Yearbooks are quite melancholy when you think about it hard enough. They are the mausoleums of our youth, where we lay to rest the memories of the years past. Your titles from that year are gone. You are no longer captain of the football team, no matter how many times you keep telling yourself you are. Those friends you thought that would stay with you forever are now long gone into the abyss of the real world. I look back at my yearbooks and there is a hole, a huge gaping hole. This hole is really only apparent to me at this point and and probably my transcript. In 2010, I was asked if I would like to skip the 8th grade and I said yes.
Skipping a grade was unheard of in the small town of Daleville Alabama. No one was ever asked about it let alone pursued it. I can remember the day the question was thrown at me quite vividly. It was a very normal day. I had a very dull first block in Mrs. Maddox's English class.( Nothing out of the ordinary there.) Second block I had a decent Pre-algebra class with Coach Turman. The one thing that stood out the most about this normal day was that it was a Thursday. Thursday was T.A.G day. Once every Thursday, the T.A.G. or Talented and Gifted, met up in Mrs. Mcduffie's room. This was a group of exceptionally bright students to whom I felt no superior. I still do not. We reviewed our chess lesson for that day and were about to go to lunch when Mrs. Mcduffie asked me talk to her. As everyone else shoveled out, she sat me down and proceeded to talk to me. She told me about the potential and maturity I had for my age. Most of the speech went in one ear and out the other.( What else would you expect from a hungry seventh grader?) But then, she said it. The words sort of just spilt out of her mouth and flooded my head. “ Hani, I think you should skip a grade.” To this day, I do not believe I grasp how important that sentence was to my life.
The following days made me feel like a lab rat. Throughout my...