An Unexpected Turn of Events
A 6th grader's first day of school takes an unexpected turn for the worse.
Ok, let's start at the beginning, the beginning of middle school. Being a nervous little sixth grader coming from a very small school where our largest class consisted of ten students, middle school is a big change. I am going to a school where there are thirty kids in a class, this is scary.
We all shuffle into the Science Classroom at Mountain Middle School, each of us feeling nervous butterflies in our stomachs. We are all looking at each other, trying to read each other's looks and determine what the other kids are going to be like. The teachers are lecturing about the rules, regulations, and expectations of the school. Then finally at about nine o'clock, the teachers say that we're going down to the thirty-second street park to play name games.
The class walks down to the park, which is a long strip on the east side of the river. We play repetitive name games such as saying your name, and then the name of someone next to you. Then on and on as the task of repeating, and remembering the names that you just learned goes around the circle. We play these games for a few hours, and then start on our way back up to the school.
We are walking up the sidewalk back towards Mountain Middle School. We walk up to the Thirty Second Street sidewalk, as kids converse we walk along a side street over to Mountain Middle School. As we are walking along a side street toward the school.
At that time the only pair of shoes I wore was a black pair of crocs. Which are a type of footwear that is very porous. Jem, my best friend, knows this because this is all we wore every day for fourth and fifth grade. Because my best friend wore Crocs, I thought it was cool to wear them too. So I'm walking along in my black pair of Crocs, and then suddenly a pain shoots through my toe on my right foot. I see something scuttle away as I look down. I take my Croc off of my foot, and start swatting at my foot trying to figure out what had happened. I look down and there are two little red marks with blood seeping from the marks.
At this moment, I’m not sure what bit or stung me, but I know that is bad because immediately my whole toe starts swelling. It swells to the size of a date. I just ignore it and keep walking with the group. Because of so much else going on that day, I don’t give it much attention at first. We walked along the sidewalk to go have lunch at the school. All during lunch I am watching my foot, and it's swelling up. It's spreading, and it's going from my big toe to my other toes. I say to myself, well this isn't good and this isn't normal. I don't tell anybody at first, but the swelling keeps spreading up my foot. This is when I get really, really, nervous. This in addition to having a new school and all that stress, and my foot swelling it's all getting to me. So I am freaking out by this time.
For the afternoon we're going to meet with our advisories. I am originally assigned to Mr. Farkas's advisory. Now he has a big personality, and it sort of felt overwhelming to my very shy, and small sixth grade personality. In the advisories, there are mixed grades so there are seventh and eighth graders too, and I feel very intimidated by the big scary eighth graders. They were big and scary I feel like they are cowering over me. So here I am, a nervous little sixth grader with a swelling painful foot, completely unsure of what to do sitting in a circle with older middle schoolers, and having to introduce myself and come up with some sort of description of who I am. Then it was my turn to say my name, and I've been just dreading the time that I had to say my name, because I'm just looking at my foot the whole time trying to think of what am I going to do. Knowing it isn’t normal, and worrying because the swelling is getting worse. Then I say something slightly resembling my name, and I start getting really woozy.
Mr. Farkas says, "Are you ok?" Then the combination of my stressing out about having to say my name, and my foot swelling up, and me freaking out about the first day of middle school. It all just comes crashing down on me. I start seeing spots in my vision and I get all light headed.
With garbled speech I say, "no!"
Mr. Farkas says, "Well what is wrong?"
I say, "My foot."
He replies, "That is not normal." He immediately rushes me to the front office, and sits me down.
They give me a drink of water and I'm just sitting there trying to calm down. They ask me questions like, do you know what is happening? What is your name? They just keep going through all these questions and my head is spinning. Then they call up my mom, and she arrives and looks straight into my eyes and says, “He’s okay” and then she takes me home. We learn it was likely a spider bite, and there’s not much to do besides drink a bunch of water. I miss the next three days of school as I sit at home with my foot propped up, the size of a small football. I return having missed all of the preliminary orientation. So I am completely lost asking around what to do. That's how my first week of middle school went. So basically I learned don't wear Crocs, and to try not to freak out.