Worst day of my life…
I think I’ve been pretty fortunate as far as not having many major life upsets. And even if they seemed like the worst thing ever at the time thinking about what the worst day of my life may be is hard to recall. So the first thing that comes to mind (and it’s pretty trivial) was the first day of school when I moved to Florida.
I moved when I was 15 and I felt like a total alien. I missed the first week of school because school down south starts a month earlier than it does in NY, and I was at a music program that didn’t end until mid August. Then I was late for school, the school was like 3 times the size of my last school, and the woman at the office handed me a map and a schedule and was like—go! So I was bumbling about lost—and I looked crazy because in a fit of rebellion I had dyed my hair all sorts of craziness over the summer and it was braided, and my mom told me to start unbraiding it so she could redo it before school and she never did, so I had to just put it up so it didn’t look even crazier.
Most of my teachers gave me dirty looks and lectures for missing the first week of class and nobody spoke to me except to ask where I was from, marvel that I was from upstate NY (not NYC), and then go about their lives. I ate lunch alone and read.
I don’t think the day got any better until the last class of the day which was a gifted studies class and the teacher was the only one of the day to encourage me to speak up and not feel totally isolated.
Funnily enough, none of my teachers really paid me any mind, or thought anything about me until I auditioned for the community youth orchestra (no orchestra in high school) and then was subsequently encouraged to audition for the local symphony orchestra. I got in. And then for some reason it was printed in the newspaper, which to this day I haven’t seen that article. All of a sudden all my teachers were like “wow, we had no idea you were so talented,” in other words not just another negro who somehow weaseled her way into honors/AP classes who didn’t really deserve to be there.
Oh northern Florida…SMH