When I attended you every day, I lacked school spirit. I failed to acknowledge how lucky I was to take part in the community you fostered. I didn’t appreciate the sense of closeness I shared with your other students and the familiarity of your walls, halls, and classrooms. Even now, two years after graduating from you, I admit I don’t think about you much. But today, for whatever reason, I woke up with images of you on my mind.
I can picture you clearly as you were two years ago, the last time I stepped through your glass double doors and stood in the foyer (a word which Mr. Mac always pronounced the French way). I can feel myself bumping shoulders with people as I stand at the top of the ramp and the hall floods with students during passing period. I remember being outraged that we only had four minutes to get a class down the hall, whereas I now attend a college where it’s sometimes necessary to get half a mile across campus in fifteen minutes.
I can hear the sound of shoes squeaking and basketballs bouncing in the gym, a space where I was either a part of a team or a part of a community cheering my team on. I can hear the buzzer as the last shot of the game smacks against the backboard and falls through the net. I can also smell the concessions stand air wafting my way as I venture further back through the building. The source of the smell is a tiny box of a room filled up with hot dogs, popcorn, Gatorade, and students taking orders to raise money for their organization or class. I spent many nights there being bad at making change and guarding my post as the popcorn maker.
My old school, I could give every detail of your cafeteria to a sketch artist and produce a perfect rendering, right down to the “Got Milk” posters and unused traffic light on the wall. I know you so well.
What I want you to know, in turn, is that even though I’m busy these days and I haven’t visited you since I left, I remember. I remember all those things I just listed and I have more spirit for you now than I did back when I thought it was cool to have none. I know better now, because I’ve grown. And in my mind, even though you don’t come up often, I cherish the memories I have because of you. The classes, the field trips, the ball games, the academic meets, and the general craziness that was growing up with you as one of my homes. For those things and so many more, I’m grateful.
The girl who had an attitude and too much eyeliner