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Unable To Face The Music

| Learning | February 28, 2017

(At the end of my junior year, I meet with a different counselor to discuss my schedule for senior year. Our school is very small, around a hundred students, so there aren’t a lot of options for classes.)

Counselor: “All right, according to your information, you only have two classes you need to take to graduate, English and science. You have to be enrolled in at least four classes to be considered a student, but after that if your classes are all in the morning you can look into taking classes at [Community College] at the end of the day.”

Me: “Great! So let’s get the necessary ones out of the way.”

Counselor: “Okay, English and science are both offered during first period… oh, but your level of English is only offered then, and your science isn’t offered again until fifth period.”

Me: “Ugh. So I need to fill three more classes and take five total?”

Counselor: “Yep. What do you want?”

Me: “Okay, I definitely want to be in the steel drum band again.”

Counselor: “That’s going to be second period. I’ll sign you up right now.”

Me: “Fantastic. And, I hear they’ll be offering a guitar class next year?”

Counselor: “Yes.”

Me: “If you could get me in that would be great. I’m dying to learn how to play the guitar.”

Counselor: “Anything else?”

Me: “I’d really like to be able to take an art class. Or one of the technical classes. Mechanical Drawing was fun. Maybe one of the computer classes?”

Counselor: “I’ll see what I can do.”

(At the first day of school, I get my schedule. First period is English, second is Steel Drums, and third is Health.)

Me: “What? Health?”

(I go to the counselor during lunch.)

Me: “Why am I in health class?”

Counselor: “Everything else was full.”

Me: “You couldn’t get me into a guitar class?”

Counselor: “There was no room.”

Me: “I already passed health. I got an A.”

Counselor: “Well, you have to take the classes to stay enrolled. You can’t just skip a class in the middle of the day, so it’s got to be something and health was the only thing available.”

Me: “Ugh.”

Counselor: “Sorry, that’s just how it is.”

Me: “It’s fine. I get it.”

(A few weeks later, my music teacher wants to challenge me and gives me an arrangement of Für Elise for the lead pan to play at our next concert. At the end of class I approach her.)

Me: “I appreciate the challenge, but I’m just not sure I’ll be ready in time for the concert.”

Music Teacher: “Well, what class do you have third period?”

Me: “Health. But I already passed it and I remember all the things we’re learning so I won’t be missing anything.”

Music Teacher: “I don’t have any students next period. Ask if you can stay here for the next class to practice.”

(Health class is just down the hall, so I run to ask.)

Me: “Hey, [Health Teacher], can I please stay in the music room this period to work on my solo?”

Health Teacher: “No.”

Me: “Why not?”

Health Teacher: “Because you need this credit to graduate.”

Me: “I told you before I already have this credit. I passed with an A my freshman year so this class doesn’t actually count for my grade point average.”

Health Teacher: “Then why are you wasting my time?”

Me: “Don’t put this on me! I didn’t sign up for this. The counselor said this is the only class available for me this period.”

Health Teacher: “Okay, go on down to the music room. See if you can transfer out. I don’t want you wasting time.”

Me: “Thanks!”

(I practice my solo all next period. When the bell rings and I pack up, I remember to ask something.)

Me: “Hey, [Music Teacher]? Why don’t you have any students this period? I didn’t take away your planning period, did I?”

Music Teacher: “Oh, no, that’s not it. This was supposed to be my guitar section, but no one signed up.”

Me: “…”

(I went straight to the counselor and told her what the music teacher told me. Suddenly she was able to get me into a guitar class. By the end of winter break, the class was full.)

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