This I Believe

Thera - Danvers, Massachusetts
Entered on January 2, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe guidance counselors shape our lives more then we give them credit for. I entered Danvers High School as a misinformed freshman two years ago. We had received our schedules crafted by the guidance counselors in the mail over the summer and it seemed I had friends in almost all my classes. I knew just about everyone in the freshman class and hadn’t expected my social bubble would be expanded or decreased anytime soon. After all, our friendships hadn’t changed significantly in years. Life was looking cozy and static.

Enter that mysterious kid in gym class. It was the first day of Mr. Rich’s C period gym and personal wellness class and I recognized nearly everyone in the class right away. We were seated in alphabetical order and I found myself placed next to a boy I only vaguely knew as the understudy who performed instead of Steve in “Once On This Island” two years ago. “Do the final project.” was his first ambiguous remark to me. “Whatever you do, make sure you pass in the final project.” After further explanation, I learned he was a sophomore by the name of David, who was in a freshman class due to failure of his final project the year before. Over the course of that semester, we discovered we had more in common then we thought including a love of architecture, singing as a physical exercise, and theatre. I had made a new friend.

By the good graces of Mrs. Shawn and Ms. Mastrogiovanni on move up day we found ourselves once again in gym together. This time it was Mr. Magiacomo’s G period where we continued to forge our friendship (and badminton skills) stronger. When the semester changed, David was placed in my CPR class despite having previously taken and passed the class. By this time, we were good enough friends that he refused to swap out of the class.

Flash forward to present day. David and I may still be found skipping through life in tandem. I feel very fortunate to have been placed in that series of gym classes. David has taught me much more then how to pass freshman gym. Both being theatre kids, we certainly would have crossed paths at one point or another. However, in order to really get to know a person I believe, one has to see them often enough to get a true judge of their character. Being put in a class with someone (especially one involving mandatory physical activity) provides just such an opportunity. I could go on at length about stories very similar to the one I share with David. I have gained or made stronger many friendships through classes. Unfortunately, I’ve also lost or drifted from friends I don’t see regularly anymore.

I believe in luck. I believe the guidance department wields life-changing power. They may not realize it, but through their scheduling they have given me the opportunity to meet peers and teachers I would not have meet on my own and become the person I am.