Part 2- The Calling
Halfway through the school year and we all found out that the school would be shutting down at the end of the year. It really wasn't that surprising considering all that was going on at the school. All the 7th graders were scheduled to PE and it was crazy out there. Some of my friends were in choir last quarter so they had gotten permission to go to the choir class during PE to rehearse. I asked them to ask Mr. V if I could come with them. I was too shy to ask. He allowed me to come in. I was just looking for a place to go to escape the madness outside.
The choir had already had a few performances and was featured on the news for a song they recorded. I thought that was pretty cool. While I was sitting in there rehearsal I began to really get into the songs. I started to participate and Mr. V was okay with that. They were recording more songs and I really wanted to be a part of it. I don't know how but I built up enough courage to ask Mr. V if I could record. He let me try. The first time I recorded, you could hardly hear a word I was singing. I was so nervous. But for some reason I felt I had to do this. I was not even supposed to be in this class but I felt it was where I was meant to be.
I was probably the smallest kid at the school which was not a good thing. I was always picked on and pushed around. It had gotten so bad that my mom decided to take me out and homeschool me for the rest of the year. Mr. V was not too happy about this. I told him I would probably not be able to participate in the final concert because I would not be at school. He told me he couldn't do the concert without me. I was his first student to sign up for choir. During orientation I saw Mr. Varnado standing in the walk way and he introduced himself to me and my mom. When he told me he was the choir teacher my mom told him I was interested in joining. He gave me the sign up sheet and I was signing next to number one. He would always remind me of that. Mr. V begged me to find a way to come to rehearsal. My mom actually agreed to bring me to school everyday for the last period of the day so that I could rehearse with the choir. I was so happy. Everyday they would call Mr. V to the office to come and get me so that no one would pick on me. He would always have a grin on his face when he saw me in the office.
We were almost done recording and we were all excited about our performance. Then one day Mr. V came in with a new song for us. When he started playing it we realized it was a slow song. This was different from the other songs we learned and recorded. Something happened after we learned it. A strange quietness came over the class and when we sung the last phrase "If you can use me, then use me," I immediately asked to go to the restroom. As I ran through the restroom door tears came rushing out of my eyes. I had no clue what was happening but I couldn't control it. What was this I was feeling and why was it so strong? Another student came through the door, so I quickly wiped my tears and left to go back to class. When I walked in Mr. V looked at me. He knew.
We had recorded all the songs and we all received a copy to take home. In class we had rehearsed and Mr. V gave us some time to relax. I really like playing on the computer and I get really excited when I get the chance to. Ju'Elz was hogging the computer and I really wanted to get on. Well we got into an argument that ended in a little scuffle. Mr. V was right on the other side of the door, and when he saw us we saw a side of him we had not seen before. He was in rage but so was I. I was sobbing. I began arguing with him. I told him everyone was always picking on me. I told him it happened at home, in other classes, and now he was picking on me too. I think this made him more upset because he got louder. He said he had always been patient with me and always took my side. He said everyone would call me his favorite student because he always showed so much love to me. Which was true but I didn't want to hear that at the time. I told him I quit the choir. And he said fine.
I meant it. I was done. I got in my mom's car and was going to tell her I quit. She had our CD playing. She was singing all the songs. All into it. She began to tell me how proud she was of me. She was really laying on the compliments. Now we had this CD for a few days and of all days this is when she wants to share her feelings about it. Shoot. Why do I let my emotions get the best of me? I began to think about the things Mr. V said, and they were true. I probably really hurt him with the things I said because he really does care about me. I had to apologize. The next day when I saw him I told him what happened at home and apologized. He just looked at me and kept walking. I asked him if he accepted my apology, and he said "Yeah Robert," rubbed my head, and kept walking.