Chapter 10: The High School Years
Part 1: School and Classes
I was very excited when Jr. High ended because everybody always talked about how fun and exciting Orem High was. I had LOVED 9th grade, and I was expecting things to get even better.
The summer before high school started was great. I wished summer could have gone on forever, but it didn't. I started school and I was excited. The first week went well and everything was looking great. I even made up a great quote for whenever homework was getting me down. I could say it and things would be better, or at least I wouldn't be as bored. It was, "pretend like you are bowling with an antelope, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, while wearing a golf hat, and you will do better on your homework." Other people didn't seem to think it helped that much, but it made my homework more fun whenever I said it.
10th grade had several bright spots, including mostly choir and being in the musicals. I will tell about these more in part 2. As a Sophomore I had a really fun year activity wise, but it was probably the worst year of my life up to this point. I missed all of my friends that were in Jr. High. The only good friends I had at Orem High were Jeff Andersen and Rachel Woodward. Also for the first time in my life my grades were not very good, there was a reason I had to come up with the quote from the paragraph above.
Jeff and I decided to take Chemistry together. It was the teachers last year and he was ready to be gone, frankly I was ready for him to be gone too. It ended up that mostly seniors took this class and he had a lot of expectations that he never taught us. He would hand us a packet and say you have until this day to have it done, then when you didn't do it his way you lost a lot of points. Jeff and I were both very bright students and worked hard. To get everything done that was required the two of us would come before school often to try and get work done. Jeff also spent time after school at times, but I had rehearsals. I ended up with a D one semester, and I believe Jeff got a C or something and he is one of the smartest people I know. We had worked really hard and put in a lot of effort. My parents did not seem to understand though, they saw a D and figured I wasn't doing my best. This led to a few "fun" conversations. Could I have worked harder, I'm sure I could have, but I was not slacking by any means.
If this wasn't enough my English teacher hated me for some reason. I went from having an amazing, motivating English teacher all through Jr. High to one that I could never please. I had loved English so much that I had chosen to take the Honors English class. I could go on and on about the unfair things she did, but I will just highlight some of the craziest. One time someone else must have graded my paper, either that or this was even more rude, but they had written Great Job! and she crossed it out like
We also did a group project once worth 200 points and I got 50 less points than everyone else in my group, and I did the same amount of work as everyone else. It was a "group" project! We also had a poetry project once where we had to write a certain amount of poems. That was the only guideline, but I lost a good chunk of points because all of my poems rhymed. I hadn't known that this was such a crime.
I think that half the corrections she made on my papers were made up. I would look through it and it would say, run on sentence, and I would have four sentences over those two lines where she wrote it. I am more of a creative writer than a technical one, I know I made many mistakes, but come on.
We also had weekly spelling tests with 20 words, really in high school? To make matters worse if you did worse than 18/20 she gave you 0/20. Somehow it seems like on a fairly regular basis I would get 17/20. 85% is a lot different than getting a zero, I just have never been an amazing speller. Needless to say Chemistry was not the only bad grade I received.
So I was very happy when my tenth grade year was over. My big group of friends would be reunited again, no more Mrs. Zierold, and no more Chemistry. Plus I would turn 16, I was going to love my Jr. year, I just knew it!
During the summer I took drivers ed and a week into my Jr. year, when I had my birthday, I was finally able to drive and date. It was also really nice because now my mom wouldn't have to come and pick me up from rehearsals. Sometimes they would go late and she would have to wait, and then if we got out early I had to wait. Now both of us would have a much easier time, thanks mom!
My Jr. year has started out well, and I bet that it will get even better!