Last Friday, my statewide eschool got together for our annual Spring Dance. It was my first year in attendance, and I will never forget it. Undoubtedly one of the best days of my life. Period. Everybody was kung fu fighting, the kicks were fast as lightening, there were Chirpies and ninjas and country guys and gals, nerds and geeks and laughing. Lots of laughing. There were amazing teachers, pineapples, and mountain dew. But above all, there were friends. Too many friends to count.
See, when most people hear “eschooler” they picture an overly sheltered, nerdy, shy, pale, freckled face kid that can’t handle life outside their home and has no social life. But at my eschool, I have made more friends in a semester and a half than I’ve ever had. And I don’t mean “friends”… those people that offer meaningless platitudes and are occasionally good for a laugh. No, I’ve made real, good, strong friendships that I know will last for the rest of my life. The people I’ve met are amazing. And until Friday, I had never actually seen them in person. It’s really amazing, being able to step out from behind the computer for the first time, and know everyone so well that no awkward moments are had. We see each other, start jumping up and down like giddy five year olds, and deliver numerous tackle hugs.
There were dozens of highlights, and every moment is blazed within my mind forever… including my first encounters with my insane friends, my friend MJ shouting “NINJAS ASSEMBLE!” when Kung Fu Fighting came on and everyone from the newspaper sprinting for the dance floor, jamming on our air guitars and singing our lungs out when “Don’t Stop Believing” came on, laughing when a certain teacher discovered a certain someone’s crush and pretended like he was going off to tell that crush about it, jumping up and down with my friends when, shortly after winning cutest couple, our two favorite people had their long-awaited first kiss, acting like total geeks only to find out someone had a video camera rolling, and so much more.
But beyond all of this happiness, I felt I had to post about my school, because I am so very proud of the people in it. Even the teachers were amazed at the chivalrous behavior that prevailed at the dance, and I must admit I was a bit taken aback. Because instead of letting a single person stand alone awkwardly, not knowing anyone, everyone made it a point to seek out the lonely and make friends with them. Not a single person there was left off the dance floor, and everyone was so incredibly friendly. No drama cropped up, it was just a bunch of kids having fun. It was the kind of fun you might expect of a group of 3-5 closely knit friends to have… multiplied by 60. No one judged their neighbors, no mocking took place besides friendly banter, and instead of making fun of the geeks… we joined them.
Probably the proudest moment for me was when I saw a group of about 10 friends all dancing and laughing with one of the heavily disabled girls that came. This girl had been standing by the dance floor since she arrived, captivated by the music and people. As the evening wore on, she inched closer and closer, awkwardly waving her arms and dancing to the music in her own way. She had been alone, besides the teachers that stayed protectively at her side, when myself and these girls decided to join her. The giant smile on her face touched my heart, and I couldn’t help but feel proud. After all, how often is it that some of the best dancers on the floor (NOT including me) would leave the floor to dance with a girl like this, for no reason other than to make her night special? It was amazing to see.
I guess I have to wrap up now, as I still have a speech to write tonight, but I’m sure I’ll have more stories to come. Keep a wary eye on this horizon… the link to OHVA’s Creative Writing Club year end anthology will be posted in the next few days. I’ve had the honor of reading many of the pieces to be published, as well as submitting my own short story. I guarantee, this is something you will not want to miss! And as a last treat tonight… I shall leave you with the geekiest video ever.