May 1999
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High School Orientation

or
Why Do We Have to Spend Two Days There Just to Learn Where the Bathroom Is?

by Kaitlyn Moore age 13

At approximately 8:30 am on April 23, 1999, our entire 8th grade class piled into two buses, sang the "The Song That Never Ends" sixteen times and took 45 minutes to drive to a school that we could have walked to in 10. We all got to wear these neat name tags with a space for the name that we wanted to be called. My friend Sara wrote "Tiffany, Queen of Chik-fil-a".

Then we were all herded into the auditorium to listen to an hour and a half of speeches, along with every other 8th grader from every other school in the county. The highlight of that block was the student council president saying that they (the seniors) wouldn't beat us up too often, just enough to remind us that we were, indeed, freshmen, and that, no matter what we might think, everyone will hate us for at least a year.

Then the resident police officer lectured us on how if we were found possessing any controlled substance on high school grounds that, even if we were "just freshmen" that he wouldn't hesitate to arrest us. I guess that means if we weren't on school grounds, his hands would be tied.

After we were well versed on the intricacies of avoiding people bigger than ourselves, we were ready to set off on our own. The "pre-student coordinators" put us into groups of 10, with a bunch of people we had never met, and alot we hoped to never meet again. Thankfully, I was with "Tiffany, the Queen of Chik-fil-a", so it wasn't a total loss. But she kept asking our student guide "Can you estimate how many times we'll be beat up next year?". I think she was accually looking forward to it.

Then they showed us to the "designated freshmen areas". Our lockers are in a different hallway from the upperclassmen. I think it's actually for our protection. You know, the chicken wire and invisible fencing is just to keep us out of their way. We even have our own special place in the lunchroom. It has no tile on the floor. I'm not kidding, it's just bare cement. Big change from the senior lunchroom with an entertainment center and a whirlpool.

Finally, we went to observe the classrooms. The English 105 teacher made a big deal about assigning A BOOK! Wow! Most of my group looked like they were about to faint at being assigned 200 pages of required reading.

Eventually we made our way back to the buses and headed to school. The Queen of Chik-fil-a had gotten the phone numbers of three different guys and had given five hers. I got a gum wrapper from underneath my chair and alot of strange looks. Oh yeah, I'm looking forward to high school.

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