“Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti, No, no, no, no, no: Reflecting On The Better Memories Under The Cafe Ceiling”

Prospect High School’s Choir Department and Show Choir are praised highly throughout the country, and they continue to thrive with success to this very day. I used to be a part of the department, through choir classes and the mixed gender, award winning show choir Mixed Company. “Mixed Co”, as the members refer to it as, would practice choreography and sometimes vocal lessons in the lunchroom. On Tuesday and Thursday nights, all forty-something of us would set up risers in the cafeteria and bust a sweat trying to be the best we could be for a couple hours. It was very intense.

When I enter the cafeteria now, two memories cross my mind: One being the everlasting, fun memories I have made and continue to make with my best friends, cracking jokes, giving advice, and just conversing with one another. And the other is the ceiling. Yep, the ceiling. Because we show choir members would be nearly touching the ceiling because of how high those risers were. As I previously stated, I am not a member of anything choir or show choir related…and I do not miss it. As much as the cafeteria makes me smile, it also makes me cringe. Quitting “Mixed Co” was the greatest decision I have made in my high school years thus far.

A part of this assignment was to take a picture of the location where we have felt such a strong feeling. I thought about taking a picture of the Choir ROOM, but I could not fathom going back in there again if I did not have to. So I chose the cafeteria, because I can counter the bad memories with good ones (the memories with my friends that I recently commented on). You see, the two years that I was in Prospect Choir caused me to feel sad, bullied, mad, and lost. Unfortunately, this is primarily due to other classmates. I was in the top choir here at Prospect, Madrigals, and I was the first person in the history of that choir to quit it. Obvious cliques were formed within the people in that class, with exclusion obnoxiously present. I would often be told to not speak, leave people alone, or (the worst one) students would sometimes just stare at me and say nothing.

To be in “Mixed Co”, you have to be in a choir class as part of your school schedule. The same people in Madrigals were also in the show choir, so I had to endure this rudeness not only every day in that class, but also twice a week at night. I wanted to make friends and have a good time during those days in the choir room and nights on the risers in the cafe, but I did not do that. Instead, I was dealing with perfectionistic, selfish, closed-minded individuals who would rather correct you then have a help you. Was everybody involved in the department like this? No. Sadly, it was still 80% of the people, if you ask me. Many of these rude people graduated, but many are still in my grade, so I would still have to deal with them. All of these hardships led to a big change of emotions: I no longer found fun in singing and dancing, which was something I used to love. Granted, I will still sing and dance around the house and in the shower, but I do not enjoy doing it in public much. To say that show choir “just was not for me” is an understatement.

Now, however-I am happier. I have more time to spend with my friends, family, work, and other extracurriculars. I in no way “hate” the choir department, it is just that my time in it was full of bullying, backlash, and careless support from people I wanted to respect and like. I have found myself enjoying post-show choir life. And now, when I see the cafeteria ceiling, I think more of the memories I’ve made and continue to make with my friends than the memories I made with that group. And I smile. Because I broke through that ceiling (metaphorically, of course) and did what was right for me.