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I love music, books, movies, blah, blah, blah! I love people, learning new things, and always progressing to be a better person.

Monday, May 31, 2010

High School

"True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country." - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Not long ago, I was having a discussion with my step-brothers (to save their embarrassment, I will not disclose their names). Let's call them Jake and Zack C.

Wait, that's too obvious...how about J & Z Corbett? Yes, that will do just fine. (For the record, I know that is a Simpsons joke.)

J, Z, and I were having a discussion about college.
(No, not Jay-Z the rapper, smart ass.)

We started off in typical fashion, jawing over class schedules, professors, and academic degrees in general when I brought up the point that I love college infinitely more than high school. My hatred for all things high school couldn't even be measured.

Growing up in Payson, Utah, I wasn't afforded the best learning environment.

Between teachers who were arrested for drug possession, foreign exchange students who made a terrorist video tape after 9/11, teachers sleeping with students (I graduated with this one), firearms at basketball games, and an overall attitude of "I don't give a shit" from 95% of my teachers, it was hard to really like my high school. I had educators who would put in a video and then fall asleep in their offices. It's cute for one day, but how many times can you really get a "message" from watching The Great Gatsby?

Anyway, I was surprised to find that my comment about hating high school was only met with an awkward silence. Z shuffled his feet for a moment and then sputtered, "I...I liked high school."
"Yeah," J added. "Me too. I wish I could go back there."

Z agreed to this statement by nodding with extreme approval.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is where my mind exploded...
















(Much like this)

They actually WANTED to go back to high school?

"Why?" I scoffed through my remaining neck hole.
"Well, you know..." Z stated, apparently not hearing my scoff.
"It was fun. All of your friends were there and you could just hang out," J offered.

This is where I stopped the conversation. I couldn't--and still can't--believe that people pine over something as trivial as HIGH SCHOOL.

When I was in high school, I couldn't wait to get out! I had a lot of friends who were in high school with me, but I still didn't want to spend my days in what could be called a glorified day care center.

Remember how important everything seemed in high school? Every stupid little squabble over who had nicer clothes or more friends? Remember how you felt when you realized none of it was important? I was 14 when I realized that fact...and that's probably what I hated the most. It was fake, a sham. High school is the snake oil salesman of importance.

The more I thought about why anyone would want to "relive" high school, the closer I came to the realization that high school was probably all these people had to begin with.

It's the people who, after graduating, come back the next year and hang out in the parking lot or talk about how awesome they were in high school.

No offense to J or Z, (or to Jay-Z) it's just that they seem to have really defined themselves by who they were in high school. It seems, at least to them, that high school was the peak of their popularity and self-importance. They look back on those days as the best of their lives...but what does that make their present?

Fortunately, that's not the way I see the world. I had great experiences in high school...but I still wouldn't want to go back and relive my "glory days." I would prefer to push forward and create new memories, new experiences, and meet new friends. I can leave the conceded drama of high school behind me and be content in what happens now.

Once again, I love my family members to death...but let high school go because it sure as hell has let go of you.

4 comments:

britums said...

Bitter bitter man. I too loved high school.
High School is a true paradox. It's your first chance to grasp any type of freedom without fear of true failure (read:credit score/house payment). It's also your last chance at childhood; the chance to see your friends daily and do all kinds of activites that you'll never get a to do again as an adult. If you are like me you also enjoyed learning, in fact I loved learning and learning for FREE, at the time I was fortunate to have really good teachers. While not everyone gets a glorious experience you shouldn't scoff at others because your experience wasn't as good. While going back to high school would be great just for the lack of responsibility that is associated with it, I personally wouldn't just because I have to much too lose. I don't blame those who would jump at the chance if only for a day or two.

Neil Hiatt said...

I'm not saying you are wrong, but I heartily disagree. Also, you really need to read through that again. I DID have a good high school experiences. My friends were there and everything. But, the "learning" you so joyously loved in high school is immensly curtailed compared to college. I mean my God just look at the text book debate going on in high schools across America right now. You are discouraged from learning anything that parents might find "offensive" as well as from sharing personal opinions in the class room. And it's the responsibility of adulthood I enjoy. It's what truly guides you into reality and out of the superficial shackles high school offered. And as for freedom I call bull, you are required BY LAW to attend so how much freedom is that really? Specifically here are just a few rights you've obtained since graduating smoking, drinking legally, voting, gun ownership, ability to rent a car or hotel room, etc. I might add that it's the freedom I am allowed as an adult to scoff at such frivolities (by the way my family went to the exact same high school as me...so check your facts there). Also, I don't know what school you went to but it cost money for us to go each year. Every field trip, sport, club, tuition, and locker cost us (it's the reason I had to work as a lunch worker all through elementary and high school because we couldn't afford lunch for me...or so I was told). And you can not even begin to tell me that the experiences you've had since high school (e.g. world travel, true love, and yes EVEN HOMEOWNERSHIP) are not infinitely more enjoyable than the ones you had or were allowed to have in high school. Call me bitter all you want (I just see that as an ad-hominem attack to deter from the point) but it doesn't detract that I am, in fact, making a valid point. Call me bitter, but I, am a realist.

britums said...

The freedom I am referring to and the freedom you are referring to are two different things. I am in no way discussing legal freedoms and even if I was at 14 you are in no way prepared for "smoking, drinking legally, voting, gun ownership, ability to rent a car or hotel room, etc." You are prepared however to begin spreading your wings and testing the waters of your own independence which for me and possibly others is what High School was. Obviously I'm aware that all lower education is payed for with taxes but thank you for pointing out the obvious all the same. I am also aware of the need to pay for extra curricular activities and lunches but that wasn't even part of the discussion, nor was was the text book debate. As for the level of learning you receive in college I am well aware that you receive a better education in college otherwise you wouldn't go. I stand by my argument that I enjoyed learning in High School and never once said it didn't need to be augmented with a college education. As for attacking you I wasn't (more like teasing you on the bitter thing sorry if it offended). My point was not to argue with you but simply to answer the question you posed: "why anyone would want to relive high school" I can see why there is some appeal and I also stated that I wouldn't because as you said my life since is far superior. That doesn't negate that for some it would be worth going back at least in my opinion.

Neil Hiatt said...

But the major problem stated isn't reliving high school it was that they didn't live AFTER high school. They look back on high school as when they were important and cool as I look to the future for new experiences instead of reliving the past.