Surviving Summer School

Summer school was where some of my fondest high school memories were created. You see, summer school is what you make of it. While my parents were surely disappointed that I failed Chemistry during the regular school year, I, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed the “punishment” that summer school was meant to be.

Hindsight is always 20/20, so now I better appreciate the education I received from my all-girls private high school. At age 16, however, that appreciation had not yet developed. I wanted to go to school with BOYS!

Imagine my delight when I learned that I would be required to attend summer school at a local all boys high school. Not only that, but students from local PUBLIC schools would be my classmates as well. Oh joy!

I remember my first day. Not really knowing what to expect, I tentatively took my seat in the cafeteria. The principal of this private boys school decided to set the tone immediately. There was going to be no question who was in charge of this program. He made it clear that this was serious business. I suppose he peppered his speech with curse words just to emphasize that point.

After the drill sergeant style introduction, we were escorted to our classrooms. I took my seat, along with five girls from my regular school and approximately ten other students. It was time to meet our teacher for the next six weeks. And it was time to cue the Hallelujah Chorus.

In walked the most handsome, perfectly tanned, well built man. The giggles started circulating around the room immediately.

Mr. Perfect (names have been changed) began to introduce himself and explain what would be expected of us. He informed us that this would be a learning experience for all of us, considering this would be his first attempt at teaching Chemistry. Could this get any better?

Yes. The next day Mr. Perfect shared his vacation pictures with the class. Now we saw that the perfect tan came from a recent trip to the beach with his wife. No doubt that “lucky lady” was the thought running through the mind of most of the female students in the room.

I decided that I had just missed out on way too much. Not only had I been deprived of going to school with boys and being taught by handsome male teachers, I had also never been able to experience celebrating my birthday during school. Being a July baby, I had never had the thrill of taking cupcakes to school on my birthday like many of my classmates. I decide that this would be a perfect time to live out that dream.

As the days went on, it became quite clear to me that summer school had just gotten a bad rap. Most of us were there for one reason…we simply had become bored at our regular schools. Mr. Perfect realized this and made it a point to keep things interesting. It also helped that it wasn’t too difficult to get him off course. We often veered off into class discussions that had little to do with Chemistry.

One of our discussions had to do with the fact that most of us had no business failing any classes in school. That was very true. And that was probably the most important thing I learned during summer school. I never again failed another class and I made lots of great memories and friends. On top of that, I also made an “A”.

The “A” was quite pleasing to my parents, but what was much more pleasing to me was something I found sitting on my desk when I walked into class one morning. One very ingenious student had somehow made copies of one of Mr. Perfect’s vacation photos and laid one on each of the girls’ desks. Give that girl an A+!