Background: I went to a really, really crappy middle school. I mean, okay, I've seen and heard about worse schools, but basically, I hated middle school with the majority of the fibers of my being. This was the time when I had completely unrealistic crushes on people (actually, I'm not sure this is over), and when I had about, umm, oh, one friend, and when I hated most of my teachers with a burning passion, and it was mutual.
There is an awesome magnet high school in my county, and it's famous for being a nerd school even though it's actually got some really great sports teams. I think. I mean, there are a good deal of sports-related trophies, although there are more for academics and arts and music and stuff. Anyway. I apparently got accepted, and today was orientation.
It was amazing beyond belief. First, almost everyone was ridiculously nice. Except, I had one conversation that went like this. (Keep in mind that I'm horrible at socializing, so initiating conversations and stuff is as hard for me as stepping into a vat of tarantulas.)
Me: Um, hi! I'm Izzy.
Me: So... what's your name?
Me: Oh. Um... so what town do you come from? I'm from [you wish you knew].
Me: Uh-huh... so... umm... are you excited for the school year? I definitely am.
Girl: UHHN! UHHN! ARGH! SHRAWWWWK! I WANT TO EAT YOUR BRAINSSSS!
Then I realized the girl was a zombie. Oops! My bad.
But most conversations went like:
Me: Um, hi! I'm Izzy.
Girl: Oh, hey! I'm [some name]. What academy are you going to?*
Me: Science, you?
Girl: Medical. I've wanted to be a doctor, like, forever.
Me: Oh, really? That's neat! I want to be a wri- I mean, I want to be a published author.
Girl: That's awesome! You know, one of my friends is really into writing. She actually got accepted here, too.
Me: Cool, what's her name?
Did you hear that, bloggy friends? I made conversation with non-zombies! I met people! I talked to people with WORDS that came out of my MOUTH (as opposed to like, my ear or something).
*The school is divided up into different academies, like science, engineering, theater, visual arts, etc.
Also, we played icebreaker games. I think for the first time in my life, the icebreaker games actually made things more awesome instead of more awkward. I remember in sixth grade, my mom made me go to this horrible summer camp where we played this game about the letters of your first name. You had to come up with a hobby that began with the same first letter of your name, so most people were like, "I'm Jenny, and I like jogging!" And I was like, "I'm Isabella**, and I like... umm..."
"Do you like ice skating?" (the counselor would ask)
I would frown and stare at my sneakers. "No, the last time I went ice skating, I fell on this guy, and he hit the ice and broke his shoulder."
"Do you like... iguanas?"
"No, when I was seven, I had a series of nightmares about iguanas taking over the world."
"Do you like... umm... interesting rapists?"
"No, it's not really that fun."
**This was before I called myself Izzy.
The first icebreaker was pretty basic - we just had to say our name and one interesting fact about ourselves. Normal people said things like, "I'm John, and I play electric guitar" or "I'm Katie, and I sew thongs".
Of course, I had to be extra-super-duper-special, so I said, "I'm Izzy. I fenced for about two weeks, but then I stabbed my instructor in the stomach and he had to to go the hospital and my mom made me quit." And everyone laughed, which was the desired effect, and it gave me the happies.
Except - and I'm not sure if this is a good thing - people have replaced my name "Izzy" with "Stabber". Like, "Hey, you should meet my friend, Stabber" or "Hi Stabber, how's it going?"
One other thing! I changed a bit from June to now, so I was hoping some people who went to my old school and are now going to my high school was notice a couple things, like:
1) The fact that I'm taller.
2) The fact that I'm... umm... more developed.
3) The fact that I have somewhat better fashion sense.
4) The fact that maybe-just-maybe I'm the teensiest bit less socially awkward and shy.
I came across one of these people and took in her new haircut, and she took in me. Then:
Me: Hi! You look great!
Her: Oh, hey, and thanks! You look exactly the same.
This blog post is probably way too long, so I'll stop now. Meanwhile, why don't you tell me your horror stories from middle/high school, the awkwardness of icebreaker games, or anything else?