Saturday, April 30, 2005

High School Sucks - Cliques in High School and the People Who Hate Them, by Kyle J

High School Sucks - Cliques in High School and the People Who Hate Them

High school sucks. It’s a fact of life that high school sucks. The only thing is that you don’tknow high school sucks until you get there. Prior to beginning high school, kids think it is wonderful and they get excited just thinking that one day they’ll finally get to go there. Kids are stupid like that.

The one thing I got out of high school that I can use in real life is the ability to desensitize myself to what other people think. Oh yeah... and that the general high school population consists of lame-brained people without an original thought in their heads. I learned these facts quickly in my first year of high school when I was made fun of for tucking in my shirt and yes, believe it or not, I was also made fun of for wearing glasses. Just to give you an idea of the mentality of these people, let us move ahead 5 years to my graduating year.

These same people are making snarky comments because I haven’t shaved for a couple of days, and I work as a ‘lowly’ clerk at a retail store. It’s just hard to take these people seriously when they smell funny and rely on mommy and daddy’s allowance for drug money. It’s hard to take these people seriously when they get into fist fights because someone made out with his best friend’s girlfriend whilst in a high, drunken state, or better yet because, “OH MY GOD! Like, she totally used my lip-gloss without asking, and she may have herpes from whoring around the school!” It’s hard to take these people seriously when they come to school in their pajamas… really, what’s up with that anyway? Can you not take 30 seconds to throw on a pair of jeans? Anyway, I digress.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m a firm believer that high school sucks. It’s not just the cliquey, popular people that make it suck, it’s really everything to do with school in general, whether it be the students, the teachers, or the building itself.

The best times I ever had while attending high school had to be when a few friends and I were kicking apples against the outside walls of the building. It was a daily ritual back in grade 10, and we code named it ‘cheese fondue’ so nobody would know. Every day an apple would smash and embed itself in the creviced wall of the school, and every day we’d laugh until we cried. The best part was in the spring, a bunch of ants detected the decaying apples, and ended up infesting the choir room. Good times.

The only other good time worth noting would also be in grade 10: English 10 with Ms. W. I absolutely despised that old hag and everybody knew it. She had no idea what she was doing. Then it happened. She made an example out of me - an example for all others to learn from, a totally bad example. Boy was I mad. I was so enraged you could almost hear that ball at the top of the thermometer inside my being, exploding. My blood was boiling, and that was it for her. I made it my mission to make her life a living hell, and every day that I went to her class, there was a 65% chance I was going to get kicked out. I must’ve been kicked out 40-some-odd times, but it was great fun because I felt a sort of come-uppance towards her. I heard that I even made her cry once, and it was that one thought that helped me sleep at night. Not just because she deserved it for making me feel horrible and further ostracized, but she also deserved it because she was a horrible, mean-spirited teacher. She was getting older and she didn’t seem to realize that the students, the popular culture, as well as the curriculum, had changed.

I guess I can’t just blame Ms. W. for everything. I’d say about 75% of the teachers I had either didn’t know what they were doing or didn’t know how to deal with the behaviour of their students. First of all, if you don’t know anything about geography, DON’T TEACH GEOGRAPHY! Likewise, if you don’t like teenagers, DON’T TEACH TEENAGERS!. Simple concept if you ask me.

Second, you’d swear half the teachers had never written anything before, the way they left chicken scratch on the boards.

And lastly, I don’t think most teachers know how to deal with teens. I know teenagers are “there to learn” and are expected to sit, listen, and act maturely, but that is NEVER going to happen, so deal with it. Where is the empathy for students’ situations; the earning of respect, rather than demanding it? Teachers need to know that different types of teens need to be dealt with in different ways. If the kid that craves attention is making comments while you’re teaching, try not to acknowledge him in a bad way or else he’ll learn that acting that way puts all eyes on him. On the other hand, if the kid who never speaks looks like he/she is fine, then leave him/her alone; onlycheck in on occasion to make sure everything is understood.

If you were to speak with many adults about their high school years, the stories are similar: arrogant cliques, the quiet student who (someone?) has elected as the school scapegoat, the distant teachers who don’t have the time nor the patience to help the students who need it, because they’re busy babysitting the stoners and idiots in the back.

High school should be game where the contestants ie: administrators and teachers earn points: by attempting to make students sit, demonstrating respect towards students, showing empathy towards students’ situations, ensuring no public humiliation of a student is tolerated, listening and being available, and most of all, making learning comfortable, and fun.

Instead it appears to be a game of the Ancient Romans - but instead of throwing Christians to the lions, they’re throwing students out to see who can destroy whom (perhaps while making bets?) Luckily, my 5 year layered, built up armour has given me an edge. Hopefully, they’ll throw the cliques to the lions, first.

Kyle J.

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