Friday, January 17, 2014

Visiting my old high school is what I imagine an out of body experience would feel like: walking down the hallways feeling like a giant and at the same time that sense of panic you feel when the bell rings. Two friends and I explored the edifice of our nostalgia, interrupting a few classes to wave hello to some favorite former teachers. Some conversations were light and quick, others were heartfelt and lasted well over fifteen minutes, always ending by warning the current class to appreciate their teacher while they have the opportunity.

We each tried to break into our lockers; how has my memory failed me in just two years? (I should up my berry consumption and play more Sudoku puzzles..)

 It was great reconnecting with my college adviser. I can still recall the stress of deadlines, taking the ACT, re-taking the ACT, and writing seemingly endless amounts of college essays. My college adviser still sat in that same, kitchen-pantry sized office, typing on his outdated computer with his arthritic, mangled fingers. We laughed and joked. What a juxtaposition the treatment I received from my University, English adviser who told asked me how I was planning to eat for the next seven years when I told her I wanted to become a novelist?

The reunion I had with my Physics teacher, can only be described as epic. He is the most quirky and most beloved teacher in the school. I remember him once telling a girl in class, "Ashley, I want to coat you with honey and release the bees." He made even students who hated physics, look forward to class. Being the atypical, iconoclast that I am, everyday was an attempted mutiny.

That year was a very informative year for me; I learned a lot about the boundaries of student and teacher. Anyways, the reunion was epic and it ended with him friending me on Facebook. In my novel, this is what we can a twist.

What this visit has taught me, is that roots are important; furthermore, acknowledgement of your own achievements are important. We rarely take the time to recognize the people that guided us during such a fragile and impressionable stage in our lives. There was a boy from my physics class who would sit with me during his free periods and reteach me the material I was not (surprisingly) absorbing vectors. He just messaged me on Facebook. I should thank him; I recognize now, that he may have helped me graduate.

Sincerely,
A bit wiser

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