Wednesday, May 31, was my official last day of school. Thursday was Merit Awards. On Friday, I graduated. And on Tuesday of the next week, I was ... back in school, sitting in my AP Physics class.
Of course, this strikes most people as odd. Was the teacher forcing me to stay after and make up a test? Did I forget I was done and come back merely out of habit? The answer to these questions is no — in fact, I was back in high school of my own volition.
It started in May, when all of the teachers were wrapping up the year. Since I was in mostly AP classes, many of the teachers had already taught everything in advance of the AP tests in early May, so at this point they were just showing movies, assigning group projects and having class parties. The exception was Mr. Price, our physics teacher, who decided to fit in an entire unit on nuclear physics before the seniors left.
And as if all of the mind-blowing units we'd had this semester such as quantum mechanics and thermodynamics weren't enough, he casually mentioned that after the seniors were gone, he would do a unit on relativity with the juniors.
My friend Fiona Corcoran and I looked at each other from across the room, and in one glance, we knew we had to be there despite the fact that we would be technically "done" with high school. So after we graduated, we came back to school just for eighth period for all four of the classes that remained.
We left our backpacks, homework, notebooks, etc. at home. We didn't bring paper or pens, so when Mr. Price asked us to manipulate equations, we did it on the only drawing
surface we had: Snapchat.
People look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them this story, but it was completely worth it. On the first day back, Mr. Price explained all of the fundamental particles that we know about —electrons, quarks, neutrinos, etc. By the second day, he had proved that time and space were relative, and by the time we walked out of our last class, he had disproved Newton's Universal Law of Gravitation and replaced it with Einstein's Theory of General Relativity.
I got to learn all of this for free with one of my favorite teachers, and with one of my best friends in the seat next to me.
It's not just that I really love physics. The only thing stopping me from coming back to AP European History, for example, was the fact that
the teacher wasn't doing another unit.
As uncool as it may seem to some of my peers, I really do love school. I've been lucky to have access to the knowledge and mentorship of Lakeridge's amazing faculty for four years. I will miss my teachers and classes next year, but I'm looking forward to another four years of learning in college.