On Campus

My new high school looks scary

Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute. The “institute” makes it sound like the name of a prison. And I have no idea what “collegiate” means. But as of February 1st, it’s going to be my new school. With a student population of over 1800, Cameron Heights has 1000 more students than my old school in Cornwall does. And it’s 550 kilometers away.

The guidance councillor (the one who handles orientation tours of students with last names beginning with K through P) gave my sister and I a quick tour through the school so we wouldn’t be completely lost on our first day. The thing is, if she gave me a map, a compass, a G.P.S. and a Boy Scout to follow, I still would have absolutely no idea where my biology class is. Or my earth sciences class. Or my calculus class. Unlike my old high school (which has a left hallway, a right hallway, and the basement hallway that always smells of armpit and old McDonald’s french fries), Cameron Heights has corridors A through G, situated on floors one through four.

Then there’s the students. I assumed that, even though there are 1000 more than at my old school, the students would look more or less the same. As in, there would be the jocks, the cool kids, the cool kids’ slaves, and the nerds (my native people). And there would be no method scientifically possible with today’s technology to tell apart one14-year-old girl from another. But even my fellow nerds seemed foreign and kind of scary- they weren’t discussing Star Wars, or even Star Trek. I overheard them talking about Battlestar Galactica. I felt scared and isolated.

Since knowing where your locker is might be important, I pray that my locker, which I don’t get assigned until my first official day at the school, will be smack in the middle of the office. I guess it makes sense that if Cameron Heights has three active squadrons of vice principals, a battalion of guidance councillors and an army of secretaries, then it must have a bigger office than my old school (which has two guidance councillors and a single vice principal). But Cameron Heights’ office wasn’t just big enough to house its Galactic Administration Republic. In Nerdian units of measurement, it could hold three entire Millennium Falcons.

And hopefully one locker.