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Wednesday, May 26, 2010


By Maddy Y.

The one thing you want most when you step into your high school for the first time is to leave as soon as possible with a diploma in hand. That is what you are waiting for once you start out as a freshman. You have fun but you have to keep your attendance up, keep your grades up. It's the daily grind you repeat through sophomore and junior year before you finally become a senior. Senior year is THE dream. That’s right. Capitalized T-H-E. By now, you are able to drive your own car and you have the freedom to go anywhere you want. Since you've got nearly all the credits you need, you only have to take a few classes before you get to go home after lunch. Time passes quickly until the day arrives where you can put on your cap and gown, walk across the stage, and get your diploma. It is the day you finally graduate from high school.
    I start out as a freshman at high school. I have fun but I keep my attendance up, keep my grades up…. Sort of. Kinda. Okay, not really. It's the daily grind I repeat through sophomore and the middle of junior year until I get pulled into my counselor’s office. I’ve been in there so many times that my English teacher hands me the counselor’s note and asks me,” Why are they always calling you down there?” I wasn’t particularly worried since the only reason the counselor would call me down was probably to talk about my class schedule… or so I thought. My counselor doesn’t like to B.S. me and once I am sitting in the seat across from her, she lets me know that my current grades are sliding, I’ve failed classes in the past years that needed to be made up, and there is a possibility of me not being able to  graduate. When she said this, I almost wanted to deny it. I felt like I swallowed a rock that was stuck in my throat. I’m embarrassed to say that my eyes even started to water. She then tells me that I can make it up if I take summer school and spend my senior year retaking the classes.
    This was a much needed wake-up call. I didn’t take school seriously and this was the result. I was always procrastinating, talking to my friends in class and ignoring my work, not caring much about my academics… I had no one to blame but myself for the mess I was in. I agreed to retake the classes but I knew I would have to pass those classes with flying colors so I could graduate. I had to steel myself, keep myself focused on school. To help me do that, I decided to buy the shoes I was going to wear when I walked the stage. It would be a reminder for me to work hard so I could wear those babies when I walked the stage to get my diploma. No heels since I didn’t want to take any chances of me falling when I was walking the stage. Black because school rules said they had to be formal. I looked through many shoe racks in stores until I found THE pair. That’s right. Capitalized T-H-E. Cute black flats with a buckle and pinstripes. They were formal but not too formal. I didn’t even have to look for a pair my size since they fit perfectly when I tried them on. It was destiny.
    I left my "grad flats" on my shoe rack with all my other shoes. In the morning when I put on my shoes to go to school, I'd see the flats and that would be my little reminder to do well in school. Junior year ended. I spent my lovely summer vacation in summer school. Senior year was still THE dream. I didn‘t have a car, not that it mattered. I was too busy to be taking joy rides anyway. I didn‘t go home after lunch since I had retake classes for the rest of the day. Time passed quickly until the day arrived where I put on my cap and gown, walked across the stage in my rockin‘ flats, and got my diploma. It was the day I finally graduated from high school.

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