Life in the Day of a Cursed Freshman This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     I am cursed. Nobody told me I was but I know it because there is no way a normal teenager could go through what I did on my first day of high school and not be cursed. That's all there is to it!

It started in geometry, first hour. Let me tell you, having geometry first is a curse in itself, but it got worse. I was sitting in geometry making a valiant effort to pay attention when I knocked my pencil off my desk.

I immediately made eye contact with the boy next to me, gave him my ultra-bright smile, and stared pointedly at the pencil. He didn't take the hint, and so my pencil remained on the floor. What happened next is entirely his fault, really!

When I realized that Mr. Can't-Take-a-Hint was not going to pick up my pencil, I knew I would have to do it myself, because, as we all know, one cannot begin one's geometry assignment without a pencil. As I leaned over, something completely unheard of happened - my desk fell over. Now it's bad enough to have your desk fall over right in the middle of a lecture on the Pythagorean theorem, but it's much worse when you fall over with it! Yes, I am officially (as far as I know) the only girl ever to go down with her desk while trying to pick up a pencil - not a great claim to fame.

My geometry books, notes, calculator and notebook flew across the room. My desk and I landed in the lap of none other than ... Mr. Can't-Take-a-Hint. I remember not thinking about the intense shame of the moment (which came later), or the embarrassment (that too came later), but of Mr. Can't-Take-a-Hint.

You know, buster, my thoughts went, it would have been a whole lot easier to pick up my pencil in the first place than to pick me, my desk, and most of my stuff up off you now. When I met his gaze, I knew instinctively that he was thinking the same thing. (Note to reader: Mr. Can't-Take-a-Hint is currently the best pencil picker-upper in our school. And if you ever have the pleasure of sitting next to him, be sure to drop your pencil. He can grab it before it even hits the floor!)

After Mr. Can't-Take-a-Hint righted my desk and helped pick up my stuff, I began to laugh. The rest of the class was already laughing uproariously, so what else could I do? Fortunately, Mrs. H. (geometry teacher extraordinaire) also has a sense of humor and said, "Well, I'm awake now." I replied, "So am I," trying to sound like a cool, confident freshman who hadn't just fallen over in her desk.

After geometry, I was faced with the challenge of finding my way to the high school. Despite the fact that I had never been there, I was sure that finding Computer Applications would not be a problem. After all, I was a freshman now, a role model for the immature eighth-graders.

"Hey, wait up!" one of those eighth-graders called. I turned casually, and favored her with a cool, "Yes?" She immediately burst into giggles (a true sign of immaturity) and asked, still giggling, "Are you alright?" I raised my eyebrows, but before I could say a word, she continued, "I mean, falling over in your desk must have hurt."

I could see that it was going to be difficult to maintain my cool, confident image. I was up to the challenge, however, and frostily replied, "I am fine." I kept walking. That'll show her, I thought smugly, though my confidence was slightly shaken by some additional giggling.

I decided to start the day anew. As far as I was concerned the last hour, three minutes and 39 seconds hadn't happened. With this in mind, I approached the high school building with new strength. Watch out, you sophomores, juniors and seniors! I am a freshman - hear me roar!

When I reached the front door, and prepared to burst inside, I did roar. Actually, it was more of a grunt. The door would not open! Here I was standing at the entrance to the high school, and I couldn't even get the door open. My future was not looking too bright. I kicked, I pushed, I even commanded the door to open, but nothing worked.

Then I heard laughter. I glanced over my shoulder and saw a crowd watching my war with the door. It was a guy crowd too, a cute guy crowd of popular juniors and seniors. I quickly realized that this was not improving my image, and decided that the show had gone on long enough.

"Boys," I said in my best flirty voice, "This door will not open." The guys only laughed harder, so I sighed, and waited. Eventually one of them stepped up and pulled the door open.

"Pull," he said, smiling. Since he was older, and therefore had me beaten in the cool and confident department, I just smiled and walked in.

Now, all I had to do was find my class. Fortunately, there were teachers stationed along the main hall to help freshmen.

"Excuse me," I asked. "How do I get to Computer Applications?"

He took my schedule and looked at it for a minute. "You'll need to turn left, go down the immediate set of stairs, walk through the main hallway, make a right, and walk straight until you see the second set of double doors on your left."

My confusion must have shown, because he asked, "Would you like me to take you there?"

Would I ever! Unfortunately, being guided to my classroom by a teacher wasn't exactly something a cool freshman needed. So I just shook my head and told him I'd be fine.

I was fine - until I got to the set of stairs and fell - fell! - all the way down with my rear hitting the floor. I looked up to see another crowd of high schoolers not even trying to hide their amusement. And things only got worse.

After pulling myself up from my unfortunate position, I proceeded to 50C. Unfortunately, I made several wrong turns, visiting the AP Biology class and the chemistry class before I found the C hallway.

Lining both sides of the C hallway was Coach K's Athletic Physical Fitness class of broad-shouldered, thick-muscled guys. Fortunately, I was a cool freshman and could handle crucial situations like this. Right? No! I proceeded to march myself up and down that hallway, looking desperately (but not, I hope, desperate) for 50C. I looked and looked and looked (at the guys and the classroom doors) but I couldn't find it. I came to the conclusion that I must have made a wrong turn.

I backtracked and visited the art classes. There I discovered that I hadn't taken a wrong turn. Ah ha! I thought. I knew where I was going all along! Unfortunately, I realized to my horror I was going to have to go through C hallway again. One can only parade in front of Coach K's class so many times before looking like a total idiot. I had a sinking suspicion that I had already passed that point.

Unfortunately, there was no way around it. I plastered a smile on my face and walked down the C hallway again. It was almost as embarrassing as falling over in my desk, getting into a fight with a door, and sliding down the stairs on my butt, but only almost. I did get to Computer App, even if I was 15 minutes late. On the bright side I didn't get a tardy! I knew this was small compensation for looking the complete opposite of cool, but I am cursed.

Fortunately, this story does have a happy ending. After Computer Applications, I found my way back out of the high school. I didn't trip up the stairs, I didn't get lost, and I managed to push the door open without any trouble.

Then something incredible happened! On my way back to the junior high, I saw him - the man of my dreams (that week)! Everyone else had conveniently disappeared. Only he and I existed on the breezeway by the huge oak tree (the bark of which is decorated with a variety of gum wads). We stopped; he smiled at me, I smiled back. He said, "Hey, cutie!" I said ... nothing. I was speechless and on the verge of fainting into his arms. Fortunately, I decided that cool freshmen don't go around fainting in the man of their dream's arms, so I just flashed him a smile and kept walking.

I was a cool freshman once more!

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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JorJorBinks said...
Jul. 20, 2010 at 2:57 pm
I liked it, and i laughed too! I loved it all, not a thing to change! Congrats on it being published!
 
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