Since I prefer not to mention names, I’ll call my school Kaluga Heights. It’s a large school, with perhaps one of the best curricula in the province. The teachers are great, it’s nestled by a beautiful field full of tall grasses and forest, and it has a terrible reputation. Nobody likes Kaluga except for the teachers who have been their for half of their life. It’s not even that bad. Still, no one has anything good to say about it. “The druggies go there” and “it’s too big, the teachers forget your name” are some of the things you here flying around. So I was a bit scared coming in this year as a freshman. But after a few months, I realized I had nothing to worry about. And as the year comes to the close, exam jitters start to creep up on us, and the summer smells like mowed grass and chlorine, it only seems right to look back on this past year and all of the memories it brought with it.
Like my English class for example. You may be surprised that English is my lowest mark. Currently a 93, I’ll give you that, but still four marks away from ruining my strait 90s. His name is, hm, let’s go with Mr. McDowell. Mr. McDowell is loud, obnoxious, and takes every chance he gets to start on a meaningless rant that takes up two whole classes. It was all fine and dandy before second semester started. But then kids failed and classes changed. Three kids transferred to our class, my friend Nancy, a boy named Derek who is (as far as I know) in jail, and a boy named Melvin. Let’s just say this, Melvin is either a genius or an idiot. I cannot begin to explain all of the stupid things he’s said, from calling Lysander from A Midsummer Night’s Dream Salamander, suggesting that Athena’s Roman name was Minervana, and going on about winning the lottery as a 50-50 chance, because you either win or you don’t. These aren’t even the bad ones. The reason I think that he’s a genius, is because it works every time. Mr. McDowell goes on a half hour rant about how stupid he is and how if he wrote down every stupid thing Melvin said, he’s have a best-seller. Melvin and about four other boys yank the gingerly held steering wheel and drive the gullible Mr. McDowell off course.
It’s hilarious. Even after you’ve told us about every single time you’ve punched a guy in the face, I hope you’re my teacher next year. And Melvin, well, I just hope you make it to grade ten English.
Math is the hardest subject for most kids in freshman year. Every class we sit down and take pages of notes, an hour of homework everyday after that. Mr. Christie is a retired fire fighter who says ‘the dilemma is’ and ‘so as a consequence’ in literally every circumstance. He also says ‘yesterday’ like an American. Brayden and Daniel are two boys in my class (also in my English class) who have an ongoing joke where they burst into fits of laughter whenever he says ‘dilemma’ or ‘consequence’. It’s the most ridiculous thing ever. Along with that they keep trying to convince Mr. Christie that -0 is a number. They tape ‘negative zero’ all over the classroom, tape his computer mouse to his desk, and wrote on the board, ‘SO AS A CONSEQUENCE’. It’s been there for a month or two. Mr. Christie doesn’t even seem to question that his room now reads, ‘negative zero’.
The Official Wall Of Negative Zero is at the back of the classroom. Posters, made by Daniel and Brayden, cover the wall, and a t-shirt reading ‘❤ -0, because real numbers are doing it wrong’, is stapled on. It was designed by Daniel and paid for by Mr. Christie.
So sure, we all remember that fight that made everyone in the cafeteria rise like a wave in unison, scrambling to get a better view. And we all know that everywhere smells faintly of marijuana. We all make sure to stay out of that one hallway without the camera, and we all complain frequently about everything Kaluga Heights has to offer. But to tell you the truth, Kaluga is my home and my family. It’s a family that isn’t perfect, but what family is?