The first reaction most people have upon hearing the name of my high school – “High Tech High” – is “Hmm, nope. That sounds fictional.” This is no doubt aided by the existence of the 2005 film Sky High, an altogether flawless motion picture about teenagers with superpowers, attending high school in the sky.
***Sky High. $2.99 on most video-renting platforms. Tell your friends.
So, I may not have taken a flying bus to superhero school every day, but my learning experience was fairly unique. For one, it is tiny compared to other schools; my graduating class totaled 100 students, making for a very warm and close-knit community. Secondly, High Tech High follows a project-based curriculum. What this means is that every couple of weeks, we would have a new presentation to give, a new art piece to make, and a new topic to creatively explore.
There were a couple murmurs, but no one raised their voice. It was a warm August night, way too warm for the 50 or so of us to be learning a hip hop dance on the third floor of a parking structure and yet, there we were. With sweat dripping down everyone’s faces, everyone seemed focused on learning the audition piece, but no one seemed particularly frustrated. Everyone except for me, that is.
Brows furrowed and lips pursed in irritation, I probably did not look approachable by any means. I had danced all throughout high school, even performing at pep rallies in front of hundreds of students, but, at the time of this audition, I hadn’t danced for two years and it was hitting me pretty hard that my skills had turned rusty. Even though it was the first of three audition days for USC’s competitive dance team, Chaotic 3, and we had two more days to practice the dance before the actual audition, my heart sank as unflagging doubt seized and took over my initial hopes of making the team.
I contemplated not going through with the final audition. I discussed it with multiple people, complaining about how hard the piece was, and voicing my doubts. However, something told me not to give up that easily. I was a transfer student who fought for my admission to USC and I was determined to make the most of my two years as a Trojan. In my head, I imagined myself being on a USC dance team and I knew that I would hate myself forever if I didn’t at least try. So for the next two days, I practiced the dance feverishly, watched the video of the choreographer a million times, and performed it in front of any and every mirror that I came upon. I wanted to impress the team more than ever. Continue reading “And 1, 2, 3, and 4. Any questions?”→
Academic and Professional English Language Instruction