Summer has a song.
It's a song with no particular melody, but somehow it reminds me of my childhood.
There's crickets and junebugs, cars driving on the freeway, the wind rattling wind chimes.
Sometimes there's a radio on and the crack of a bat is heard.
Maybe a mosquito is zapped as someone pours another glass of iced tea.
Somewhere, kids are yelling.
And at one time, I was the kids yelling.
But now, it's different.
The days of mud pies and bike rides are waning.
Summer changes time signatures and tunes.
And it's not necessarily a bad thing.
I guess I'm just growing up.
So it became that in the summer between freshman and sophomore year:
I end up in a tower, with a job, making sure kids don't yell, along with more important things.
I realize I like talking about school.
I realize I keep my room much neater when I have a roommate.
I realize Weaver is filled with haunting noises (kidding).
But this isn't mostly about me.
I'm just a note on a sheet part of a book.
And Challenge is the prelude for 39 Class of 2016'ers.
They're mostly awesome kids.
They complete pre-calculus and chemistry homework.
Sometimes complain about how late they're up.
But they're hard workers.
They ask me to tell them a story.
I tell of my trippy EPICS teacher, all the D's I've received on exams including the most fateful one on my Earth final.
Why you should probably sleep the night before your Chem final.
Nights exploring the roof of Brown Building and creepy elevators in Maple Hall.
I listen to their story.
How Challenge is their gateway into Mines.
For some, a dream that looked bleak, but now has a chance.
Okay, they're pretty awesome kids.
They know how to have fun already, and are now acquainted with dorm pranks.
In four weeks, they form many inside jokes, sayings, and sounds, a quartet, and friendships.
They know how to decorate a suite window pretty well.
And do the Harvard Baseball dance to Call Me Maybe.
Within a couple weeks, I could tell they are all nerds at heart and belong here.
They learn a lot in four weeks, and more than academics.
And they got a bunch of pretty cool people to teach them all that stuff, if I do say so myself.
Scary to think it's already been a year since I was about to start Mines.
I kind of miss the feeling, the uncertainty.
The 'freshness'; the first-ness of everything.
I talk to them like I might have it figured out.
But I only have freshman year figured out.
Sophomore year will have it's own rises and falls.
And though last year I was scared and uncertain, and anxiously excited,
I'm now scared but respectful, and patiently excited.
Some summers are for ice cream, but maybe this one was for growing up a little bit.
And again, not just me, but everyone who needed a prelude.
A short taste to the event to come.
A way to turn high-schoolers into college freshman.
To turn me from a freshman to a sophomore.
Sophomore....It doesn't sound so weird saying that now.