Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Real High School and Fictional High School Years...




The first day of school.

Not my first day of high school. Oh no. That already passed. This is my first day of…[where’s the drum roll?]…sophomore year.

Oh. I can see why there’s no drum roll.

Who would put a drum roll in front of sophomore year? No one. I figured this out a few weeks ago. Of the four years of high school, three are ‘special.’ Freshman year is the first year, the new year, the nerves-inducing year, the getting-lost year, the awestruck year, et cetera. Junior year is the nose-to-the-grindstone year, the crazy year, the SATs year, (if you’re in PA, the moronic PSSAs year,) the college visits year… And senior year is the free year, the fun year, the already-took-SATs year, the awesome year.

So what’s sophomore year? The in-between year, the post-freshman-but-still-underclassman year, the PSATs year, the study-hard-because-next-year-will-be-even-HARDER year… I can see two reasons why it might be special. One, it’s the driver’s ed year (but most people aren’t driving independently until junior year anyway). And two, it’s special because it’s NOT special. I mean, the word “sophomore” means “wise fool.” Even the name is ambiguous. And probably very accurate.

This post is a combination of my first-day-of-school thoughts and the realization that very few YA contemp books have their characters starting sophomore year as the big catalyst. Junior year, definitely. Senior year, sure. Even freshman year. But few that I’ve read have been about sophomore year. And duh! Unless the book is about Driver’s Ed, I wouldn’t, either. (Except I have. But old stories. When 10th grade was big, man, BIG. Double digits and all. Yeah, this was in elementary school.)

But you know what? In the real world, I’m okay with this. I have so much going on, I’m kinda looking forward to the “nothing” year.