I was a lousy student in high school. Sure, I was pretty good in the subjects that I cared about (history and music theory), but the subjects that didn't interest me remain a blur. I went to an excellent high school, and I got away with lousy studenthood because my teachers saw me as being on a path that had nothing to do with academics. I am particularly embarrassed about an English class I took my sophomore year (for us high school began in the tenth grade). We were supposed to have read Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles, and somehow I managed to pass the class without reading it at all. I can't remember what else I didn't read that year, but I know that I didn't fail the class.
What I do remember was that the teacher was also the German teacher, and I kind of wished I could take German, but after being such a lousy student in his English class, I didn't think it was a good idea. All I remember doing during English class was writing duets with my percussionist friend, who was also in the class. He would write a percussion part, and I would write a flute part, and then we would pass our completed half-duets to one another, and finish our little masterpieces (if the teacher thought that we were passing notes, he would actually have been correct). After class we would play them through. I can't remember if they were any good, but I imagine they must have been kind of similar to the Ingolf Dahl duet we spent much of the year practicing together.
Several years after graduating high school (a year early--how I managed to do that is still a mystery), I ran into that teacher (I'm not naming names) on the trolley in Boston (the "T" to all you youngsters and non-old-time-Bostonians), and told him that I graduated from Juilliard and could now speak German. He seemed unimpressed. My memory of him as a cold and detached person was unchanged, but perhaps his memory of me as a lousy student who only cared about music was also unchanged.
Perhaps I should give Tess of the d'Urbervilles a try.