Ten years ago this month I walked onto the football field in a red cap and gown with a blue and gold tassel and left with a blue cardboard folder with nothing inside. That's right--at my high school you didn't get your diploma at graduation but in the mail later that summer after the administration reviewed you transcript to make sure nothing was missed.
But I did receive that diploma, and ten years later I sit here contemplating what I have done with my life. Would my English teachers be proud of me for majoring in journalism and minoring in literature? Would my math teachers wonder why I walked away from the subject I tutored, student assisted and received the highest test score in to work in a field I struggled with all through high school? And would my American History teacher be happy I now live in our national capital while another social studies teacher be shocked to hear that though I received an A in his macroeconomics class, I couldn't wrap my head around microeconomics in college and was proud of the C I worked so hard to get? And would my band teachers smile if they knew I conduct music at church every Sunday?
And what about my old friends and classmates? I'm still connected with a lot of them through facebook, email and the occasional phone call or visit, but our lives have all taken much different paths. They all had such a profound impact on what I have done with my life and what I am becoming.
From the Saturday morning physics class at FERMI Lab to the hours spent building sets for school plays. From the semester-long internship in the governor's press office to the random trivial learned preparing for Scholastic Bowl meets. (Yes, I really was that big of a nerd in high school.) I'd like to think none of the time and activities I invested in are wasted on my life today.
Those four short years really did pave the way for my life today. And I have a good life--I'm happy. So here's to the West Aurora High School Class of 2000. Thanks for the good years, and here's to many more!