High School Never Changes
I went to an open house at Howdy’s high school where they had the parents follow their kids’ schedules. We got to spend about 15 minutes in each class meeting the teachers and hearing about what goes on in the day to day for our kids.
What really struck me was how little things had changed.
Most of the teachers were pretty cool, but there’s always that one. You know which one I’m talking about. The one who sees it as his personal mission that every child who walks through his hallowed doors isn’t merely successful in high school but also prepared for advanced college work. Once all the parents sat down in his class, he gave us paper and pencils and told us we had a quiz. Talk about instant bonding. All our heads snapped up immediately and we met each others’ wide eyed stares with the same panicked look that conveyed what we were all thinking: “Test?! There’s a test? But I didn’t study!” He then proceeded to ask us questions about our school district, questions only the most obsessively informed person (or, you know, the one who actually knows what all those levies and bonds are about) would actually know. We all failed miserably.
My high school wasn’t anywhere near as huge as Howdy’s, but even I had to struggle to get from one end of the campus to the other without having to break out in an unacceptable run. And wouldn’t you know that Howdy’s schedule required him to go from one corner of the school all the way out to the farthest room there is. In fact, I overheard the principal saying he’d never actually been to that classroom(!). Of course the class after that was just as far away. It’s tough to do when you’re a teen; it’s life-threatening to do as a middle-aged adult.
Remember walking down the halls and having to navigate around those couples who didn’t care to keep their make-out sessions private? Yeah, that doesn’t change as you get older. Apparently a set of parents met up at the school after both had driven straight from work to the open house. Their very “warm” embrace was observed by the principal, who then took it upon himself to announce over the PA system that PDA is not acceptable at the school–even if you’re an adult. Em-barr-assing!
But the thing that instantly transported me back to my days at Franklin Pierce High School was the gym. As soon as I stepped onto that wood floor, the smell hit me. Decades worth of ground-in, fermented sweat stench and foot funk were so steeped into the walls and the floor that even a warehouse full of Lysol couldn’t cut through the stank. That is a uniquely high school smell that no one can really claim to miss.
I guess it’s true what they say–the more things change, the more they stay the same.