Friday, October 11, 2013

The 13th Grade... (( part one )) Pass Me a Beer Will Ya

I'll be bouncing back 'n forth a bit with the time line of life events. Between childhood, navy years and other adult nonsense okay.

This story here takes place right after I bailed out of the navy disaster back in 1984/85!
I was 24 years old give or take
a few months.

And it seems that some things never do change... LoL

The story was a bit long so I broke it up into 3 entries.
The follow up entries, part 2, and part 3, will be posted
a bit down the road!

The 13th Grade
(( part one ))

Pass me a beer will ya

Okay, so now I’m entering into another phase
of my life at this point.
Ready or not new chapter... here I come!!

I’ve been through twelve years of schooling. Spent another 3 years in the active Military, and did some traveling around the world. Well, you would’ve thought that maybe I’d have settled down, and gotten a little more serious
about life, right?

And, for most people, that would have been enough time to do the trick. But not me, ut uuhh! I was still out there somewhere in the ozone layer of life, wandering around
like a poster child.

I did have a little more direction though, and was actually on a path towards a goal, or two.

You see, I was smart enough to enroll in the DeVry Technical School, now known as
DeVry University, to follow up on my……
Uuuuuhh electronics.... career. LoL

It was a move that paid me back dividends
for a long long time.
In fact, when I first penned this story, I was on the beach, the beach mutha F'er, at eleven o’clock in the morning, on a Monday no less.

Dividends come back to you in many forms!

And even better, I was getting paid to be there!
Man, sometimes life is pretty cool, huh?

DeVry... uummmm??

You’ve seen the commercials on TV for this school, right? The ones touting up-to-date curriculums, and state-of-the-art facilities.

Well, you shouldn’t always believe everything that you see on television.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I owe a lot to the DeVry name, but that’s pretty much it. The only thing that this school really did for anyone was to give them access to the industry leaders
once they graduated.

The DeVry name lured them in, and that gave you ample interview opportunities.

But other than the interviews, the school was a joke. It was truly just an extension of high school. The 13th grade!

The teachers were, well, most of them, totally inadequate. And, the shit that they were teaching us was pretty much useless

outdated mumbo-jumbo.

This was in fact proven to us on the very last day of class before graduation.

Just listen to this shit.

Testing and classes were over, and we were moments away from graduating. A year and a half of my life was spent studying, taking tests, and making sure that the ten thousand dollar price tag for enrollment was not paid in vain.

I was sitting in TV repair class. That’s right, you heard correct. TV fucking repair class.

With only about fifteen minutes of DeVry life left, this statement actually came out

of our teacher’s mouth.

Okay, now that we’ve finished all of the requirements for this class. Let me tell you where all of the jobs are, and where the world is turning to. Data communications! That’s where all the money and employment are! Modems are the beginning of the future!

He then proceeded to elaborate on just what data communications were.

(((Remember now, this was only 1986. No one even knew what a simple modem was at this point let alone the cutting edge iPhone type gadgets of today, 2013.)))

None of us had a clue

of what he was talking about.


What the fuck was a modem?

We just spent ten thousand dollars finding out where the fucking vertical knob on a television was, and now, this guy was talkin’

modems, and computers!

Again remember now, that this was only 1986. So, personal computers and the Internet were still in their infancy, unlike today, where they have become second nature. So, as you can see, sometimes you really don’t get what you pay for.

I'm sure they've revamped things by now. A brand new school was built and most likely an up to date curriculum followed. But it was too late for us... LoL... we were doomed the very moment he rolled that TV into class... LoL

Well as you could imagine, hearing that was a real bummer. About this new thing called data communication that is! Especially after busting our asses to get that 3.8 GPA.

Well, at least now I knew where the fucking vertical knob was on my TV!

Anyway, let’s get into some funny memories.

Like I said, this was just like high school.

There were girls, drinking, smoking, class cutting, cheating, and lateness reports. All the makings of an over the top John Hughes high school drama. Like say... The Breakfast Club...

Sixteen Candles or Pretty In Pink!

the breakfast club movie 1985 John Hughes

Sixteen Candles 1984 John Hughes

Pretty In Pink 1986 John Hughes

It was all pretty funny. Right up until the point where you got caught. Well, even that...

was pretty funny!

In the process of grinding through the semester, about 8 of us had gotten really close, and began to hangout together.

Mike, Bruno, Frank, Danny, Kevin,
Claire, Michele and myself.

Tommy Mondello and gang DeVry graduation 1986 New Jersey
This was most of the gang at the Landmark Inn on Route 9
in Woodbridge, New Jersey right after the graduation ceremonies.
That's Kevin on the left, then Danny, Bruno and myself
with Mike anchoring down the group in the back.
We're missing Claire, Michele and Franky from the pic.
I'm still in contact with Mike.
You'll be hearing more about this crazy muthafucka in part 2!! Stay tuned.

After school we’d all head over to a local bar, called Packee’s Pub, on route 1 in Woodbridge, New Jersey. The school was just around

the corner from there.

And it was here that we actually became friends with a singer who performed there from time to time. Her name was Jodi Bongiovi. She was the cousin of Jon Bon Jovi. (He shortened his name to Bon Jovi) And in fact, I think she even sang better than he did!

What a cool person she was.

During the night, the bar would have giveaways, like bottles of champagne, and such. Well, she always made sure that someone from our group would win the item that was up for grabs.
Pretty neat, huh?

This was also the place where we did a lot of studying. Hey, what better place to study,

then at a bar, right!

The other big hangout was at Friday's bar and restaurant. T.G.I.F.

Man, we had a lot of fun at this place. This was truly our party bar. We studied at Packee’s, but we drank hard at Fridays.

In fact, this was the place that got me into some credit card problems along the way.

As you know, while going to school, cash is always a problem. Well, I figured out a great way to get me some instant fast cash. Man, I was such a moron. Listen to this backwards logic.

After we ran up a tab, at the end of the night, I just said…Hey, I’ll put it on my credit card. You guys just gimmie your share in cash,

and we’ll call it even!


I was well on my way to the fuckin' poor house... LoL

It was great. I walked outta that bar with $200.00, cash. Now, I had money for the week right? Right??

Oh man, what an a-hole I was.

Of course, the bottom fell right outta this plan when the credit card bill came at the end of the month, and yes, I had no fucking money to pay it. I was never really any good at that math thing. Thank goodness for calculators!!

And this happened on several occasions!

I'm tellin' ya man, sometimes I am truly nothing more than a full bag'a douche!

Tommy Mondello DeVry graduation 1896 New Jersey
And here's what a full bag'a douche looks like!!!  LoL
That would be a semi-drunkin'... me!

But, not all the hi-jinx happened at the bar. Sometimes we’d come off the rails at school too. Literally!

Oh, man, it was too funny. Now remember, it cost ten thousand muthafuckin' dollars to go to this stupid place for a year and a half.

In 1986, that was a boat load of money!

Anyway, one day the whole bunch of us needed a break. Our heads were exploding, and so we decided to cut out of our next class.

Just listen to that.

Cut out of our next class.

When was the last time you heard someone say that? Of course, back in high school right! Or for me, it could have been P.S.22 grammar school or perhaps I.S.51 junior high school. Take your pick my friends. Cutting class was in my blood... LoL

If you were to break it down, it probably came to like three hundred dollars of class time that we would be missing. How stupid were we!

Well, we all came up with some cash for a beer run. And then, we headed out behind the school parking lot, to the railroad tracks.

Always a cool place to hang, right?

We made it to the tracks, and shortly after that, so did the beer. Aaahhh, let the good times roll mutha F'er, let them roll!

It’s always great to let off some steam in the middle of the day isn't it? We were working on some really crazy mathematical formulas and theorems that at the time

seemed very important.

But of course, just like with everything else that you’ve ever learned in school, it meant absolutely nothing, out in the real world!

But, man, that math stuff was intense!

I actually saw calculator’s burst into flames
during test time.

We just needed to get away from it for a while. But, little did we know, that the class we were supposed to be in at that particular time was overlooking the tracks.

Yes, those very same tracks that we were on…… Ut ooh!

Houston... we have a problem!

Man, this was so funny.

The instructor of the class we were missing from was a really great guy. Sort of the Nutty Professor type, ya know. And we all loved this guy, because he really went out of his way to make sure we understood his lesson plans. No matter how scrambled and mixed up they were!

Anyway, as the party was just starting to get into gear, someone looked up, and noticed one of our other classmates, that we usually didn’t hangout with, running towards us.

Maybe he had seen the light, and wanted to cross over to the other side with us. Or, maybe, he just wanted a beer? Hey, why not, we had plenty!

Well, it was a no, on both counts.

He didn’t wanna cross over to the wrong side of the tracks with us, and he definitely

didn’t want a beer.

So, then, what the hell was his story?

It turned out that he was the teacher’s emissary. And the message that he was sent

to deliver was this.

Finish up those beers, and get your asses back to class! We’re all waiting for you,
you crazy bastardsLoL


Busted with beers, before we were even buzzed! (Hey, pretty good, all those B’s, huh?)

You had to see our faces!

We couldn’t believe what was happening. We just wanted to have a couple hours or so of relaxation away from formulas, desktops, and dickheads. But instead what did we get?

A whipping boy sent to short-circuit our siesta!

What a train wreck, that was.
Shame on us for being morons. We never realized that the classroom we were supposed to be in was overlooking our hangout.
Can you believe that shit?!

And of course, our teacher put two and two together when he saw so many students missing from class and then looking out the window at all of us having cocktails in the sun.

Well, we all just turned to the school, and waved towards the tinted windows of the third floor classroom. That I’m sure were now crowded with pushed up faces, looking down at us

in amazement.

We were indeed a new breed of student that had never before graced these hallowed halls.

How the fuck could we cut class, drink beer, and actually have fun during school hours, and end up with a strong 3.8 to 4.0 GPA.

Hard fuckin’ work, that’s how!

We sent that whipping boy back to his master with the message of...

Go ahead, and start without us prof.
We’ll be in tomorrow, we promise!

He really didn’t like that answer,
but hey, he got over it!

He was really a cool teacher, but sometimes you have just gotta say fuck it, and do what you want to do even if it’s not always
the appropriate thing.

Cocktails in the sun... mmm... I like that one!

Tommy Mondello with mom and dad DeVry graduation 1986
A semi-drunkin' me with mom and dad outside the Lankmark Inn
after DeVry graduation ceremonies.
Finally, I gave them something to smile about... LoL
Oh be quite... like you guys didn't fuck up from time to time... LoL

To be continued...

Look for part 2 (all apologies)
and part 3 (odd jobs)
in the near future!!

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