Oh man. I’m not even sure where to begin today. It’s like an information overload. I guess the best place to start would be at the beginning, since that seems the most logical. I can say right now that this is going to be a long entry, though. There are so many miniscule details that I need to mention in order to properly explain what went on today. But anyways, without further ado, let’s begin.
I woke up at about 8:45 AM, not because I had to, but because I couldn’t sleep. In fact, my sleep last night was horrible. I didn’t actually get to sleep for a long time, and when I finally did get to sleep, I would wake up every couple hours for no particular reason. I remember hearing my parents get up at 6:00 AM, and after drifting off to sleep for a little while, I remember waking up again somewhere around 6:30. I’m not sure why, but I did. Anyways, after waking up for the final time and just deciding that it wasn’t worth it to try to get to sleep again, I got up, did my devotions, had some cereal for breakfast, and had a shower. I went downstairs and grabbed the binders I would be taking to school, and then found out that I never remembered to put lined paper into them. Anyways, I decided only to take one binder, since I figured I’d only need one for the first day anyways. Then I caught the 10:30 AM bus and was on my way to my first day at North Park.
Vince had arranged to meet me at 10:45 at the main entrance so he could show me around. Unfortunately, though, with the stupid construction on Lynden Rd., the bus was really late getting there. I got there at about 10:55, and although I came through the side door, I looked for Vince at the front entrance and didn’t see him at all. I did manage to find a group of people that I knew, among them being Angelie, Lauren, Amanda, Katie, and Danielle (there were others, too, but I don’t remember quite who was there). I just sort of made my way to the other side of the group and then stood there for a second. I waited for anyone to make eye contact with me, and it took a couple seconds, but the surprise was definitely worth it. Suddenly Angelie and Lauren clued in at who it was standing there, and Lauren was shocked – “What is he doing here?” Anyways, there wasn’t much time until class started, so they had to go, but I made sure that Angelie pointed me in the right direction to find the cafeteria. That was my first stop, not having a homeroom since I have no first period class.
I found the cafeteria quite quickly and walked in. People were sitting at tables with their friends and such, and one table at the front had a couple teachers or something sitting at it with people crowded around. I figured that was the place to go to get a locker, so I stood there and waited. As people began to disperse, I noticed that I was in the wrong lineup. One teacher was handling people from A – K, and another was handling people from L – Z. I was in the L – Z lineup, and the last time I checked, my last name starts with H. So I switched lineups, and eventually got to talk to the guy there. He gave me a locker slip and told me the areas where I could go to get a locker. I had no clue where most of the areas were that he was talking about, but one that he mentioned was by room 112A. Since two of my classes had room numbers close to that (115 and 117), I decided to check out that area. It was just a matter of finding it, really. I wandered around different hallways, twisting and turning here and there. I was really just walking around aimlessly, looking for some sort of order to the numbers. I walked by and found my classes, Rooms 115 and 117, so I figured that 112 must be closeby. I went through a doorway, crossed another hallway, and then continued walking down the hallway I was in. However, once I found the next door with a number, it wasn’t anything close to 112. I figured that the numbers must then continue on with the hallway I had crossed instead. I doubled back, and without too much trouble found the set of lockers that I could choose from. I put my bag into it, locked it up, and then went down to the main office to hand in the locker slip.
It took me a while to figure out where I was. I ended up walking down a hallway with a dead end that had all the tech and auto classes, so I had to find another route. Eventually I found the main office, handed in my slip, and then asked the lady there where to go to find Room 115. I had already been there before, but I had taken so many turns and doubled back so many times that I had lost all sense of direction. She pulled out a map of the first floor and showed me where to go. It wasn’t all that complicated, so I kept it in mind, along with trying to figure out as much of the layout as possible as I looked at the map. From the main office, I headed back to the cafeteria to wait. I sat at one of the tables, alone, and doodled a bit on my timetable. Unfortunately, time passes quite slowly when you’re bored. I also didn’t have anyone to talk to, so the seconds passed by at barely a crawl. Eventually I decided to wander the hallways and try to figure out where I was going. I found Room 115 again and then tried to find my locker again from there. I didn’t have amazing success at that – I would find one, and then not be able to remember which way I came from. After finding my way back to 115, I decided to go upstairs and try to find my Geometry class. Katie had said that my Chemistry and Physics classes were close to a stairway, and that my Geometry class was close to the stairs on the second floor. She turned out to be quite correct. I found the stairs without too much trouble, and then the Geometry class I was looking for was not too much further than that. Score one for the good guys.
I returned to the cafeteria a couple times after that, but each time I found that time seemed to not have moved at all. I had 50 minutes to kill, so I ended up just wandering the halls some more, trying to solidify in my mind where I had to go, and then walking around just to figure out the layout of the building a bit better. I was told that it was basically a big figure 8, and I guess it’s like that, sort of. The one hallway with all the tech and auto classes kept throwing me off, though, since it’s a dead end. That’s sort of attached onto one end, though, so as long as I stick to where I need to go, I shouldn’t get screwed up with that. Anyways, after deciding that I had wandered around enough to know where I was going, I went back to the cafeteria for the final few minutes. Once the bell rang (even though it sounded like a telephone), I headed back to the front hall, where I met up with “the group” once again. I felt kind of stupid, being the only guy there, but I guess since I usually hang out with mostly girls, that it wasn’t too bad. I went with them back to the cafeteria and sat down with them at one of the tables. They had been looking to get one of the ones on the little raised platform, but they were all taken. Anyways, most of them went to go buy food, and the ones that didn’t just got up and left, so I decided that food would be a good idea. I bought a chicken caesar salad wrap and then sat down at the table we were originally at. The rest, though, had found a table up on the platform to sit at. Angelie walked by me and told me to come up with her, but I looked at the table and said no. People were basically falling off the sides of it, with about a hundred people squished around one tiny table. Perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I prefer my space while eating – even if it means eating alone. And I figured I was going to have to get used to doing stuff alone, since I don’t expect to magically make friends overnight. Anyways, Angelie went up there on the platform thing for a little bit, and was trying to convince someone to come sit down at the table with me, but no one wanted to, I suppose. She came back down and we ate our lunch together, mostly in silence.
At this point I felt like a complete loser. On the bus ride to school, there had been other North Park kids on there – but I was still alone. Once I got there, I was on my own, wandering the hallways for almost an hour. And now, at lunch, I was eating alone. Angelie mostly just took pity on me, I guess. I just felt alone. It’s not like I didn’t expect it, though. I just wasn’t having a fun time with it. I had seen a few people I knew, but most of them are the type of acquaintances where you know who they are, but you don’t really hang out with them. I saw one person from Cineplex that I knew. We just exchanged a little wave and nod, and that was that. I saw a couple people that were in younger grades than me at CBA, so I knew who they were, but I’ve never really talked to them. That’s almost more awkward than being around complete strangers. But the worst part is when it seems like everyone around you knows everyone else except for you. You’re just walking around alone, and everyone around you has someone to talk to. They’re all happy and having fun with seeing their friends again, and you’re the Lone Ranger walking the hallways.
Anyways, with about fifteen minutes left of lunchtime, Angelie and I went outside to find Jeff. I had seen him in the hallways, but he either didn’t see me or didn’t recognize me. I knew what he was wearing, though, so I saw him outside with a bunch of people playing frisbee. With his finger injury, though, after slamming it in his car door, he couldn’t play with them. His finger had a band-aid around it and was even more black than it was before. It looked absolutely nasty. Angelie and I talked with him for a few minutes, and then I said I had to go try and find my locker, so we left. I parted ways with Angelie, and then went down what I thought was the right hallway. I knew my locker was orange, along with a whole row of orange lockers, so I went down a hallway with that – but it didn’t turn out to be the right one. I continued walking and was going to get to the next hallway, but I ended up finding my Chemistry class first, so I decided to skip getting my binder and just go there instead. I figured there wouldn’t be much to use a binder for on the first day anyways. I turned out to be right, except I could have used a sheet of lined paper.
The class itself wasn’t too bad. The thing I was most worried about was those obnoxious people – usually guys – who just won’t sit down and shut up. Although there was one guy in both my Chemistry and Physics classes who was sort of like that, he seemed to be more of a player than an idiot who just goes around doing stupid stuff and trying to be funny. The teacher, Mrs. Ham, was kind of annoying, though. It wasn’t that she had a really high voice or anything like that, it was just that she seemed to talk down to the class. I guess it was a Grade 11 class, so that might account for it, but she talked really slowly and clearly, and it seemed like she could have been a good Grade 2 teacher. I don’t want to be too harsh here, since she still was pretty nice, but she was telling everyone about how important it was to manage your time well, and trying to spell out for everyone how to do just that. She brought up ingenious concepts such as doing homework when you know you’re not going to be busy with work or other stuff. I made sure to take lots of notes for that (sarcasm alert). Anyways, she gave us this sheet that dealt with scientific notation and stuff, and it was really simple. We just had to convert it from decimal notation to scientific notation or vice versa. Since it’s a Grade 11 course, the stuff was pretty basic. But whatever.
After that class was over, and before I went down about five steps to get to my Physics class, I decided to take one more shot at trying to find my locker. I actually found it this time, and so I pulled out my binder and then headed back to get to Physics. One other thing I really hated about today was how I would sit down in a seat where it was a table with a group of seats all together, and then other people would come in and fill up all the seats except for the table where I was sitting. I guess people just aren’t as friendly as they used to be. I mean, obviously if your friends are in the class, you’ll want to sit with them, but even the people who came in alone would avoid my table. It was sort of discouraging. Whatever, though. Class started, and I found the teacher, Mr. Humpartzoomian, to be pretty agreeable. He was more laidback, and although his name is long, he seems to be alright. He gave an introduction and stuff, and then he explained our first project: we have to make a mousetrap car. The object is to somehow make a car that will be propelled by the power of a mousetrap. We got into partners and started right in on it. I was paired up with Alexander Kunashko, who used to go to CBA. He was sitting by himself at a table in the opposite corner of the room, so Mr. H just asked me to go sit over there instead. We sort of laid out a design plan, and I guess we’ll work on it more tomorrow or something. I’m not really sure.
The bell rang, and the last class of the day for me was Geometry. Jon found me in the hallway and said hey, and I would have stayed to talk for a few minutes except I didn’t remember exactly where the stairs were, so I had to go so I would be sure to have enough time. I found my class and discovered that Kristin and Danielle are both in the same class as me. The Geometry teacher – I forget his name – seems a little out in his own little world. He had a puny little introduction and then just got right into teaching the first lesson. He kept getting sidetracked, though. At one point he started making this grid of numbers for no apparent reason. He explained that this was what this one Greek guy did to find prime numbers. The whole thing was pointless, though. We were talking about deductive vs. inductive proof, and then there was an example about prime numbers – that’s the one small thing that triggered this ten or fifteen minute diversion. All I can say is that if there’s a lot of note-taking in that class, I’m going to have a hard time figuring out what I actually need to write down and what is just something strange that he decided to talk about.
Anyways, the bell rang, and I caught the city bus home – alone. Yes, this year is definitely going to be interesting. I’m hoping that I won’t feel this lonely and isolate for the entire year, and I’m sure that I won’t. But right now it’s just the underlying emotion that stuck with me throughout the entire day. Even when I met up with people I knew, I was still alone among all those hundreds of people that I don’t know. Everything I’m going through right now is new; it’s a new school, new classes, new teachers, new environment, and new experiences. It’s like being thrown into the middle of an ocean and being told, “Figure this out yourself.” I mean, I know I’m going to get used to it eventually, but the fact is that I haven’t even come close to that point yet, and so I’m disoriented and confused. The only thing I really have to hang onto right now is God. At least I have Him. He’s sort of my lifesaver in that ocean right now, and He’s going to be the only thing that’s keeping me afloat for the next little while. Of course, He should really always be the only thing doing that, but right now I haven’t even learned how to tread water, so that lifesaver is the one thing that means the difference between staying afloat and drowning.
I guess that’s all I’ll write about today. This ended up not being as long as I expected it to be. I mean, it’s still a fair size, but I skipped over some of the detail to spare you the unending pain and grief. I guess what I’ll say is that I’ll have to wait and see what the future holds. I can either take this as a burden to be carried, or I can consider it an adventure to be taken head-on. Right now I think I’m taking it as a bit of both. My emotions are the burden, and the actual experience is the adventure. But soon my emotions will be back under control as I get used to this new situation I’m in, and then I’ll be able to figure out how God could best use me where I am. Well, it’s not exactly for me to decide, but I can at least get a rough idea. God’s not going to call me to be a football player when I’d be more useful as the football. I just have to be aware of where God’s calling me – something which I wasn’t too concerned with today. I didn’t really have time to stop and think, “Hey, God could really use me here,” since the more pressing thought on my mind was, “Hey, I have no clue where I’m going, and I have less than five minutes to get to class. Maybe I should just drop dead on the floor right here and be trampled by the massive mob of people rushing to class.” Soon, though, I’ll at least know where I’m going, so I’ll be able to think about things other than which hallway I’m supposed to go down.
With that said, there’s nothing that I can do other than take one day at a time and do my best. It’s a stressful time, but I’m clinging onto the distant hope that perhaps I’ll be able to survive and then allow my stress meter to decrease. Right now it’s hovering over “Danger, Will Robinson!” Soon, it’ll be down to “Extreme Paranoia,” and then it’ll further decrease to “Shock and Awe.” I’m not sure what other levels are after that, but I think you get the idea. But whatever. I’m done for today. If you’ll excuse me, I have scientific notation to translate.