Today's Wednesday Factoid is: What was your favorite year of school?
I think the best year for me while I was actually going through it was probably my ninth grade year.
I had just joined the chorus on a whim after not doing any singing classes in my life (beyond, you know, elementary school chorus practice), and something unexpected (to me) happened: I was singled out for being unusually adept. The teacher had encouraged anyone with an interest to try out for the All-State Chorus and I was one of only three people in the beginning chorus to get in (and the one with the highest scores), so I was just kinda, I don't know, blindsided by this cool realization that I was really good at something and maybe I could build a life around this.
Most of my focus and time went to my chorus stuff that year. I was really pretty obsessed with it--with my music, and learning new music theory stuff, and with spending time with people I knew from the classes. Along with All-State, I was also really excited about performing in the Madrigal Dinner event (even though my class as a beginner class had to play the serfs and do the waiting of tables), and I kinda looked up to the upperclassmen in the show choir as role models, thinking I'd get to do that one day.
Halfway through the year I was promoted to the advanced choir and learned more intense music, and I was totally living for it, it was great. I auditioned to be in the show choir (even though people kept saying not to do it as a freshman because very few sophomores are included since it's super exclusive), but I actually got picked to be in it the next year and was on top of the world.
During the rest of the year outside chorus stuff, I also made some cool friends, got my first boyfriend, and felt really confident for really the first time in my young life. That was also the year I wrote my first novel, when I was fourteen.
It's weird to think about how quickly all of that was over, too. My dad's job got moved to a different city and the family had to pick up and go, so I didn't get to continue singing with that group, didn't get to be in the show choir that I'd been selected for, had to leave my friends. My boyfriend dumped me, my summer camp for the chorus was full of weird anxiousness and awful crap, and everything kind of went to shit when it was over.
I am pleased to say I met some lifelong friends the following year and there were a LOT of aspects of that that made it way better than ninth grade, but since I was also dealing with some obnoxious boy problems for the entirety of my years at the high school I graduated from and because everything was a bit lower key in the music department, it just wasn't as weirdly magical a time as ninth grade was. Maybe if I'd gotten to keep any of it, it wouldn't have seemed so huge in retrospect.