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you need a haircut

By , wake forest, NC
Night turned to day and came to me as a new beginning. Today, I was to become somebody. Today would be one of those days where I would realize what all the hype was about. Today, I was a new person. The first day at a new school, not just any school though, this was the top of the hill, the big kahuna. This was high school.
I rose from my slumber like a bear from deep hibernation. I stumbled across my room and hit the off button on my alarm clock. It had been weeks since I had been up this early, and now I know why. The fact that I was up before I normally would have only had about three hours of sleep killed me a little inside. What made matters worse was to think that this wasn’t just a one-time thing, I would repeat this five days a week for the next 9 months. I really didn’t dislike school that much. Personally, I enjoyed the challenge. Hopefully high school would be just that. As I threw on some jeans a t-shirt I thought optimistically to myself, “these are going to be the best years of my life.”
Although the start was rough, I had high hopes for today and onward to graduation. I hoped that every person would want to be my friend, every teacher would be kind, every test would be easy, and the homework would be kept to a minimum. Even if they weren’t the most realistic thoughts, it kept me going. What really worried me about the whole situation was the fact that once you turn 16, you can drop out. And I hoped that thought never crossed my mind. To me, dropping out was like giving up on yourself. High school… ma, this would be something. As I got into my mom’s car she asked me, “Are you nervous?” I responded with a quick “no” as she backed out of the driveway and drove me to a fresh start. I got out of the car as I noticed that there were a lot of kids here! And I thought I saw a wide variety of kids in middle school, just down the hill.
Boy, I was lost. Between the copious amounts of people and their individual conversations about summer and past first days of school, I slowly navigated my way to room 208, algebra I with Mrs. Houston. She was walking out as I was entering and I caught a glimpse of her and she either had quite the beer gut, or she was pregnant. “I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt” I thought apprehensively as I took a seat and waited impatiently for the day to begin. And with one piercing ring of the first bell, my high school career was underway. The first hour and a half went by without a hitch. It was a good day so far, but there was just one thing spinning around in my head. “Things can only go down from here.” My second period was P.E. I had an idea of what to expect from the previous eight or so years of having taken that class. I walked into the locker room which smelled like hell and I started dressing into my active wear. I didn’t know the other kids in the locker room, so I didn’t talk to them. Their blank stares into the finite space of the even blanker walls in front of them said it all. “I don’t know you; you don’t know me, let’s keep it that way”
Low and behold, another male P.E. teacher. Over the years I had learned a lot about male P.E. teachers, they love any and all sports, and making kids run. And boy did we run. Sprint here, jog there, and take a lap, maybe ten. My legs were jello when he finally got his fill of torture, and I didn’t know how I was feeling about this whole growing up thing now…
Third period was earth science. “what a class” I thought about halfway through. The kids won’t stop yelling, talking, and laughing, and the teacher won’t stop yelling to try and be louder than everybody, and I was about to die. By now, I had my first headache since, well, last school year. I needed an advil bad. Fourth period started before I could even ask a question about earth and its science. I wondered if I would ever learn anything. The only challenge I faced so far was keeping my sanity.
World history. Sound like a hard class? Well, it was. The teacher was Ms. Dettman. A short brunette, with a smile that could probably cure cancer. She was very kind, and could teach like a bird showing her babies how to fly. But get on her bad side and you’re screwed for a whole semester, maybe a year if you got lucky and failed the 300 question final exam she always talked about, and I mean ALWAYS. I sat in the front seat, right in front of the white board. I wreaked of EXPO markers and 409. This was not the best combination for learning… at one point she was making her rounds throughout the room saying the usual nice thing a teacher might say on a first day such as; “how was your summer?” or, “nice to meet you.” Then she turns to me and simply says, “you need a haircut.” Baffled, I don’t say a word. Wow. What a freakin day. Way to put the Icing on the cake lady. The final bell rand and I was free at last. Now only 179 more to go.
I got into my mom’s car almost immediately and she asked me hesitatingly with a grin on her face, “so how was it?” I answered in detail about my first day and it got quiet in the car as we drove home. We pulled into the driveway and I simply said, “I think maybe I need to get a haircut.” She answered slightly confused, “any reason why you want one right now?” “no”, I said, “I just need something new.”





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