who were like this when I was in high school and nobody liked them because they made everyone else's life hard. They came into high school looking at everything through rose-tinted glasses, thinking it was going to be the same wholesome learning environment they had at home with mommy dearest but it usually isn't. It's usually just a daycare for the below 2.0 GPA kids. Honors classes can be different but I don't imagine you'll be in those immediately.

    Learning at home and being seriously engaged in it is great but that's not what it's like in high school in my experience. Public education is a joke in a lot of places and the students who really want to get something done just breeze through it and get good grades so they can go to college and actually learn some stuff.

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  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Out of curiosity, where are you going to high school?

    In any case, what works best for me is not consciously trying to assimilate or anything. If you're a sociable person, go ahead and walk up to people and talk with them, or if you're more introverted, don't sweat it if you don't talk to a ton of people at first. Unless you're actively avoiding people, you'll end up joining conversations every once in a while, and getting to know people, and pretty soon you'll have a few friends and you can go ehad and meet people through them. Joining a club or two is a great idea, since that's an instant introduction to everyone, and gets you talking and making friends really fast.

    The Office Space advice is great; I'd say. I'm antisocial and generally don't like to or want to make tons of friends, but if you're laid back and willing to be engaged, nothing bad's gonna happen.

    TychoCelchuuu on
  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    There's a lot of worthy ideas floating around, but I would submit that high school is one of those things that's really not worth over-analyzing. It's different for everyone, but always ultimately irrelevant. You go, you learn some things, make friends, jump through hoops, stay up late doing homework - there's nothing fancy about that, you just do it.

    LoneIgadzra on
  • Chop LogicChop Logic Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Get into honors classes. Trust me. At least where I am, the honors and AP class are completley different from teh normal classes. Even my english teacher went to far as to describe it as the difference between daycare and an actual classroom.

    And for the first few days, just observe a little. Learn whats accepted and waht isnt, whats funny and whats annoying. Theres really nothing more annoying than being that kid who anseres every question in class and sucks up, even if hes not realizing it.

    Just be yourself.

    Chop Logic on
  • Food?Food? Registered User
    edited February 2007
    But seriously, there's not much to it. You won't start out with many friends, so it's best to just keep to yourself. You should pass through it fairly uneventfully.

    No, do not do this. If you keep to yourself you're just going to be "that homeschooled kid". If you're outgoing right off the bat, you'll make a ton of friends and you'll be set. Keeping to yourself is going to do nothing but make you lonely.

    Food? on
    gr_smile2.gif
  • QuarterMasterQuarterMaster Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Food? wrote:
    But seriously, there's not much to it. You won't start out with many friends, so it's best to just keep to yourself. You should pass through it fairly uneventfully.

    No, do not do this. If you keep to yourself you're just going to be "that homeschooled kid". If you're outgoing right off the bat, you'll make a ton of friends and you'll be set. Keeping to yourself is going to do nothing but make you lonely.

    Yeah, I've done this (what Marblehead suggested) before and have definitely regretted it. Initially I can't help but be a pretty shy guy, but after a few days I'm usually a lot more relaxed and outgoing. Especially once I know a couple of people.

    Hopefully the friend I mentioned and I will be able to meet up for one of the lunch periods, and maybe even join a couple clubs together, which would help a ton to get me past the first bump. *Crosses fingers*

    QuarterMaster on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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