When I say that 2008 was the best year of my life, I mean it was the best year of my life. I’m so glad that I had the chance to take pictures of my friends and stuff, because I look back and see these photos and go, damn. You guys are in for a good one!
I don’t quite remember if I mentioned this in my All About 2007 #TBT post, but for all three years of middle school, I was in an honors class. This meant that my class was allowed to take two high-school level Regents our last year of middle school to put us ahead a couple of credits in high-school. If we all cared about high-school and extra earned credits, we would’ve taken our math class with Mr. Visico more seriously. Anyway! Despite my entire middle school experience being something to write in the books, my last year at Pershing was something special.
Class 830 was like a big family of 32 kids in it; because most of us have been in this honors class for all three years of middle school, we pretty much knew each other inside out. Yes, we all had our little groups within the class, but even then everyone still hanged out with each other and stood up for each other when things went sour… except one kid, who threatened to come to school one day with a gun, but that’s a different story.
We have stories to tell for days, in all honesty. We all thought that our science teacher and social studies teacher were having an affair, our English teacher used to bend over desks to talk to individual students and her ass would be all out there, every guy in my class wanted to hook up with our Spanish teacher, and to top it all off, this was all written in a notebook that two girls from my class made and wrote together… which our homeroom teacher found. I still remember them crying in Mrs. Mulholland’s class because Ms. Maliki called her and told our teacher what was in the book. Oh, also someone in our class stole something from one of our teachers, and we were practically banned from the Senior BBQ that was going on outside.
We weren’t the greatest honors class in the school, but we were the coolest.
Besides that, 2008 was the year that we were going to go do all the senior activities that we’ve always wanted to do since the day we got into Pershing. For starters, Senior Spirit Week was great; especially the day we were able to just go in our pajamas:
We went on our senior trip, which was to Split Rock Resort in god knows where, but it was literally like being in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody; we had a movie theater all to ourselves, we played in the arcade, I attempted to play basketball in the gym, and there was a bowling alley. There was also an indoor pool, but you best believe they weren’t going to allow our bad selves into a pool.
Because we were a special kind of class, we had gotten the pleasure into learning how to ballroom dance. We had a teacher (I think her name was Jojo) come into our English class once a week and teach us all these different dances. I was always really good in ballroom dancing; it was something that caught on quickly to me and I took it more serious than the other people in my class. At the end of the program, four people from my class got chosen to dance in the Rainbow Team Competition, a show were all schools from the five boroughs competed to go into the grand finale. I had done this once already in 5th grade when I was put into the Ballroom Dancing program, and we made it all the way to the semi-finals. When I was chosen to be one of the four in the 8th grade, I was excited. I was The Tango Couple with some guy that I didn’t even know would make it into the competition, but I guess we looked legit in class whenever we danced together. We had went to I.S. 256 to compete in April, but got third place in the overall results.
Also in 2008, all of the people in my class found out what high-school they were going to. In late 2007, I had auditioned for the Vocal Program at Brooklyn High-School of the Arts, and it was my first choice on my list as well. Back then, I took my singing very seriously, and I wanted to continue learning vocal and properly study for it. In all honesty, I thought that was going to start my singing career… I was 14 and naive. When I opened my letter and saw that I was going to go there, I was so excited! It was possibly the first thing I’ve ever gotten that I wanted in my life. I was sharing my excitement with my friends… until half the class was crying and upset about where they were going. Trying to hide my excitement from my friends who weren’t happy was hard, and I don’t think I did a good job at doing so, but hey – my accomplishment meant a lot to me, and for a brief moment I was excited about going to BHSA.
One of my favorite memories of 2008 was definitely my Prom Night. Unless you were secretly hooking up with a guy, nobody really went with a date to Prom; we just came in huge groups and spent time with each other in those groups. Out of all my prom experiences, my 2008 prom was possibly the best, and if I could go back and relive it again, I most certainly would. (Side note: Yesterday, Obie had asked me if there was a song that I listen to that instantly brings me back to an event or time of my life, and I thought to myself “definitely Damaged by Danity Kane and Don’t Stop the Music by Rihanna.) These two songs instantly bring me back to Prom, dancing with my friends, without a care in the world.
Despite me actually looking like a real girl on Prom Night, I received many compliments on my hair. Fun fact: I never straightened my hair daily until I started high-school, so me with straight hair in middle school was really rare. Sometimes I wish I could go back to the days where I didn’t care about my hair and didn’t do anything to it.
During my 8th grade year, I decided to stop being a complete chicken and audition for the school’s production of the year, Alice In Wonderland. The auditions were held on my 14th birthday, and I tried out for the roles of Alice (of course), and Queen of Hearts. I was really excited that I was cast to be Queen of Hearts in the production, it was definitely a step up from my 30 second cameo the previous year in Annie. Opening night was such an adrenaline rush; even after sweating and dancing all night, my role as Queen of Hearts came in at the end and something just switched in me. I became the Queen of Hearts; mean-faced and loud, I stomped all over that stage and sang my little heart out. I sometimes wonder why I didn’t portray theater in high-school or in college. I mean, sure, I took Acting classes in college, but I definitely miss the feeling and family you make in big productions such as musicals like this one. I met such amazing people during my time in this production. Definitely my proudest moment of 2008.
It was great because half of my class came to the show that night and cheered me on. Lissette said I looked like the pope on stage with my costume. It was just great to get all the support from my friends and family that night.
And then came graduation.
My graduation was ironically held at the high-school that my sister graduated from the day before: New Utrecht. It was the first graduation ceremony that included all three mini schools at once, which I don’t think they ever did again after us. We had to sing about 4 different songs during the ceremony: Our school song (which I never knew we had), “No One” by Alicia Keys, “Hero” by Mariah Carey which I have no idea why we did, and the song that I sang a duet with another girl on stage: “I’m Your Angel” by Celine Dion & R.Kelly which I sang the R.Kelly part and still killed it… I still don’t know why they made a bunch of middle school kids sing that song. It still cracks me up to this day because they really had me sing the R.Kelly part with some girl… you guys couldn’t find a guy to sing that part?!
Besides the cheesy songs and all, I actually cried like 3 different times at graduation. Middle school, although extremely rough to me first, was some of my greatest years. I made memories that I can say that I never remade again with new friends after that. This is what friendship was all about to me, and not getting to see them all together ever again in school was really sad for me. Pershing was like a second home to me, and 830 was like my second family. Saying goodbye was really tough at the time, and I can say to this day, it really was never the same.
High-school had started in the Fall and the atmosphere was completely different than I expected it to be. For starters, I was now in a room located in the basement with 54 other talented singers, something I was not used to. Also, this was my first time attending a school I didn’t know anyone in, so making friends was hard at first. The first part of freshman year was definitely a weird one, but it was the first time I had a class with Obie and although we never really acknowledged each other, he would try to talk to me and I would laugh my shy, innocent laugh. I still laugh like that to this day arund strangers.
Back to Pershing; I can’t believe that this picture was taken 7 years ago. This was the last time a bunch of us hanged out with each other post-Pershing. We were just starting our Junior year in high-school.
A decade ago, we were all teenagers just enjoying our lives and being young and carefree. A decade later and most of us are college graduates, grad students, parents, career pursuers. I see these people now and still see their younger selves, not realizing that we’re all adults now with different minds and experiences.
Despite the distance and time that we all grew apart, I still keep in touch with very few people. I show love to them through social media, I still wish some of them a happy birthday or congrats if something great happens to them, and vise versa. And to think that maybe, just maybe I might get invited to their weddings in the future or they get invited to mine and whatever.
2008 was such an amazing year for me, and I hope to someday relive some of the memories with the people who were apart of them.
If you’re reading this in hopes to read about our time in Pershing, I hope you all are doing great and living out your dreams. ❤