When I went to junior high school, which started in seventh grade then, I was overwhelmed. So many things were different!
It was an older, much bigger school than my grade school had been. And, for the first time in my life, I now rode a bus to school. I had never attended a school before that wasn’t within walking distance of my house.
And now I had multiple teachers in different rooms, and different kids in each class.
It was all new and exciting … but parts of it were a little scarey and confusing too.
In fact, my school career almost ended there. Yes, I almost had to drop out of school in 7th grade. And, I might have, if it hadn’t been for Richard.
Here’s the reason. I could not figure out how to use the combination lock on my newly acquired locker! I had never had a locker before, and I definitely had never had to use a combination lock before. So, if I hadn’t learned to open my locker, where, of course, I had to keep the books for all of my classes … well, you can figure it out … I would have flunked!
But along came my knight in shining armor, Richard, a tall, skinny red-headed kid who seemed to have all the confidence in the world compared to my confused, overwhelmed self … and who worked a combination locker like a pro!
And do you know where Richard’s locker was? Right next to mine! Now I don’t know if Richard would have returned to his locker after every class otherwise (Some kids were actually organized enough to take the books for several classes at a time!), but for whatever reason that he did in those crucial beginning weeks of 7th grade, I am forever grateful. Maybe he did it just out of curiosity to see if that ditzy but sometimes funny girl who had the locker next to his would ever figure out how to unlock her locker.
Finally, when Richard got tired of the responsibility he probably felt to go back to his locker after every class so that he could unlock my locker, he actually taught me how to unlock it myself! Hooray! I wasn’t going to have to drop out!
I really enjoyed the rest of my school years. Years that I got to experience only because Richard came to my rescue and taught me one of the most important lessons I learned in 7th grade … how to open the combination lock on a locker.
Tomorrow: The story of how learning to use my combination lock got me in trouble!