Coming out of my shell by singing

Can you keep a secret? Before I tell you, let me give you some background information. I am a member of the Marquette Senior High School Forensics Team (very formal sounding, I know). This year, I competed in the prose category and, after many smaller tournaments; I managed to go to state finals downstate at Western Michigan University. It was a three-day adventure filled with actors doing pieces that were comedic, dramatic, horrifyingand there was even this one guy who acted like a dogthat was interesting.

My first day of the tournament did not begin until late in the afternoon. There were three rounds that day. The first one began at 2 p.m. and the last one started at 8 p.m.. By then, I had been away from my family for two days – it took us one whole day to get to downstate, settled into our hotel, and eat dinner. I am, by nature, a homebody. I missed my family and I missed home. This made me feel uncomfortable. At the end of my last round of the day it was relatively dark. And I must’ve seen too many horror films because darkness also happens to make me feel uncomfortable.

Now here is where the secret comes in. In order to make myself more comfortable, I did the opposite. I did something I would never usually do unless behind closed doors – I sang. I had to get from one side of the campus to the other in plain awkwardness so I did something that would, on most occasions, make me feel even more awkward.

For the record, it wasn’t like I was out there alone. Other people were coming from or going to their last rounds too. This is why I should have felt more peculiar. When I first began singing it was one of those shy, nervous sort of singing voices thatwellshy and nervous people make. I was worried that people would look at me and think something like “why is this person making dying cat noises” – which is what I assume I sound like when I sing. As I got closer to where I was supposed to be, my singing became more confident. Note: not better, just more confident.

I would consider that night a milestone because something important happened. As I was walking and singing with a stool in one hand and a backpack in the other, I don’t think I realized what was truly happening. I believe I am coming out of that metaphorical shell; I am breaking down the walls that keep me from being social and communicating with others. I am becoming a person. Dun, dun, dunnnnnnn!

Editor’s note: Theresa Hermann, 15, is a sophomore at Marquette Senior High School. She is a member of the 8-18 Media Senior Team and she plays trumpet in the high school band. In her spare time she likes to write and make movies. She is a daughter of James and Gail Hermann. 8-18 Media is a youth journalism program of the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum. Through the program, teams of kids write news stories and commentaries on issues important to youth and about any good, or bad, things youth are up to. For more information call 906-226-7874