What They Don’t Teach You In High School
If I could be a day, I think I’d be Thursday. Why? Thursday is the day you spend thinking, “At least tomorrow is Friday” and begin to lose the bags under your eyes. You’re getting used to the blunders that school puts in front of every step, and clinging to that hope that something better is around the corner. People begin to make weekend plans. People bond over their mutual longing for the weekend. If you look past its crushing reality, Thursdays can be bearable, if not sometimes enjoyable.
Mondays suck. Tuesdays are blah. Wednesdays you’re stuck in the middle of your week. Fridays are either full of hope and laughter or crankiness and drained faces.
And then there’s the weekend. Ah, two whole days of no tests, notes, uncomfortable desks or stress over assignments you couldn’t care less about. Two days of freedom to be whomever, wherever, whenever. And then your freedom gets sucked into the vortex of doom, a.k.a. Monday.
Today’s a Monday. And as I see it, your Mondays can either go three ways:
2.) This sucks
3.) THIS FUCKING SUCKS!!!
Maybe three times a school year I will experience a happy Monday, but that is nothing to expect on a regular basis.
I especially hate it when your Monday is going pretty good, and you start to think, “Hey, today just might be a good day” and then one of your friends comes up to you, with just “Shoot me.”
Everyone hates school. Even those people who love it. Make ‘em choose between a vacation in the Bahamas and school and what do you think they’ll pick? Chapter eleven vocab, all sixty-six words, or a cozy, warm breeze on the softest sand they’ve ever felt?
You feel bad, worried about your friend. You feel worse for not being able to say anything to make them happier. And slowly you feel your good mood slip towards “get me outta here”.
What’s worse than being locked in the ridiculous guilt of not having the magic words to make someone’s life better is the resentment that builds up behind your care. If they hadn’t said that to you, if they had been having a good day, nothing would have changed and you could keep believing that Mondays like this one could be (gasp!) good.
But we all know the truth: friends are the ones that bring you up, keep you sane when the world is full of bullshit, so you’d do anything to make them feel better when they’re down.
That’s just another reason to feel bad though—they raise you up, (cheesy wording, I know) so why can’t you do the same?
In these moments, it’s time to remember all the times you looked at your friend and thought, “I wouldn’t mind kicking you in the pants right now”. All the times you were in a funky mood and they were riding the flipping reading rainbow. There are no perfect words. There are only two choices:
- Talking about it (whatever’s wrong)
- Forgetting about it and distracting them (maybe a kick in the pants wouldn’t be so bad after all…)
It’s hard to be a dumb, stupid teenager when you’re trying to help a dumb, stupid teenager. It’s even harder when you’re an ignorant, clueless adult. But no one minds that one because teenagers don’t want their parents’ help and parents don’t know how to give it.
What is so wrong about school is that it ISN’T just about education. People make home-schooled-kids jokes for a reason: when you go to school, you meet people. Interact with a large number of peers, even if you’re the Unabomber in the corner. You get to understand what other people are like, and why what they’re like makes them annoying.
Schools do an awfully hard job of trying to get us to focus on the non-fact that it’s all about cultivating our minds. WRONG! If you were to climb in the brains of everyone in my first hour, you’d know that a good half of them would rather be asleep, at least two are mocking the teacher, four are thinking about how they couldn’t care less about what we’re being taught, one is thinking about sex, three are wrapped up in their lives, and there are maybe five of all of those people using a fourth of their brain power to actually take the notes. No one is captivated. Inspired. Interested.
Isn’t that what knowledge is supposed to be all about? Isn’t that why during the Renaissance people started thinking education was something worth learning about? That all those crazy, educated people who actually bathed talked about stuff that sounded kind of cool?
If schools want our attention, they need to start to think about the people they’re trying to educate. We don’t want to know from textbooks, we want to know from experience. Teach us something we will use that day. Teach us how to watch movies like we read books-picking out character motives and plots in the first ten minutes. Teach us how to calculate how long it will take us to use up our gas tank in a month if we actually drive the speed limit. Teach us how much our dogs understand us when we talk to them like a shrink, and why they find it necessary to bark they’re heads off every time a squirrel scrambles up a tree. Teach us why our grandparents talk about the days before AC with stars in their eyes and why our parents found it necessary to grow out their armpit hair and write “Make Love, Not War” on posters. Teach us how to understand why we care so much about the things we do, why our brains are considered so screwy to adults.
Why we spend our days worrying about our friends instead of the math test tomorrow.
I’m not saying school is useless. It’s great, gives us knowledge (even if the boring kind), a place to make and keep friends, eight hours away from our parents.
On Mondays, though, when you’re on the brink of snoring in first hour and having an anxiety attack in seventh, school just seems to take on a whole other meaning.
(THIS FUCKING SUCKS!!!)
Originally written: 2/6/12