I was sitting in third period, Spanish, when it happened. I tried to hold it in; I fought it for as long as I could, but it just bubbled inside of me, growing and expanding in my stomach until it spread towards my chest. I choked as it burned in my throat, then creeped into my mouth, then pounced on my tongue, and I could do nothing but part my lips and out it came:
The class, composed almost entirely of seniors, did not even flinch when this spontaneous outburst erupted out of my mouth like a possessed Megan Fox in Jennifer’s Body. They simply continued with their work as if I hadn’t just had a Tourrette’s-like minitantrum. And do you know why?
Because they all feel the exact same way.
What may have shocked a class of underclassmen went by completely unnoticed by a group of borderline suicidal seniors. They share my pain; no one laughed or pointed their fingers at me in disgust because they get me. Had we been in a southern Baptist church instead of a classroom, I’m sure my eruption would have been followed by several “Amen!”s and ladies passing out in the aisles.
As we approach January and more and more college letters begin to arrive in the mail, we find that the only thing keeping us conscious during these cold, numbing winter months is our involuntary bodily response of inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide.
Nothing fazes us; in Newspaper, the seniors of the class usually spend their 90 minutes peering over my shoulder as I comb through pictures of incoming freshmen on Mizzou’s social networking site. We play the game of “Who Should Alex Room With Next Year?” by searching for girls that are pretty, but not too pretty; have a different major than mine and don’t have annoying profile bios. (One girl we discovered actually spelled the word “hey” like “hayyyy.” We can’t have that.)
When Mr. Broer catches on to what we have been doing for well over an hour, he reminds us either 1) some of us are failing his class, 2) there are things happening at this school that need to be written about, or 3) he is bored and wants to argue about college basketball with someone.
Usually we just laugh off his comments and return to counting how many rednecks I will be attending school with next year.
I wish I had better news for my class of ‘11 readers, but the fact is this: We are just nearing the end of the first half of the year. The 30-degree-weather will only make us more comatose than usual, so we will probably have to try twice as hard to care half as much about what goes on inside these bleach-white cinderblock walls.
Congrats are in order for surviving thus far, but deep down we know that it is going to get a whole lot worse.