Friday, February 15, 2013

High School--the time of your life or not?

I started this post a long time ago, but since it's relative to my Moments in Life them, I dug it back up.

I was watching Glee the other night. Mr. Shue was talking to Coach Beast, asking her to please stay. He said something to the effect of, people like you and me, we had a terrible time in high school and yet we return to that place every day.

Lately, I've been hearing what a horrible place high school is. The story line of the Glee was quite timely and relevant to part of the reason I've been hearing about it--the bullying of openly and not so openly gay kids. It's horrible. There shouldn't be bullying. I just read The Wave by Todd Strasser. It took me about 4 hours no kidding. It's about a high school history teacher teaching his kids about the Nazis. The kids are appalled and asked how people could let that happen. How could they join a movement like that? How could they turn a blind eye to death camps? The teacher was stumped, he said we don't really know. But upon further thought, he did know, it's just very very difficult to verbalize--unless you experience it. So he starts a movement in his senior history class called The Wave. They have a special salute, special symbol, motto, etc. I won't ruin all the details, but once he starts the experiment he realizes that he can't just say, OK no more. The kids have to realize the danger of this movement and stop it.

Bottom line though the kids who liked the movement the most were the ones who weren't popular or were bullied. Think about it. 

The kids. That's the key. We can preach and give experiential programs and read books, but the kids have to stop it. Our job is to give them the tools.  I don't know exactly what those tools are and how you empower the kids to use them.  I am very interested in the recent bullying seminars they have put on at all levels of the Mariemont Schools.  They talk about bullying not so much as stealing lunch money or pushing and shoving.  It's more about exclusion and leaving kids out, maybe a little name calling.  And now they can't get away from it--you didn't get invited to a party, well here it is in full living color--pictures of the people you thought were, you want to be, your friends.  Someone have a sleepover and not invite you, oh look here's a picture of them all having a pillow fight, and here they are having pancakes for breakfast.  It seems to be much harder for girls than it is for boys, or maybe it's that my girl talks about how hard it is and my boy either doesn't care (I hope because he's happy in his own skin) or keeps it inside (which scares the shit out of me).

But I digress (shocker). So apart from the gay bullying which is so serious I can't even address it (and if it went on in my high school, I was blind to it), was high school such a bad place?

I loved high school. It was some of the best years of my life.  I think my sophomore and junior years were the best of the best.  I loved my school, I loved my friends, I loved my boy friend, I loved my teachers.  Sure I cried myself to sleep more than once, sure "the love of my life" broke up with me the summer after sophomore year (oh it was so so sad), sure I didn't win Homecoming Princess or Homecoming Queen (it was an honor just to be nominated, except for the fact that Jody Mersel campaigned against me because she was pissed I got nominated and she didn't), and yes I basically took a total stranger to senior prom because no one asked me (he was cute but behaved rather rudely at the end of the night and had to be sent home).

Some snapshots:

Latin class--I loved Latin Class.  Robin, Beth, Robert, David, Kimberlee and of course Mrs Freeman.  Who else?  May have to get the old year book out and look.

to be continued

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