I graduated in 2015, so that makes five years since I walked my old cobblestone courtyard, I had visited a couple months after graduation with the promise I would be back soon to see all my favorite teachers, but sure enough I got busy with trying to grow up, trying to be an adult. It wasn’t until I pulled in that I realized just how much I actually missed high school. For some it was hell, but for me it was the best four years of my life. I wasn’t exceptionally smart by any means but I was smart enough to struggle through honors classes, but because I was lazy when it came to things that didn’t interest me. I basically blew my chances with any four year colleges my freshman and sophomore year.
I went to a military high school which, contrary to popular belief, is not for troubled teenagers but a regular highschool with mandatory Army JROTC. Uniforms, formation every morning even in the freezing cold, and more commonly the searing heat. Some hated JROTC, but not me, I grew up with semi-strict parents that weren’t afraid to use the belt, so I really appreciated the structure of how things ran. I digress, school hasn’t started yet so most of the teachers were gone so I only got to see a few faculty.
I saw two of my old army instructors, firstly MAJ Clarence Arrington or as I know him, Coach. Without missing a beat he recognized me, long hair, mustache, glasses and all. Granted I was on the wrestling team for a year and hated, but he stayed true to his character and remained a mentor to me to this date. As I said good bye to my former coach CSM Thomas walked around the corner, it took him a second to recognize me, which I understand he’s a lot of people number favorite instructor as he was mine. We did a little COVID-bump and proceeded to catch up, honestly it was so refreshing to see them as if nothing had changed in the five years that I graduated. I proceeded to pick up my transcripts, and the front desk lady — i’m sorry for the life of me I can’t remember your name — tells me I’m welcome to walk the school, so I did just that.
I walked to the third floor of the Urfer building looking at each class, reminiscing remembering the “good old days” not realizing those were them when they were happening. I can see my friends throughout these halls, and in the gym, and in the courtyard, line up on benches, just like a movie. It’s surreal. Even the smells were the same. I just want to give a personal thank you to those that made a huge impact in my life, maybe some you share the same favorites. MAJ Gillotte, CPT Geimer, CSM Thomas, Julie Rohr, CPT Gibbens, Coach Ben — to any other that I have failed to mention, I’m sorry I don’t have a yearbook in front of me at the moment, much love to you all.