Aug 3, 2010

Last First Day of School


I got back from school a hour ago.

It is now 12:15.

I just ate pasta salad with my parents. In my lanai. With my feet up. Not in a cafeteria. Or at school.

I love the being at home when most people are in school. It makes me feel special.

When I walked into my English teacher, Mrs. Palmer's, class today, my friend Nadia snapped a picture of me with her beautiful camera.

"What's up?" I asked.

"I'm documenting you," she told me.

"Terrific. Why?"

"Because you just walked into my life."

When I asked her if it was a project she told me no, she just felt like it. And then she turned to get a picture of Von. I'm going to ask her if she can send me some of those to put on here, but for now, you'll just have to take my word for everything.

Last year everyone, including my high school, was unsure about whether we going to have block schedule or not. It would appear that that is still the case. Half of the teachers/parents/students/administrators wanted block, the other half didn't. So we've gone for a compromise, which, of course, makes no one happy. Tuesdays and Wednesdays operate under block schedule, the rest of the week is normal.

I think this is weird and typical at the same time, which disturbs me a little bit. I like keeping my adjectives in order. I think my school board might be a little insane. But I mean that in the most respectful way possible.

In any case, this bizarre schedule combined with my half day means that this was my schedule for today:

CULINARY 1                            8:00-9:23
RECESS                                     9:23-9:38
AP GOVT/POLITICS US         9:43-11:01

Guys, I get out at 11:01. On Tuesdays, that is. On Mondays and Thursdays and Fridays I get out at 10:36. And Wednesdays I get out on 9:23.

Wednesdays are now officially my favorite day of the week.

I was very excited when I found out that I was taking culinary arts because, as you know I've kind of gotten on board with the food movement. In fact, I think I was born on board because, my mom has never been offboard. That excitement mixed together with first-day-back-to-school-hope-my-teacher-likes-me-don't-tell-me-I-didn't-bring-any-pencils jitters made me hyper. I was bounding on heels when I entered. Then my heels stopped bounding.

I didn't know any of them. They were all chatting and talking. All these people knew each other and I didn't know any of them. I hate feeling alone in a full room, don't you?

However, I am willing to see this class as an opportunity to make new friends and find out why my lemon tart cracks in the middle, so I'm reserving judgment. My culinary class is pending.

I had a paragraph here about several reasons why this class might be difficult. It had to do with complexities in my community, school and state in general. I hope, at some point, that I'll be able to tell you about them, but right now it won't come out. I'm not a good enough writer yet. Give me a few years and I'll astound you. I'll write about this--maybe even this class--and not only will you know what I mean you'll understand.

But not now.

At recess I got to see everybody and hang out in Palmer's room. I got to hug people and ask them how their summer was and try really hard not to brag about my AP exam scores (mostly unsuccessfully, but the point was to try, not be successful). I also asked about twenty people how much it costs to take the city bus, because I had to take it to get home and was concerned that three dollars might not be enough. The answers varied from $87,000 (thanks, Jess) to a dollar. Obviously everyone I know needs to go back to fourth grade and learn about either counting or rounding. Personally, I need to go back to third grade for mental health, nap time and help on my ACT math. Or any math. Ever.

My teacher started out our AP Government class by informing us that it was not to be referred to as AP Gov as it was, in fact AP Government and Politics so we were going to call it AP GOPO. I'm not sure if this is going to catch on or not, but either way, I thought it was a weird way to start.

Gov--uh, I mean, GOPO--is a comfortable class, especially after culinary arts because I could go down the rows of chairs and name everyone there.

I'd been in classes with them since seventh grade. We all had our little friend groups, unhealthy cliques, private jokes, and longterm grudges. They're the people who I will run to give hugs to at high school reunions, who I'll tell my kids stories about, and who I'll cry with on graduation night, but I try not to get too sentimental about that.

Possibly the worst thing about first days of school is that all the teachers feel the need to tell you their rules--which generally are the same as all the other teacher's. I understand the impulse. These people have over twenty teenagers on their hands. The compulsion to establish order must be irresistible. But really?

Don't chew gum. Respect me. Respect yourself. Respect others. Don't wear hats. Don't eat food. Stop poking her. Name, date, period in the right hand corner.


I think that everyone should just agree that the first period teacher does rules and nobody else. But nobody asked me.

Thus ends my post. I'm going to go watch West Wing now (thanks for getting me addicted, Katie, I hope you're happy now). Anyway, I hope you feel enlightened, enthralled, refreshed and re-energized, but I'll settle for mildly informed and amused.


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