The Plan B Dilemma
Today was the second day of intersession at my school. It's a small private school, and they give us a sort of two 2-week break in between semesters, after the winter break. We do one "class" for those two weeks that's not really a class. There's no homework, and we don't get graded. I'm in "Classroom DC", which is where we trudge around Washington, DC looking at museums until our feet have been killing us for at least an hour. The problem with that, as well, is that... Well, we often split up in the museums, and when I don't receive specific instructions on where to go, I shut down. It's like being in the middle of the woods and the camp leader hands out GPSs just before you get there, and everyone else has one but you. Everyone else knows where to go, but you have no idea what to do, or where to go, and you know that a step any one direction could get you more lost then you already are.
You would have two choices: stand there and hope someone remembers you, or wait till someone else passes by and follow them. I usually just sat at where we split up, knowing it was that last known location where it had been safe to be, or followed some small group of students that seemed to have some semblance of an idea of where they were going. But today, the teacher decided that is was too darn cold to walk around outside, so instead it was decided that we would go out and eat lunch at different places downtown, then go to the movie theater and see Mandela so that we would at least be learning something. This first part was a shock to me. I mean, a museum is one thing, but an entire downtown? This time there would be no one to follow, everyone would be everywhere, and I'm quite the picky eater, so it'd be hard to explain to someone why I went to an Ethiopian restaurant with them and wasn't eating anything. And I had no idea where this movie theater was. Often, I try to ask, but every time I do, people act as though it were obvious but it sounds confusing to me. Then when I get started going there and see the path I'm like what is this and everything seems different. Luckily, we ended up going in a group for a while, and immediately after that it was decided that we would be going to Chik-fil-a. This was a relief. However, I usually don't feel comfortable ordering myself, and here I was, starving. After a while of mooching off other people's waffle fries, I decided that I wanted some of my own, and that meant ordering. I walked up to the counter and ordered a medium waffle fries and a lemonade. I stayed completely cool and at the end I felt victorious. This may not seem like much to you, but I had never endured that manner of independence and responsibility before, and I had completely accomplished it. I felt like an adult. As I sat down, I discovered that they have REALLY good lemonade, and I renamed the fries, at least for myself, "victory fries."
1/9/2014 01:50:21 am
Interesting and well written.
1/9/2014 08:15:35 am
I like the illustration showing what it feels like to be lost and disoriented. Along with the description, it really pinpoints your state of mind.
5/26/2014 11:50:02 am
I'm glad you think so.
1/9/2014 08:17:30 am
I think I was influenced by "Peanuts" in that drawing.
1/9/2014 08:29:47 am
I remember the first time I ordered at Panera 2 years ago at the beginning of 9th grade. I was scared out of my pants! Now it is my restaurant of choice on the rare occasion I go out for lunch when I'm at school.
1/20/2014 02:39:56 am
What a victory! You described it so precisely that I had a real sense of how terrifying that whole experience was. Hooray for overcoming your fear!
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Colin O'Donnell, an awesome, inventing, gaming Aspergers kid on his various exploits.