September 01, 2009

It is a far, far better thing that I do

The goodies do not stop...


Way back when in 8th grade, I checked a little box next to King High School, a local International Baccalaureate school. It was completely 100% my own decision. I was a diligent worker. A smart cookie. I knew I needed a challenge and I knew this school was my ticket to Duke Univer- er, I mean UF.

I replayed my first day of high school in my head for weeks leading up to it. I envisioned all of the friends I would make. I daydreamed about the hot senior drum major, Brent. I packed my backpack and laid out my cutest outfit. And I didn't stop there; I imagined celebrating with all of my new best friends in walking across the stage, grabbing that diploma and tossing our caps up in the air at graduation.

That last one never happened because some kid poked an eye out with his own cap. Big whoop.

The faithful day finally comes. I was way too excited to sleep very much the night before. I woke up in earnest before the alarm even went off. We took our obligatory First-Day-of-School pictures and made the 30-minute trek to our new institution of learning. Prepared with a school map and schedule in hand, I set off to find my classes.

The first half of the day goes off without a hitch. A loony Biology teacher first period and a Vulcan saluting Algebra teacher. It was also the first day I laid eyes on this cutie.

Third period was English with Ms. White. She was well-spoken, friendly, and encouraging. She was unlike other English teachers I had met. Or so I thought.

After making her introductions and going over the course syllabus, she begins the class. From behind her desk she whips out a book. At first glance it looks like your typical American classic novel. Kinda like this.

But, on closer inspection, it looked more like this.

And on even closer inspection...

It gets better.

It's like those tabs are marking the places where I cried as all of my hopes and dreams came crashing down around me. I had never even written in a book, let alone dissected it.

What's worse is that we destroyed two perfectly good works of literature this way.

It looks like a rainbow threw up all over this book.

Needless to say, I was a bit intimidated by the whole ordeal. These annotated books were the band of my existence the first semester of that year. Thankfully we never had to dissect a book to this degree again. Now, they're like trophies, proudly on display on my bookshelf. And to this day, I still feel a bit of shame and guilt when I write in a book.

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