At the beginning of freshman year, it took me so long to get used to the fact that I was a high schooler, so I expected it would take a similar amount of time for me to get used to being a senior. But surprisingly, I feel like I’m almost done processing. Except that now that I think about it, I wouldn’t be surprised if I get stuck at this stage of almost but not fully done processing for the rest of the year.
Here’s some memories from the past two or so weeks.
I accidentally slept through biology on the first day.
For the first two weeks, my school did a hybrid schedule. Half went to school, half stayed at home for online, and then the two groups switched the next day. I was in Group B, which meant my first day of school was online. I was slightly panicked for a second right before classes started at 8:00 (because I ate breakfast until the last moment), but otherwise it was fine.
And then lunch came.
As a social distancing measure, there’s two lunch periods this year (which I know is normal for some schools, but normally my entire high school eats at the same time), and the schedule was confusing. Well, at least I thought it was confusing.
So after eating lunch, I was like great! I have time to take a nap! So I went to take a nap. It was glorious. And then I woke up and realized I had completely missed my biology class. I was even a few minutes late to my next class, math.
Okay, if this story is stressing you out, please don’t be. I don’t know about your school, but at mine, we don’t really do things on the first day. (Um, except for math class. We started reviewing immediately, and it truly seemed like the teacher was writing in a foreign language.)
I’m pretty happy with my mistake. Looking back on it now (with the wisdom that two weeks gives you), I prefer this version. It made for a memorable first day.
I learned more about my classmates in five minutes than I would’ve in an entire year.
One of the first assignments my literature teacher gave us was a story-telling presentation. We had to tell a story about a time we felt “exiled” and link it to a quote from Life of Pi.
When I first heard about it, I was like, aww, I’m not sure if I’m excited about this. And it has to be around four to five minutes? That’s a sizable amount of time for one story.
But it’s by far been my favorite thing that I’ve done in class so far this year. I’m so glad my teacher made us do it. Even with my friends I rarely hear them talk uninterrupted for five minutes straight about a time that was meaningful or important to them. But because of this project, I heard the stories of classmates who I probably wouldn’t have talked to much inside of class, let alone outside the school building. It was very cool.
And also, it not only made me know them more, it also just made me like them more. In our cells we have whatever those catalysts are that I learned in freshman year biology to speed up the process — in relationships, I feel like vulnerability plays a similar role.
In the past, the AP art students have done very innovative projects.
There’s one hallway in the school that the art department has slowly renovated over time, and now it has these clean white walls and floors. The sole purpose was to make it into a suitable gallery space for rotating art shows, but mostly for the AP art show at the end of the year.
That “show” is what AP art students at my school work towards the whole year. The first two trimesters are mostly about experimenting and deciding on your idea, and the last trimester is cranking to actually finish the work. The art teachers at my school really push us to go deeper, bigger, and weirder with what we create, and sometimes their suggestions and expectations instigate a lot of angst, but it also instigates a lot of interesting art.
Two weeks ago one of my teachers showed us pictures from past years, and here are a few that I remember most.
One guy did this project where he blew up balloons and did some kind of stringy goo work around it. Then when the balloons popped, he was left with these hollow structures of criss-crossing lines. For part of his show, he positioned a bunch of them into kind of a spiral/blob shape, and there was this super nice bubbly and happy feel to it.
This girl did a project where she pinned up so many pieces of one-inch paper onto the wall so that they formed this huge rectangle. All the papers were white, gray, black, or some combination of the three, and she ordered them so it went from white to black. That might not sound like much of a project except that all those slips of paper were drawings from over the year that she had ripped up. I might be getting the meaning behind hers mixed up with a different project, but I think it was about assimilation and different cultures.
And finally, one girl did portraits by collaging lace with bugs — REAL BUGS!!! The idea was about contrasting stereotypical femininity and beauty with something we don’t usually associate as delicate. But the bugs! I think for most of it she used crickets and beetles, but there were also these long mealworms hanging down for hair. Okay, if this story is making you uncomfortable, I understand.
Oh wait, almost….
Did you have a memorable moment from your first day?
Have you had a favorite assignment this year?
Do you need time to process changes?
How is school working where you are?
What electives are you taking?