When Your Best Isn’t Good Enough

A Love Story By Addison James


I hate that time of day. That time of day when lunch ends. That time of day when lunch ends and if you listen hard enough you can almost hear the soft satisfying click of your 7:00am alarm being turned off. That time of day when it’s time to fight your way through crowds of face-sucking sophomores to a class that you hate. That time of day when sixth period class begins.

I don’t like the class, the subject, or my garrulous classmates and the idiotic nonsense that they ceaselessly spew. I sit in the back of the room across from someone who parties all weekend and next to someone who is supposedly quiet in other classes yet can’t figure out why he can’t stop talking in this class. I’m forced to sit quietly amongst a mob of avid talkers. It’s equivalent to that feeling of standing in the middle of a crowded room screaming at the maximum volume your voice will allow. The glass on the windows trembles with the sudden force of sound being blasted through the atmosphere, and yet, no one in the otherwise silent room seems to notice - that feeling of quiet desperation.

I don't enjoy this class. I don’t want to be in this class and I don’t have a choice.

Next year I have to choose between an advanced version of this class and Bio Ethics. I refuse to take the despised class next year. Since freshmen year I have been taking the classes I have to take based on state requirements, my own personal standards, or automatic enrollment due to BioScience. While some of these classes have been absolutely amazing, I would not have originally picked them if they hadn’t been required.

Bio Ethics is the one class I want to take next year because it sounds like fun. I haven’t taken a class just for fun since I was enrolled in the public school system. Music wasn’t even for fun. I love music and playing the oboe, but I can’t say that the rarity of oboe players didn’t help me decide to play the oboe over the cello or violin. As for BioScience Academy, I want to go into sciences so it’s a logical choice, and while I enjoy most aspects of science, once again the extra push towards this program was a future in a science oriented field. Bio Ethics I want to take for fun. I want to take a class that is designed to make you think and explore the darkest depths of truth. I want an eco friendly test that questions only the morals and not the brains. I want to take this class.

And then I found out physics next year is mandatory for BioScience students. While I see the irrefutable logic behind this change, it definitely rocked my world a little bit more than I would have liked it to. You see, it forced me to choose between Bio Ethics and the advanced Sixth Period class, it made me choose between something I love, and something colleges love.

While I can graduate with two years of the Sixth Period class and still survive college admissions, I won’t thrive in the way that I want to. So, I’ll take a six week college class over the summer to make up the year I lost so I can take the class I’ve been looking forward to for the past three years. It’s really not a big deal; it’s just an unfortunate thing I have to do.

So really, I’m not mad about the forced physics or the sudden decision I had to make between something I love and something I can’t stand. I'm mad about something a friend of mine said in regards to what caused the lost year of the Sixth Period class.

You see, my friend and I took music during out first year of high school with the hopes of advancing our musical abilities. However, little did we know how much the music program was suffering at the time so it ended up being a class well wasted, sacrificing a year of the Sixth Period class in the process.

I chose to take music thinking I wouldn’t want to take a fourth year of the Sixth Period and I could get into colleges with just three years without a problem, two years however, not so much. Because I took music, I lost a year of a class that colleges consider necessary for the university life. As my friend put it, “we chose music over our future.”

These words, spoken about two months ago, cut so deep into my soul that there will be a permanent scar and residual pain for a good portion of the remaining junior and senior year. The phrase is so twisted and heart wrenching simply typing it makes tears come to my eyes. What’s worse is that I can’t find anything to use as a logical shield against these painful words. In my entire arsenal of rational thinking I can’t for the life of me find the proper rhetoric to defeat this clause. In my reasonable thought process I can’t help but to justify this condemnation by admitting that if I hadn’t taken music freshmen year I wouldn’t be in such an unfortunate Sixth Period situation. However, my heart is constantly rejecting this non-faulty logic with a simple argument: its music.

Why wouldn't I have chosen music? It’s music. It’s pure, creative, interpretive, emotional, inventive, soulful, inspirational, uplifting, cloud parting, sun shining, life has meaning, the world really isn’t that bad, ethical, meaningful, exploratory, explanatory, expressional, contradictory, it is everything and anything you want it to be. How couldn’t I have chosen music?

That fateful day freshman year when I signed up for Buena High School Wind Ensemble I was doing what was best for the health and well being of my soul. That day I did my best. Colleges won’t take me seriously with just two years of the sixth period class so I’ll take the class at the community college to get the credits. I’ll have the minimum three years of Sixth Period while other high schoolers will go the full four years and be deemed fluent. However, I did my best.

So what if my best isn't going to be good enough?