I fondly recall the film study course I took, back in the early 1980s, when I attended Maine East High School. I'm so glad I elected to take that course. Not only was I exposed to the work of Alfred Hitchcock, something previously foreign to me as a teenager, but I had the distinct pleasure of sitting directly behind one of the Coglonese sisters, a girl in "the popular crowd" and a member of the cheerleading squad. We weren't really friends. I wasn't in her clique, so there was a natural distance that she kept, but she was always cordial. On Fridays, when we'd watch the second half of whatever film we were studying, she'd dress in her full cheerleading outfit, something all the cheerleaders did on game days. As the film would begin, she'd tilt her chair back slightly and rest her head on my desktop; her long strawberry blond hair cascaded down the length of the school desk. The clean aroma of her freshly washed hair rose up off the desktop and mingled with her perfume. The subtle smell of her shimmering hair and delicate perfume was intoxicating in the darkness.
To this day, whenever I'm flipping through the channels and catch a glimpse of one of the films we studied, I smell that cheerleader's beautiful hair. I'm immediately transported back to that darkened classroom, a slight breeze trying to sneak under the drawn window shades, and the black-and-white film flickering on the makeshift screen. It's one of my happiest memories of high school.
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