An Upperclassman Now!

I’m home after the first day of school! I’m back to public school full time. Again. It started off really well because, even though I had to wake up at 5:30, I had a stupid good hair day! Just to clarify, that means my hair looked so good, it was stupid. And I was on the radio while I was doing my make up! I called in and the topic was “what are you looking forward to about school, and what are you dreading about it?”

My answer?  I’m looking forward to utilizing my new wardrobe! But I was dreading the fact that you don’t find out which lunch you have until third hour. I’m always so worried that I’ll go to my third hour class and it’ll be empty and locked. Okay, that’d mean that I have A lunch. So after that, I would go upstairs to lunch. By then, the lines would be horribly long and it’d take forever for me to get food. Then I’d stand on my toes in the cafeteria, looking very much like the first day of school, trying to find some one I know. By the time I do (if I do), I’ll have ten or fifteen minutes left. It’d all be downhill from there. Thankfully, that didn’t happen, but I’ll get to that later.

My mom drove me to school this morning (not for moral support, but to save me the embarrassment of holding a giant poster for AP English for a while at the bus stop and having to carry and protect it around with me through bus conditions, of which I had no idea what to expect). We listened to Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz in the car on the way there.

My first hour is Chorale, which was nice because I’ve been in it for two years now already and it was comfortable to start off with that. Hopefully this year will go by much more smoothly than last year. Before the first concert, (our first actual performance was a funeral because) a boy named Tim, a bass in choir, died. Our Winter concert was moved to a nearby middle school because of a bomb threat at the high school – we learned that they were shutting down the whole building AFTER we had set up the entire bake sale. The next concert was enjoyably interrupted by the fire alarm going haywire in the middle of one of our songs. The last concert was the only one that went as expected.

My choir director is big on making sure we understand rules. This year, my school is actually enforcing the cell phone and dress code policies (now they’re not just taking our phones for the day, they’re keeping them until the next Monday). She went through our handbooks and skimmed over and lectured about different things.

One rule that she pointed out is “pornography or other inappropriate display may not be used to decorate the lockers.” After the initial giggling of the class, a sweet girl named Molly shouted out, “What!?”   Now, Molly is a really sweet girl. She’s adorable and naive and loves Disney, musicals, taking pictures, and the Jonas Brothers.   It. Was. Hilarious. When she reacted like that. Of course, she meant it as, “What? People actually do that?” But it sounded as if she was miffed because they don’t allow lockers to be decorated with porn, and everyone knew how she meant it and how it sounded. Believe me, it was a lot funnier if you were there and especially if you know Molly.

Some time during passing time here, I remembered that, when my mother and I bought the pair of jeans I wore today, we got a size that didn’t quite fit and our plan was to take in the waistband. We had forgotten all about that and I walked around in elephant pants all day.

Second hour was Intro to Statistics. I like my teacher. He’s energetic, young, comfortable to be with, and friendly. He’s totally OCD about the cleanliness of his classroom. He seems like he really, genuinely loves his job. When he brought up giving us an assignment, the cliche groans of the students sounded.

“Oh, I love the moans! When my students moan, I just get fired up.”  That was awkward. “It usually makes me assign more.”  The initial reaction of the class was, of course, that of a typical high schooler: Not quite reacting at first, then smiling or laughing to themselves, then catching the eye of a friend to share the amusement with. That’s why they’re “groans.

Anyway, my third hour, Honors Chemistry came. I just went straight to my class room, hoping I didn’t find out the hard way that I had A lunch. I don’t, I actually have D. My teacher made us sit in backwards alphabetical order, with the “A” last names in the back row. He went off on a tangent about how “so many teachers make their students sit in alphabetical order and he doesn’t want to be usual.”   Great point, right? Because making your students sit in backwards alphabetical order is so out-of-the-box and totally goes against the main stream culture of teachers.

I ended up in the second to last row. My teacher proceeded to go on and on about how people who sit in the back always get poor grades. About how, when he was stuck in the back in high school, his grades suffered, how the two students who failed the ACT test were ones that sat in the back, how, if we sit in the back, our grades “immediately go down at least a third of a grade,” yadda yadda yadda. “If you sit in the back, you suck and you’ll fail and it infallibly reflects your responsibility and character.”   Ugh.

He’s also paranoid! I need a graphing calculator for Intro to Stats, but I can’t use it for chem. So I have to have two calculators with me, why? Because my chem teacher’s philosophy is that, because we are able to store answers on graphing calculators, it means we absolutely will save them (I don’t even know how!) and pass them out to our friends. Heck, maybe we’ll even sell them with the drugs and parking passes, hand grenades and spiked gatorade we all bring to school for our financial gain.

The tests for that class are, from what I gathered (I don’t know for sure because I wasn’t paying attention because I was sitting in the back, being irresponsible while my IQ steadily declined every minute I sat there), usually are multiple choice, true/false, and matching things – all three have frequently saved my caboose in class. If you miss a test, you have to make it up, of course. But if you do have to do a make-up test, it’s all short answer. Yep, I’m having perfect attendance until, at least, second semester.

Oh, there’s more. He’s not particularly aesthetically pleasing, and is kind of… just… weird. He, too, made sure we knew about the new rules in school (as did my teacher for Intro to Stats, but he didn’t make it weird, so I didn’t mention it). However, after glossing over the main things, he picked up a student handbook and read a dress code rule out loud. He savored every bit of it:

“The showing of cleeeavage is inappropriate, and the wearing of provocative (enunciated sharply) clothing that exposes or highlights BREASTStststs and/or buuttawhcks (buttocks) is unacceptable.

AwkWAAARD. As if that wasn’t weird enough, he continued to go on saying that he’s a science teacher, so he’s so used to saying words like “penis” and such. He told us that, while the school board covered this rule as they briefed the teachers and staff, he had raised his hand and asked if he can say “boobs,” too.   I….   Ugh. Class seemed to drag on forever because of my aching, gurgling stomach and the second hand looked like it was rotating around the face of the clock more slowly than usual.

Lunch was uneventful, expensive, and annoyingly crowded. I found a choir friend (who I’ve known since freshman year and who I acted in Macbeth with this summer) to sit with, which was awesome.

Finally, my last class came. AP English 11. So far, my favorite class this year. My teacher is great. She’s fifty-six, energetic, and kinda crazy. Her hair is short and modern and greying. By looking at her, you can tell that she’s the creative, artsy/writer type. When she told us about herself, she explained how she paints rocks. Odd at first, but she continued to say that, when she travels, she looks for rocks that some how resemble a heart. She paints them bright, happy colors with nail polish – several layers. That’s a lot of nail polish. She told us that at the end of the course, she brings in all the rocks and lets you pick out one for yourself!

One of our assignments is to bring in ten pictures that “mean something to us” or describe us in some way. Clip art, cut out from “mazagines” (yes, she really says it like that), our own photography, anything. Extra credit if you bring in twenty. Once we have everyone’s pictures we’re decorating the bulletin boards in our room in a collage of “ourselves.” I am a photographer, so this is possibly my favorite school assignment ever! I asked if all of my pictures can be of my photography and she said yes. I’m so excited! I get to pick twenty of my favorite pictures I’ve ever taken and show them off! Every one will see them! Whether they like them or not, whether they stand out to them or not, they are pictures I took and created that they’ve never seen before. Ever! I get to show them a new image and viewpoint they’ve NEVER seen in their entire lives! Gah. I love this.  😀

So that was my first day. All in all, very good.

Thing to smile about #4: Being way more confident about yourself than you have been in a long time.

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