Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Tangled up in blue

Tonight I started learning French. I've always talked about taking a foreign language class and I finally signed up for one through the Royal Oak continuing education program -- the sort of place that is designed for people with nothing better to do than learn how to cross stitch or to cook Indian food or, in my case, learn to speak French with a haughty American accent.

The class starts at 6:30, and is taught in a classroom at one of the local high-schools. I never thought I would ever take another high-school class but here I am, stuck with a group of mostly middle-aged women, perched on an uncomfortable chair, surrounded by crappy lockers and pictures of winning football teams, learning to be a student again.

As I was leaving the building, I was hit by a wave of smells that I can only describe as high-school. The slightly waxed floors combined with stale cafeteria food and the cool air of the autumn evening, and I was suddenly 14 again, learning to kiss behind the bleachers after football practice and going to my first Homecoming Dance.

I always thought that high-school was crap compared to college, but tonight I'm feeling nostalgic for those first few years on my journey to adulthood. There's something about figuring out who you are that's so painful, yet so incredibly enchanting .

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