In a couple of weeks I start my photography class through a Living Social deal at the Washington School of Photography. I am so beyond excited. I am prepared to learn, ask questions, do my homework, all of it. I am particularly jazzed about reviving my first-day-of-class awkwardness.
I attended a lovely private school for the better part of my childhood called The Banner School. There were 15 people in my grade. In my entire grade. Banner did not have a high school in 1997, so I was (forced!!) to attend my local public high school for the remainder of my secondary education.
“No. I’m not going there.” That’s what I told my mom in a calm, collected, non-screechy teenage girl voice. That might be the shorter, less theatrical version of events, but that simply isn’t important right now.
Ok, so skimming forward, my mom went through all these hoops so that I could attend the brand spankin’ new high school with half the number of students in Urbana.
August arrived. I put on my favorite jean skirt (whoa, stop it with the hotness), a fresh rainbow colored baby-tee (too hot), purple socks (this is getting better, am I right?), fresh Sketcher sneakers (you know you had a pair), and off I went. I remember being so nervous. This was completely outside my comfort zone.
To boot, I was such a weird kid.
OK, so Day 1 I am sitting in English class surrounded by what I assumed were really cool kids. With cool clothes and cool hair. After the teacher handed out the first book we would be reading together (No, I don’t remember the book…this is called repression), she went around to each student so we could read aloud the set of three numbers written along the fore edge of the book. The first two numbers were always the same with every student. “17, 24, 32″…”17, 24, 46″…”17, 24, 62″…and this went on.
The entire time I am wondering, “Why are all three of my numbers different? Shit, shit, shit.” Remember in high school when all you wanted was to fit in? The numbers 17 and 24 were my ticket.
It is now my turn to tell the teacher the numbers on my book and I am squinting, sweating, trying desperately to read the numbers aloud. I can hear people snickering.
The girl to my right reaches over and grabs my book. And turns it right side up.
I was reading the numbers upside down. Upside down. I wanted to die.
Lesson learned: First days of class just aren’t my bag – and that’s OK.
As it turns out, that wasn’t the right school for me anyway. I transferred a couple of weeks later to Frederick High and graduated only 6 years later. Take that, Urbana!
And if that story wasn’t cute/painful enough for you, I will tell you something else. My very first class at FHS was also English Literature. I was the new girl again, but the kids here already seemed nicer, more welcoming.
Especially that cute boy sitting in the back, Stevie K.