The Transition

May 26, 2008
By
The Transition


I like to think of it as the transition. My family was moving. I didn’t want to move I had friends and a good school. Why did we have to move I asked myself? We had moved from Grayslake at the end of 1st grade to our new house in Palatine. We hadn’t looked at any new elementary schools, but instead the prime reason for our move was because of its location just a few blocks from Fremd High School. Fremd, my parents told me, was an excellent school and the prime reason for our move. But, sometime I felt like my parents had rushed the move a little bit, seeing as how both my brother and I were years from High School. I was going to be a 2nd grader and my brother would be a 5th grader.

In need of a junior high we went visiting different schools. My parents didn’t want me to go to a public school, but to attend a Christian school. I vividly remember our visit to Emmanuel Lutheran in Palatine, which I would later find out, was the rival to the school I would actually be attending. I entered the cold, dimly lit school with my mother’s hand holding me tightly as if someone were about to
me away from her. We were greeted by an old man with grey hair and yellow teeth, who was, if you ask me, was overzealous about his position of tour guide for the small school. He showed us around the entire school, having us visit the cafeteria, the gym, and various classrooms none of which I was very fond of. But, the one moment of that school visit that I can so clearly recall, the one moment that completely crushed any thought of attending that school. We had been escorted to the auditorium were the students were practicing a school show, most of the children in the show were about my age. I had spotted a young
who had been practicing her act, and apparently did something wrong because and older women, whom I assumed was a teacher, screamed and scolded the
until she began to cry. I was terrified and my mother had also seen and heard the ordeal from across the room, and to my relief she quickly thanked the old man for the tour and we left. Thankfully, I didn’t end up attending that school, but instead visited another school, St. Peter.

I can’t remember much if anything about my visit to St. Peter the school that I would attend for the next eight years of my life. The following year I was enrolled as a 2nd grader at St. Peter Lutheran. I had mixed emotions about my first year of St. Peter. I was making new friends which I was definitely happy about, but I had a
for a teacher. Her name was Mrs. Kramer a plump older women with short silver hair, thick rimmed glasses that were pushed up her face by her nose which looked as though it had been smashed years earlier. She was very short, so short I almost could look her in the eye as a 2nd grader, but not that I would want to anyway. She had three or four dresses all different colors, but each with its own frilly edges that shook when she screamed at any student who questioned her role of dictator over the classroom dictatorship. The soles of her white shoes were worn down from the constant pacing up and down the rows of desks hoping to catch any child who was not “keeping their eyes on their own paper” during a test.

It was no surprise that the end of 2nd grade was a joyess occasion. I had made new friends that I would spend the summer with, and I would get a new teacher next year maybe a nice one. The summer had come and passed and our class lists had arrived in the mail. The class list was a crucial moment for any student at our school because it would tell you who you teacher was and if your best friends were in your class. The next year I had received a nice teacher and a few of my friends were in the class with me. The year turned out to be alright and went surprisingly fast, and time didn’t stop. Every year I would make better friends and maybe loose a friend. I would wait for the class list hoping to see my best friends in the list of names, and before I knew it all the years of elementary school and two years of junior high had passed. A total of five elementary teachers, six classrooms, various junior high teachers, reading assignments, vocabulary assignments, and countless sports practices had come and gone in the blink of an eye.

It was my final year I was finally an 8th grader. I was the big cheese, the head honcho, the B.M.O.C. it was me and my classmates time to rule the school. We had a very athletically gifted class. We had a winning basketball team, a winning volleyball team, and a winning track team. One of the highlights of my 8th grade year was our record setting basketball team. We had placed 3rd in state and 5th overall at nationals. I myself also received all tournament honors for both the state and national tournament.

One of the most memorable times of my 8th grade year was our trip to Washington D.C. The trip was taken by the 8th grade class every year at the end of the year, and was notorious for the attempts of over stimulated students trying to sneak out and have some midnight fun. My friends and I, being the schools biggest trouble makers, had our plan of attack even before the trip began, but we were thoroughly warned that if we were caught doing anything we weren’t supposed to we would be sent home. So we decided that we would keep our antics behind our hotel room door. Our plans of historic foolishness and stupidity were whittled down into the shaving of my friend’s leg while he slept and completely trashing out hotel room. My classmates and I had returned from our trip exhausted, but with new memories of the fun times we had. And just as fast it had all started the year and my enrollment at St. Peter was over.

Now after eight years and an abundance of memories it was time to graduate. It was time to leave all of my friends again like I had in first grade and transition into high school. I stood at the front of the chapel along with my classmates. When our names were called we gave the principal a firm shake with the right and took the diploma with the left just as we had practiced in rehearsal. After a few congratulations and a couple glasses of punch it was over. My family and I got in the car and drove away from the school it didn’t hit me right away at first, but as I started to think about my graduation and my transfer to a new school I started to worry and asked: How will I make friends? Will I get lost? What if people don’t like me? All of these questions swirled in my head, but another thought jumped into my head at that moment it was that it was summer, and I didn’t have to worry about any of that for awhile.


So, the thoughts of high school slipped my mind, and I just focused on summer fun, fishing, swimming, basketball, and friends. I had joined an AAU basketball team with other 8th graders who would be attending Fremd the next year. I got to know them a little bit, but hadn’t talked to them enough to call them my friends. The summer was winding down and I still didn’t have any friends going into Fremd. I was the only student in my graduating class of 32 students that would attend Fremd. I began to panic because there was a freshman orientation night coming up, and I would be in a group of hundreds of students not knowing a single one. I remember clearly the night or orientation. I walked through entrance one into a sea of diversity. There were screaming
s with their Hollister shirts, students with black hair and slipknot shirts on, I saw other basketball players, but I didn’t dare go and talk to them. It was such a new feeling being with group full of so much diversity and character. It was a completely opposite feeling from St. Peter which had been my bubble of protection from the outside world. I had found a good seat up in the top of the auditorium by a kid who I recognized from my church. I wasn’t about to say anything, but just that fact that I was sitting next to someone that I recognized made the alone feeling shrink a little bit. Luckily, John the kid from my church that I was sitting by had recognized me and began to talk to me. It was only a “hey” but I wasn’t ready for it at all I slurred a “hello” back. He asked me various small talk questions like: What school did you go to? Do you play any sports? Those questions were about the extent of our conversation, but I was still happy about it. After the presentation in the auditorium we had the opportunity to walk our schedules, but I didn’t want to walk around by myself. I left as fast as I could, trying not to look like a complete idiot as I hurried past a group of cute
s.

I returned home, only to be
arded with questions about the night from my parents. I answered with the classic “yea it was great” and that was it. I returned back to my summer trying to forget freshman orientation. A couple weeks later I got invited to the house of one of the kids on my AAU team his name was Cameron. It’s not like we were best friends from the first time we met but I thought he was a cool guy, and it turned out he only lived a couple blocks away. It’s funny because in all the years I had lived there I had never seen him. I didn’t think he knew it, but I was nervous. It was hard walking in the house of someone you kind of knew. I entered his basement full of other kids I didn’t know, which didn’t help calm my nerves at all. I sat down and we began to talk and found out we both liked a lot of the same things, we played some videogames, and he played guitar which I thought was the coolest thing ever cause I knew no one with any musical talent. After that he became one of my best friends. He was also really great with introducing me to people that I didn’t know, because I would have been too nervous to introduce myself.

Soon the first day of school arrived. I thought it would be great seeing as how I had a few new friends and I had an older brother to help me out. But, it turned out to be one of the most stressful days of the whole year. First, I only saw my new friends once or twice if at all. Plus my brother who was supposed to be looking out for me, actually made a bet with his friend that I would lock my locker open the first time I opened it. He won that bet. He also told me the wrong way to my first period class, which I was late for along with all of my other classes that day.

All that happened that first day was very funny when it was over. School began to slow down. I made a few more friends, and started to enjoy the divrsity of the school. Then I realized that through all of my transitions from school to school, old friends to new, and plain to diverse I lost something good, but something just as good or even better always came with it.





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