Graduation

I missed posting about the New York trip, about Ancora recording our four best songs, about being named valedictorian, about doing another video project. Facebook has also kept me off track thanks to its great social networking photo integration (i.e. tagging). This post is about the idea of leaving high school.

I’ve never been one for change, ever. Leaving behind friends is one of the hardest things for me to do, even though I’m really not a very social person. Add that to activities like Ancora, Cappella, and Guys and Dolls, plus my best academic class English 4AP, and there’s almost no reason for me to leave. Even though in other ways I’m maxing out of high school.

I think a lot of that comes from the fact that my high school started in junior year. Yes, yes, I was in classes for freshman and sophomore year, but I wasn’t so socially connected until at least the winter of 2005. And my activities, besides Tino-Net and the very early proto-Ancora, didn’t start until junior year. JETS, Speech, choir…not to mention finally breaking my few-close-friends McAuliffe-initiated mentality…everything really began in earnest in junior year. I have about as many sophomore friends as junior friends, かもしれない. My years of middle school social adjustment got shifted out into high school thanks to McAuliffe K-8. But then again I’ve never been that socially ept anyway.

Today I caught my brother doing something I thought was specific to me, so maybe you’ve done it too: referring to a certain class by the year he associates with it. (What?) So, he still thinks of his McAuliffe graduating class as “8th graders” even though they’re almost done with their freshman year of high school (three more days). I’ve done this for years, though never with my own class, always with the class ahead of me. The people who graduated last year are still “seniors” in my mind, and the people in my mixed 7th/8th grade class who graduated that year are still “8th graders”. Not practically speaking, but yes, I think that is the tag that sticks in my mind most. Never mind that the year ahead of me is always the same year, whether I was in class with them at McAuliffe or at CHS.

That goes hand-in-hand with my largest apprehension concerning leaving. Somehow I’m fine with me leaving, even to go to COLLEGE. (It bothers me consciously, but below that not so much. That’s more about losing friends and opportunities missed.) I’m fine with the “seniors” being sophomores in college. I’m even fine with this year’s juniors becoming seniors. It’s the sophomores, all my “little” sophomore friends (Melinda moment) becoming juniors, that gets me the most for some reason. Good luck to all my sophomore friends (and all other sophomores), and I hereby lay this curse/observation/self-fulfilling prophecy upon you. Life speeds up starting in junior year, especially if you have a large courseload (such as the killer APUSH/Bio AP combination…がんばって). If you remember, tell me eventually if you agree. Of course, I’ve just colored your subconscious, so ha. Sorry, ね…

I’m going to Berkeley, if you haven’t heard. More people are going there than I thought; I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. But here’s to fresh starts and new friends, hopefully without losing the old friends and great experiences that transformed me over four years.

Thanks, CHS.

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