Manna Wu's Day in Confusion City

'Ohh!' Manna groaned as she stepped into the building on her first day of high school and realized that she was not in any way ready. She had had trouble sleeping the night before, and couldn't have slept more than four hours. The school was noisy, hot, and crowded, and the classrooms were hard to find and confusing once she got there.

She wasn't sure where she was supposed to sit, and when she finally did sit down, the teacher often had all the students get up and move again, usually to put them alphabetical order, which meant that she was always at the end. The desks were arranged different ways in every classroom, so Manna didn't think that she could remember where she was supposed to sit. She found that most of the time, she didn't have the friends she wanted in her classes. In almost every class, she had to fill out redundant 'student information forms,' and the teachers gave out too much information about the classes, so much that Manna couldn't keep everything straight. Hearing the same thing over and over again got boring.

When she went to lunch, it was even more crowded than the hallways had been, and she had trouble finding her friends. The lunch lines were confusing; she couldn't tell which line was for what since there were so many people. There were so many choices! She had to decide whether to have hot lunch or a la carte, a sandwich or something else. She got in line, but then the lines kept crossing each other. Manna dodged this way and that, squirming around the huge upperclassmen, trying to grab something of nutritional value and pay for it. Those annoying older kids, who undoubtedly felt that they were the bosses of the school, kept cutting into line. Manna tried to keep her place while gathering as few as possible dirty looks. Eventually she got something to eat and headed off in search of a place to sit. She finally found a seat with a few of her friends. She had just enough time to scarf down her food before the bell rang and she was off to yet another class.

When she tried to get to gym, she realized that she had no idea where to go. She finally got to the field house after asking a teacher, but the bell rang as she was still hurrying down the hall, and she was late. Luckily, since it was the first day, she didn't get in trouble. They didn't even do anything in gym; the teacher just stood there and talked. At least, being a non-academic class, most of the things that Manna heard weren't the same as she had been hearing all day, but it was still confusing.

When she went to French class, her head started to spin because the teacher spoke mostly French with only a little bit in English, and that was, like everything else, confusing! At least the teacher slowed down a bit to make sure that everyone understood. Another good thing was that the students got to choose where they wanted to sit, so Manna ended up getting to sit by some of her friends, but that didn't make her feel any less confused.

After school, she had to go buy a backpackload of supplies. She needed a large binder for most of her classes, and she needed all sorts of other things: folders, dividers, notebooks, and paper. She had to cover all the textbooks she had gotten, and more were sure to come later. Finally Manna got to go home and start on her homework!

By the end of the day, she was ready to collapse and could have used another summer vacation, but Manna knew, as she sagely said to her friends, 'In the beginning, all things are hard before they become easy.'

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