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Rarity Meets Regular
“Give me five more minutes!” That was my mom, Mary Palmer; she insists every morning that I need to get up at 6:30 even though I need to be at school at 8:00. She stands about 5’ tall and isn’t much of a looker, but every day my dad tells her how lucky he is to be married to her. My dad is 10 years younger than my mom, but that doesn’t change how much they love each other. I want that kind of love, not all this kitty high school love that everybody my age has. Every year around my birthday my father proclaims that he is really glad that I’m an only child, so I guess I’m not the “poster child” that my parents wanted. I’m the starting quarterback for the Eagle Bay falcons (I know, crazy name mascot for “Eagle” Bay right ;].) Being the starting quarterback is like a one way ticket to the popularity show. To be a starting QB takes up most of my free time, so when I’m not lifting or at practice, I’m out with my friends. I don’t really have much time for family time, so whenever I am at home I get yelled at for something.
It was August fourth of 2003 and today was the first day of school. The football season was about to start and we’ve already had a bunch of practices. We all have to gather in the commons before school starts, because people get to the school at different times, so that means that I’m tied up talking to people I don’t even know about how the upcoming football season was going to go, which left me bored out of my mind. I hoped this year’s classes were going to be easier than last year. After I looked at my schedule I noticed that my first class was photography. That seemed easy enough to me. Little did I know, I would be embarking on the most interesting thing that I have done all year. Mr. Dell’s class is at the very end of the furthest hallway in the east wing. That gave me a good excuse to leave all my followers without leaving a bad taste in their mouths.
Mr. Dell is the meanest and dirtiest teacher in the school. He is about 4’5’’ and it looks like he hasn’t taken a shower in a month. He looks to popular guys as punching bags because he must have gotten beat up a lot in his high school. “Why didn’t you bring a camera to camera class Elmer?” That was some of Mr. Dell’s fabulous logic. If you don’t do it my way then I’ll yell at you. He hasn’t done one thing to tell us to have cameras by first class and yet he yelled at me because I didn’t bring mine.
After 45 minutes of finding new things to yell at us about, he finally got across that we have a project due at the end of the week, 20 prints and two rolls of film, and the only way that I got anything remotely nice out of that was that he slipped in that we can have a partner of his choosing. With my monumental luck I got stuck with a loser named Heather Barker.
Heather was the kind of girl who seemed quiet when you first meet her, but then turned out to be somebody who was loud and obnoxious. She always found ways of telling everybody facts that they don’t want to hear, like “Did you know that The Basenji is the world’s only barkless dog?” No I didn’t know that Heather and I don’t give a flying… You get the gist of how our first time talking was going. At that point I knew that this was going to be a long week.
We agreed to meet first at the town lake Wimacock, to each take a roll of pictures. She didn’t drive because, according to her “Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers.” She was already making me so angry that it was hard to hold a conversation with her without imagining me strangling her, but I couldn’t help thinking how cute she looked taking those pictures.
The rest of that night was really awkward because I started to maybe have some feelings for her and I can’t help thinking that she has those same feelings for me. I got home and added her on Facebook and waited for the confirm. After two hours of waiting I decided to hit the hay and hopefully the next day would be better.
After we got to photography class I sat next to my buddy Helton and Heather sat at the complete opposite side of the classroom. If that wasn’t bad enough I still had Mr. Dell breathing down my throat “You’re going to have to develop those two rolls that you should have taken today or tomorrow if you have even the slightest chance of turning in the prints on time Friday.” So after 20 minutes of listening to Mr. Dell blab about developing he set us free to work with our partners to develop. Working with Heather was probably the most awkward time I’ve ever had to use vinegar. I didn’t know whether to kiss her or punch her.
The rest of the week was about the same level of awkwardness as that puzzling first day of developing. I finally worked up the courage to ask her to go on a date with me and the reply puzzled even me.
“No thank you,” she said. I would have gotten over her and everything, but her reasoning for not going out with me made me angry. Her smart reasoning was that her friends didn’t like me. Well, obviously her friends don’t like me, because I treat them like s**t. This made me so angry that I took all of her prints and ripped them up and stormed out of the classroom.
That last statement maybe wasn’t completely true. She did turn me down and give me that reasoning but the only thing I could do was say alright, and tell her that I didn’t like her anyway, and go back to working. Later that night I might have cried for a little bit or I might not have. The rest of this semester of being partners with her was going to be fun.