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Disoriented maybe, never admittedly lost

I read Thressa Johnson's column of two weeks ago with perhaps more interest than most sophomores. The column was directed towards incoming freshman, and though, I'm not a freshman, I sort of feel like one being a new student of the Detroit Lakes Senior High School.

My first day of public school after a five-year hiatus was certainly very interesting and definitely column-worthy. I arrived early, three and a half hours to be exact, as school didn't start until around noon for grades 10-12. I don't remember too much about that morning, only that it was sort of a weird morning and I somehow ended up at Burger King. Don't ask.

Even though I had been given two private tours of the high school during the summer, I showed up for the "new-student orientation" at 11:30, where I was shown around a third time and had the privilege of meeting a boy from Sweden, of all places. I was beginning to feel worldly already.

Finally, school for the returning student crowd came close to beginning and people started entering the building in droves. There were students everywhere. Lining the hallways, congregating in the commons, clustering in the classrooms, they were truly everywhere.

That afternoon was hopefully the most hectic I will ever experience. The main reason for this chaos was the fact that all of our classes had been condensed into about a two-hour time period, allotting approximately six minutes for each class.

I was wading through the masses, trying not to let them devour me, all the while looking for the rooms in which my classes were held, rooms which always seemed to elude me when I needed to find them most. I'd be searching desperately for "AP Lang & Comp" and pass by "Biology" six times, but when science time came around, room 209, Biology, would seemingly decide to switch floors.

In the column I mentioned earlier, Thressa Johnson gives freshmen advice something to the effect of "don't hesitate to ask seniors for directions." Well, I took her advice and sort of ran with it on the first day of school.

I was pacing the halls, looking frantically for the library, known to many as the "Media Center," when a friend of mine who happens to be a freshman asked me if I was lost. Had those been less trying times, I might have said no and kept my ego intact. But I was desperate and in a hurry, so I admitted that I was indeed lost (actually, I think I said 'disoriented' as men never are truly lost) and asked my friend if she happened to know where I might find the media center.

Her answer was one I'll never forget: "Dude, it's right there!"

I glanced to where she was pointing across the hallway. "Oh."

To make matters worse, I experienced some trouble with the combination lock that secured my locker, trouble that other people didn't seem to have. I'll just leave it at that.

Combination locks are not used much in the home school setting, although looking back it might have been helpful to have a few on hand to keep little brothers out of my stuff.

I somehow managed to make it through the day alive, and, for that matter, without being late for any of my condensed classes. In addition, I gained a culture lesson or two.

Two weeks have now passed since that eventful first day of school. I can honestly say that so far the experience has been a pleasurable one. Most people (even the seniors!) have been welcoming and friendly. I'm looking forward to a great year as a Laker!

Nathan Kitzmann is a sophomore at Detroit Lakes High School.