I visited my high school today. Needless to say, it was enjoyable. Every few steps a familiar face called out to me, asked me where I am now, how I’ve been doing, what I’m studying… that sort of thing. Some of these faces were old friends, some were teachers, one was a guidance counsellor, and several were priests. All of them were friendly faces though. It felt really good to be in that environment again. Even though all of my classmates were missing (save two, who also happened to be visiting the school on that day), the school still felt like a very warm and inviting place.For a few hours in the afternoon, I was king again. Invincible. Golden, just as I was last year.It just made me aware of what I was missing out on by having graduated from high school. Again I need to say it: Do you have any idea how great grade 13 would have been? Let me paint you a picture:

Because I chose to do seven courses in grade 12 when only six were required, I probably would’ve had to do only five in grade 13. That means that I would have had three spares. One spare was enough to make school amazing. Can you fathom how mind-blowingly awesome school would have been with three?

The school play this year is going to be Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, AKA My Favourite Play of All Time. I knew every word by the time I was six. Seriously. My mom had the soundtrack on CD and it played endlessly in her old minivan, so I picked up on it pretty fast. She took me to go see a live performance of the play when I was six, and I caused a bit of a disturbance by singing along from the audience. But I digress. Joseph has many more roles than last year’s Damn Yankees had, so it’s more likely that I would have been able to get a role this time around, even with my mediocre singing voice. And even if not, I would have loved to go backstage again. It would have been amazing just to be a part of this play.

As for my classes, those would have been awesome too. You get more and more choice over your courses as the years go on, and grade 13 would have featured almost perfect freedom. I would have probably been forced into taking religion due to the Catholic nature of the school, but all other restrictions would have been gone. And the quality of the teachers tends to increase as you go up on the food chain, so grade 13 would have featured an all-star lineup: Tessaro for Chemistry, Barry for History, Lee for Law, McDougall for French, Quinn for Religion. I salivate just looking at that lineup. That’s the cream of the crop right there. If you look at your schedule on the first day of school and see that you have even three of those teachers, you look upwards and thank the Powers That Be with all your heart. All five would have been a dream come true.

And it would have been great to be able to do all of the other little things again.

Like writing for the film club, for example. Today I saw Kevin, my old director, and he told me about the film that the club is currently producing. I laughed out loud. It sounds great. And I’m not going to be a part of it. Even though me and Kevin had some arguments, I’d be lying if I said that writing those short films wasn’t a positive experience on the whole.

And spending the occasional lunch time in the hallway with some of the younger students. I saw a few of them today too. I couldn’t possibly list everything that happened in that hallway over the course of the year. Fruits were smashed with badminton racquets, snowballs were thrown, elevators were tampered with, musical instruments were misused… On more than one occasion I had to save those guys from a detention when a teacher inquired as to how squashed grapes had ended up all over the hallway.

And debating seriously about the most ridiculous topics (such as the morality of having homeless persons fight to the death as a method of reducing homelessness and entertaining the public).

And watching the school’s hockey team play.

And eating ribwiches.

And (trying to) play tennis.

And going to Tim Hortons after school.

And stopping by Mr. Callaghan’s classroom every day before period two spare to make fun of his favourite hockey team, the Detroit Red Wings.

And applauding the principal during assemblies after every sentence he spoke, regardless of whether applause was appropriate or not.

I could go on and on and on forever.

Damn you, former Premier Mike Harris. Damn you to hell. I could be very happy right now. Instead, I’m awake at 2:20 AM, thinking about what could have been.

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