July and August. Fantastic. No more school. All the things I wanted to do I can do at last. First off, the most important thing, two whole weeks at the University of Illinois Music Center, getting back with the kids I met the summer before -- all the water fights, rolling toilet paper down the hall, draping it down the stairwells, trips into town, the arcade, pizza, tennis courts and especially, the girls. Of course, there was always cello practice for the concert at the end of camp.
Then back home for my tennis tournament, to finally win one more trophy than my brother. At last being able to stay up and watch the late show, go bike riding and just have fun.
Of course, every now and then I was pressured into practicing my cello. My bass guitar got a pretty good workout too. Then, September. It finally got here. Somehow I knew it would arrive. But sooner than I had hoped. September means only one thing to a 13-year-old kid like me; the big day. The first day of high school.
You get a sinking feeling when you think about the size of the new school the hundreds of faces you don't know, the thought of making it from one class to another in the great big five minutes they give you, when all the time you are sure you'll be lost forever, looking for a room that just doesn't exist.
Then, of course, you can always count on older students to direct you in the opposite direction from which you want to go. Or they'll really be helpful, and point you toward an elevator that doesn't exist.
Then there's the thought of hearing the bell ring and being nowhere near your assigned class, with a bunch of kids throwing pennies at you. In an instant the halls are empty and there you stand all by yourself. Well, you're wondering by now, "How will I ever make it through the first day? Much less four years of total chaos?"
Of course, according to my brother who survived all this four years ago, it only takes a week or two to find your way around.
I can only hope he's right.
Perhaps there really isn't too much difference between real school and what you see in the movies after all.