NATE FULLER’S AMAZING STORY OF AWESOMENESSITY
CHAPTER 1: Looking back on it now, I can say it was worth the trouble. Sure there were parts of it that I could not stand, but in retrospect, those moments made me stronger intellectually.
I can remember, barely, the summer before my freshman year at high school. I remember that girls and cruddy music were my top two priorities. School, at that point, did not faze me at all. In the four years I went to middle school, I got mostly Bs, which is considered good, but middle school work did not require me to use any actual effort. The subjects came easy to me and seemed unimportant. Therefore I disregarded them and focused on what seemed important to life as a whole. Of course getting the ladies was important to me. How else to do it by sharing the horrible taste in music most thirteen year old girls have?
A few weeks before school started, I realized that I had not done my summer reading assignment for my English class I was entering. We had to read J.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, and write an essay on it. I read this book at ten pages a day until the first day of school was only two days away. Then, of course, I skimmed the rest and scrapped together an essay in three hours. I already knew this would kick me in the rear later on, but I didn’t care.
Finally, school was the next day. I remember being nervous. Suddenly, school life mattered even more. I realized that I was the new freshman kid at school and would be subject to all sorts of torture by the upperclassman. I had all of these preconceptions due to my vast experience in watching reality television and sitcoms.
I tried to sleep the night before but it took several hours of tossing and turning. I got up and out of bed to check what I would be wearing the next day. I had to make sure I did not stand out because I did not want anything to do with the seniors. Really, I was just experiencing fear of social standards, not the work load; then came the first hour of high school.
CHAPTER 2: I did not fall asleep until what seemed like three in the morning. I woke up feeling groggy and unrested around six but quickly awoke as I stepped in the shower. The bus came at seven and I got on, conscious of my appearance. I sat down and nothing happened; this was a good start.
I walked into the school and found my way to my first class thanks to the number of teachers anticipating lost freshmen. My first class was an elective: Art History. I got put in that class by a counselor and I had no idea what to expect. I did not know if this was going to be something like an actual history class which required note taking and lots of reading.
Luckily, I overheard some upperclassmen in the room talking to each other, “Dude, this class is a joke,” said the first.
“I know,” replied the other, “My older brother took this class when he went here. He said it’s an excuse; that you don’t even need to try. Apparently the teacher just shows videos and gives an A to anyone who shows up to class.”
I suddenly felt relieved. I could just sleep if I wanted. I began to think that school really hasn’t changed at all and that I could stop the momentary worrying about school work.
Our teacher, Mr. Reilly, began to take roll call, “Adams, Walter?”
“Here,” I announced. People looked at me, not seeming to care. Mr. Reilly checked me off and proceeded. He then talked about the curriculum which bored me after he mentioned the word, “Renaissance.” The bell finally rang and I was off to my next class across the hall, Geometry.
Entering the classroom and seeing math equations scattered across the walls, I suddenly became conscious that I was in high school again. The name “Mr. Wilson” was etched on the black board. There were a few kids I actually knew in my class, but most of which I had never met before. We all sat down and I tried to act casual.
The teacher began to speak, “Alright class, I hope your first day of high school is going well. I have no doubt that a few of you must have had trouble finding my classroom?” A few students chuckled, but it was still quiet. “So until today, you guys have been really studying graphing and a little bit of algebra. You guys are the advanced level, correct?”
We all muttered, “Yes.” I don’t know why I was put in an advanced math course. Everything seemed so easy to me, so shouldn’t it be easy for everyone else? Seriously, all we did was graph lines and find how steep they were.
Our teacher began again, “Okay good. Well this year will be a much different style of learning than you have been used to in middle school. We will be going at a much faster pace. Sometimes, we will learn an entire lesson in one day. I hope you all are ready for homework every night,” the class moaned at this, “and for the responsibility of upholding all your work.”
Mr. Wilson spoke about grading policy and about some subjects we’ll learn. He mentioned “trigonometry” and “systems of equations” and a lot of big words. I was actually interested. Math was starting to sound like something new and interesting. I was up for a challenge.
Once again, the bell rang and I was off to English. I had to walk further this time. I saw many attractive girls on my way. I didn’t want to take my eyes off of them but I had to force myself to. I couldn’t afford the risk of some girl’s boyfriend noticing. These things would just have to wait.
I got to English and I noticed there were a couple of good looking girls in the class. I knew this would be a distraction, but it did not really matter. There was no way in the world that English could be considered a hard class. However, once again, I was placed in an honors level class. Seriously? How hard could this class be?
Ms. Riverton was our teacher. She was well dressed and very young. Possibly in her mid twenties. “Hey guys! How are you today? Good. I’m so excited to be teaching all of you freshmen now! I’m used to teaching upperclassmen.”
By this time, we were talkative. I was sat next to my friend Jimmy Weston. We kept joking about the attractive girls in the class. They really were going to be a distraction.
“Guys I need you to stop talking, okay? This is high school, and your teachers are not going to be too happy if you keep talking like this. I’ll give you a break this time, but you’ll hear from my seniors that when they’re talkative, I can get cranky.” She seemed serious enough, so Jim and I stopped. “I want you guys to pass in your essays on The Hobbit tomorrow. I know that most students may have rushed them last night, so take tonight to revise your papers so I can have something worth grading tomorrow. Also, I want you all to think about analysis within The Hobbit. If you all don’t know what I mean, you will very soon. We will be looking at texts and finding symbols in them. Trust me; high school English is very different from your middle school English classes.”
My head jerked up out of my folded arms. I grew nervous. Analysis?
This was bugging me for the rest of the day. I went through World History, Spanish and Science and Health. Apparently, I did not have to take gym until the second half of the year. Those classes seemed easy enough. Spanish was simply a continuation of last year’s lessons.
I could not shake the feeling of anxiety I had towards English. I didn’t know what she meant by “analysis.” I didn’t fully realize it then, but I was in for a very rude awakening.