In my last post, I talked a little bit about idealistic, seventeen year old Erica. Here’s a story about her, so you can get to know her a little bit better.
Towards the end of my senior year of high school, I was desperately fighting any sort of “senior slide.” All my life I had loved learning and loved school- what a nerd right? – but as graduation creep closer, I could not help but long for an end to the drama and stress of high school. (And replace it with the significantly worse stress and drama of college.) Other courses were beginning to wind down, but AP courses were pushing hard into the final stretch before that all too important exam. One shot at making a year’s worth of sacrifice worth three to six college credits. Spoiler alert, “senior slide” and final stretch before AP testing begins, not a winning combination. So when our AP Lang class sat down to practice hand writing essays using enough rhetorical devices to sufficiently address any given prompt, I was less than thrilled. To add to my already near toxic levels of saltiness, our teacher, Ms. Karls, was interrupted while reading the essay prompt by a chorus of cheers across the hall. Evidently Ms. Edwards’ class was having a party to celebrate the end of the school year while we were building up hand endurance to prevent the dreaded writers’ cramp. I looked to Ms. Karls and asked, “Why can’t we have a party too?” However, Ms. Karls did not miss a beat. With several peppy fists pumps she announced, “ You all should be that excited while you’re writing your essays! Like, ‘Whoo!’ ‘Yeah!’ ‘This essay is totally going to wow those AP judges!’” I rolled my eyes and decided to scheme as I wrote yet another tedious essay. Poor Ms. Karls. So naive . She thought she was just being cute and perhaps ever so slightly motivational, but I was going to follow through on her instructions. I waited until we were exactly half way through our allotted essay time. Everyone was silent. All one could hear was pencils scratching on paper. The air was so concentrated by concentration that one could practically feel the thoughts being produced before they were secured down to the page. At this very moment, I struck. “WHOOOOOOOOO! YEAAAAH! WRITING ESSSSAAAAAAYS!!!!!!” Everyone’s heads whipped up in unison. Booties leapt two full inches from their seats. Behind me, Oliver clutched his chest as if he had a heart attack. People were panting from shock. No one saw that coming. Ms. Karls looked me in the eye, and with her hand over her heart, weakly said, “You almost made me vomit!” Meanwhile, I laughed until there were tears streaming down my face. I think Ms. Karls watched what she said around me a little more carefully after that..