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My Dream Come True
For those who know me well, I have always been slightly obsessed with Brother Martin High school. Weird I know. My friends and family always joke with me about loving Brother Martin so much, and I am not really sure why I love the school so much. I just do. The feeling I get when I go there is indescribable, almost like the feeling we all experience when you get exactly what you want on your birthday or Christmas. So, when it came time for me to choose what high school I wanted to go to my number one choice was Brother Martin High School. Now, as we all know, Brother Martin is and always has been an all boys’ school, but that did not stop me from wanting to attend. My two brothers both attended and graduated from Brother Martin as well as my cousins and uncles, and they all loved it.
For example, when I was in seventh grade, at my oldest brother’s graduation from Brother Martin, I took his cap and gown and put it on in addition to holding his diploma. My mom took pictures and everyone laughed at me, but then my brother took me over to talk to the assistant Principal, who is now the current Principal of Brother Martin.
My brother said, “Mr. Rando, my sister wants to go to Brother Martin.”
His reply was, “I’m sorry, but Brother Martin will not be taking girls for a while.”
Of course this disappointed me, but it did not crush my dream of going to school at Brother Martin.
My older sister, on the other hand, went to Mount Carmel Academy and was always up all hours of the night doing homework, essay papers, projects, and whatever else her teachers assigned to her. Whereas I never saw my brothers doing any homework, on a rare occasion, I would see them typing a paper, but they would always finish in about half hour. This was also a reason I wanted to go to Brother Martin. However, the homework load alone was not the only reason I wanted to attend this amazing school. I always heard about how funny and nice the teachers were and the classes are so interactive; I truly fell in love with the school. Also, because my brother was on the football team, I had gone to many football games and had seen the cheerleaders and the students, which was an excitement in itself to watch the students. It is one thing to have school spirit, but it is another when students were so into their school that they painted their faces, wore only crimson and gold, cheered with the cheerleaders as loud as possible, and even made up their own cheers; they were crazy. It was a show alone watching the students support their school.
In the end, when it came time for me to pick my high school, as bad as I wanted to apply to Brother Martin, my mom said I could not; I had to choose from the all girl high schools. So, naturally, I applied to the school from where my sister graduated, Mount Carmel Academy, and I was accepted. Two weeks into my freshman year at MCA Hurricane Katrina occurred. This turned all of our lives upside down. I evacuated and lived in my cousin’s house about ten miles outside of McComb, MS. This was miserable, but that is another story for a different time. Anyway, when we found out the damage at MCA as well as BMHS, my parents had to find schools for us: my brother, my sister, my three cousins, and I to attend. They asked around in Baton Rouge, but most schools were already full. My aunt then got a phone call one night from a friend saying that Brother Martin was opening a night school at its brother school Catholic High in Baton Rouge. Now, my parents were extremely relieved at this news, but they still needed schools for my sister, cousin, and I. Later that night, my aunt got another phone call from that same friend saying that they were also allowing sisters and friends of the Brother Martin students to attend this night school as well. My dad came up to me and said,
“Tori, remember how you always wanted to go to Brother Martin?” he said.
“Uhh yeah, why?”
“Now you can! So guess what? You’re going to Brother Martin!”
Naturally, I assumed he was joking with me and getting me all happy for nothing, but soon I found out that he was telling the truth and that I really could attend Brother Martin, my dream school. We soon found a house in Baton Rouge, and my parents, my aunt, and my uncle bought it together. We moved in and went to orientation for our “new” school.
I woke up on my first day of Brother Martin the happiest girl alive, yet extremely nervous. So many things were running through my mind: Would they be nice? Will I be the only girl there? Am I going to make any friends? Is it going to be hard? When it came time for me to go, the ride to Brother Martin in Baton Rouge was so nerve wrecking and seemed to be the longest ride ever. I was starting to sweat, my throat was closing, and I was so scared, even though it was what I had always hoped for. When we walked into the school, my heart was racing. My brother and cousins found friends and ran off, leaving me alone and lost. I just stood there. There were so many people standing in the small lobby trying to find out where to go and what to do. I felt like I was being stared at; I simply wanted to cry. Finally, my friend’s older brother saw me and came to talk to me. Thank goodness! I was so relieved, and I told him that he could not leave me. I asked him to help me find out where to go; he was so nice and helpful.
I went to my first class thinking I was going to be the only girl, but it turns out about 8 other girls from MCA were in that same class with me. We all, of course, compared our schedules hoping to have every class together so we would never have to separate. I made it through the rest of my school day; or rather school night. When I got home I could not wait to tell my mom all about my first day at Brother Martin Baton Rouge. I went through the next four months of my freshman year of high school at Brother Martin Baton Rouge, and I can honestly say I have never had a better high school experience. I met my two best friends as well as many others, whom I am still very close with today. Also, the relationships that I formed with my teachers at BMBR have stayed with me and I still talk with many of my teachers when I see them at Brother Martin functions. The class interaction that went on in my time at BMBR made me want to learn and want to go to school every night. I can actually admit that I had fun at school at BMBR. I loved it.
Looking back I wish I could have walked up to Mr. Rando who was the assistant principal during Brother Martin Baton Rouge and said to him in a very nice manner, “Mr. Rando, do you remember at my older brother’s graduation when I put on his cap and gown? He took me over to you, and he told you that I wanted to attend Brother Martin? Your reply was that girls would not be attending Brother Martin in your time. Well, I am here to tell you that just two short years after you said this, I am enrolled in Brother Martin along with about 40 other girls.”
My experience as one of the few girls ever to attend Brother Martin High School, an all boys’ school, is a memory that I will never forget, and I will cherish my very own Brother Martin student I.D. forever.