6 Awesome (and Extinct) Things from Public School
If you’re reading this and you live in the United States then there’s a solid chance you’ve been enrolled in the public schooling system mostly because it’s a law. Public school is one of those experiences that helps shape and cultivate who you are as a person both on the inside and on the outside as in you’re either the person giving or receiving the swirly. I went to public school and I survived by choosing my own path and refusing to take any bullshit from people who wanted to get in my face about something. I got into fights with would-be bullies who didn’t know any better and I’ve had arguments where I told a substitute teacher she was about as smart and useful as Peggy fucking Hill. All of these experiences change who you are as a person and arm you with the ability to either confront real life after graduation or give it your best shot and let it blow up in your face. Here are six awesome memories from public school that are now becoming more and more scarce as time speeds by.
Remember back when you’d have all of those class periods in high school and hated the day when six-weeks tests would come around because you knew your day would turn into a gauntlet of questions that insulted your intelligence for the next eight hours? Despite the seemingly insurmountable task of answering “are you fucking retarded” 100 times in a row (with the occasional “are you sure” question) you knew that on the following day your classes would all be cut down to just under 25 minutes long and that you’d be getting out at noon on Friday to enjoy a two and a half day weekend. Remember how you’d sit there and dream up things like “oh man I am totally going to play fucking POKEMON for 12 hours straight and only stop to use the bathroom no wait no I won’t I’ll just buy diapers FUCK YEAH“? For the record, the people who dreamed of stuff like this eventually turned into diaperfurs later in life.
Cherish those memories if you have ’em because in many schools kids aren’t being given the opportunity to enjoy Early Release Friday. Due to attendance issues, meaning that many kids just cut the middleman and said “fuck it I want a THREE day weekend” and skipped the half-day, schools are starting to move Early Release Friday… to Early Release Wednesday. On fucking Wednesday. What’s the use of that? It’s the middle of the goddamn week, you can’t plan for anything because come Thursday your ass has to be back in Algebra class at 7 AM so any dreams you had of playing Final Fantasy until four in the morning better wait until Friday. The REAL Friday, not the convenient truncated version meant to give kids an extended break from taking a bunch of stupid fucking tests so they can relax and come back on Monday ready to take on the next six-week period.
Part of the allure of high school is the selection of what you can have for and with your lunch. If you want a burger you can have it, if you want a slice of pizza you can have it, and if you want to grab a bag of Doritos or a can of Sprite to go with your lunch you’re more than allowed to do so as long as you brought your money because PepsiCo doesn’t give a shit if you’re on the free lunch program; your broke ass better pay for that 60 cent can of soda. Part of growing up and blossoming into adulthood is the responsibility to make proper choices for yourself not only in the sense of academics but also when it comes to food and if you’re a spry reader you know who I’m about to knock for getting drink and snack machines pulled from schools.
Fucking fat people.
Yeah, I said it. Fucking fat people ruined the fun for everybody by BEING FUCKING FAT. Part of the responsibility of being an adult is making conscious decisions about your health and diet. If your idea of “healthy” is feeding money into a machine so you can stuff your face with ten bags of hot fries and make an edible Fleshlight out of chocolate donuts then that is your problem my friend, and I shouldn’t have to pay for your coronary nightmare. I’m not some physical trainer with a PhD in “how not to end up on A&E’s Heavy” but it doesn’t take a goddamn rocket scientist to understand that if your lunch consists entirely of Cheetos and Mountain Dew that you will end up weighing 500 pounds by graduation. What I hate the most about fat people is that they never have the energy to get off their asses and lose weight but they always seem to have just enough energy to bitch and moan about their “condition” non-stop until people break down and tell Pepsi to come take their machines back. If you’re sad because you’re fat guess what? That’s your problem. There’s a football field right outside the school, go fucking run some laps you moron.
Fat people ruined only half of lunch in public schools; the administration ruined the other part. Today there’s a bigger emphasis placed on cramming as much material down the throats of students as possible so corners get cut on lots of activities for social acclimation. One of the victims of this downsizing is the lunch period. When I was in school we were given almost a full hour for lunch and in this time we were waiting in line, eating, socializing, and then deciding to leave all of our trash on the table so the janitor can earn his keep too. An hour was just enough time to get through the line, sit down, actually enjoy eating lunch, chat for a few minutes, and then go back to class. Do you know how long the average lunch is today? 25 fucking minutes.
Now, in less than half the time designated for lunch when I was in school, students are expected to wait in line, eat lunch, and leave. Assuming you get somewhere near the front of the line you’re still going to be waiting for about five to ten minutes and that’s assuming you’re able to teleport directly to the cafeteria. If you’re one of those unfortunate souls who has to haul ass all the way from the boondocks of the school to the cafeteria only to be last in line you may as well just bring your own damn lunch and sit outside your next class and eat it because the second you pay for that meal it’ll be time for lunch to end and unless you can unhinge your jaw like a snake and swallow your food whole (a requirement for anybody wishing to be homecoming queen) you’ll be told to throw it away and go to class. Lunch time was that shimmering diamond in the otherwise rough and tiresome gauntlet of algebra and social studies and now rather than being a respite from the studying and classwork it has been shortened to such a rat race that it’s now just another daily tiresome affair. Speaking of things getting cut, this leads us to…
I say this with a heavy heart, but there are many kids in this generation who will never know what recess is. The closest they’ll ever come is probably “that stupid ass cartoon that Disney Channel puts on at 3 AM”. When I was in elementary school the recess period was fucking legendary; it was almost an entire hour devoted to letting kids be kids and run around on the playground, a fully furnished albeit solid metal and kind of dangerous minefield of a playground, where we could do whatever the hell we wanted. You had the sporty kids playing basketball, the prissy girls all sitting at picnic tables talking about who they’d like to blow whenever they were old enough to know what that meant, gamer kids sitting around with Game Boys and link cables, and the rest of the class pretending to play cops and robbers or whatever. Recess wasn’t a “throwaway” class period like it’s perceived today; recess in my opinion is probably one of the healthiest and most socially constructive periods that has ever or will ever exist in the public schooling system. Kids are kids, they don’t give two shits about Christopher Columbus or the Declaration of Independence because fuck that noise, but if you promise them with the idea of going to play outside and trade Pokemon and jump off of swing sets assembled in the 1950’s I guarantee those little fuckers will listen to whatever you have to say so they can barge out onto the playground and get a concussion on the jungle gym.
In modern times recess became a chimera class, it has been tacked onto and merged with the lunch period so when you were finished you could go out and play and supposedly throw up all of the pizza you just ate because who the fuck thinks it’s a good idea to run around immediately after eating? Recess was later phased out and became physical education, an actual throwaway class where the only “education” that takes place is whenever the gym teacher breaks down and starts crying about how her husband left her because her body figure resembles a sack of hams. Recess was proof that sometimes the best form of P.E. is the kind where you let kids expend all of their pent up energy however they feel and for the kids who choose to just hang out and play Nintendo all recess long they’ll get their own dose of fitness when it actually comes time for P.E.. How do I know this? Because every single day at recess I would whip out my Game Boy Pocket and grind out progress on whatever games I brought with me and even though all I did was sit at a table and play my games I was never and still am not a fatass.
The first few years of my schooling were without Internet access, not because our district was broke as all hell (they were) but because the Internet didn’t exist. Al Gore hadn’t invented it yet. Yeah, there was a point in time where the Internet didn’t exist and I lived through it. It was awful, people had to fight live tigers in their backyards so that they could provide dinner for their families and we had to walk 20 miles through snow to get to school. I was lucky enough to get in on this whole “Internet” thing when you could visit porn sites during class because NetNanny wasn’t around and nobody knew how to keep tabs on things and prevent kids from looking at tits. It was a truly wonderful and magical time to be alive and in school. The world was now at your fingertips and you could access anything you could ever dream of right there in the library and when you were bored you could play a game or two or navigate an endless sea of boobs to pass the time.
You can’t do that now. True, the Internet has formed a defined shape in the past decade, but the number of avenues where one can go to obtain information in a public school has been whittled down incredibly thin. Most schools use some form of filtering software that simply blacklists entire sectors of the Internet regardless of content or subject. Maybe visiting Facebook in class was a slight issue but it certainly can’t be bad enough to go all “China vs. Google” on the Internet in public schools because you literally cannot do anything anymore. If you perform a search for an author I can guarantee you the search results won’t be blocked but virtually every link you click on will be. A website I used to visit infrequently to read about classic video games was once blocked because the filter considered it a “gambling” website. What the fuck, gambling? Blocking the obvious sites like adult entertainment and shock sites is understandable but when entire sections of the web are blanked out for frivolous and incorrect reasons that’s just simply asking for students to find ways to circumvent the school’s bullshit firewalls, which leads us to our final extinct dinosaur of public schools:
You cannot make mistakes in school.
What do I mean by this? You aren’t permitted to learn from your errors when you make them. The simplest of offenses are now met with ridiculously stupid punishments including detention and even expulsion for things that can even amount to simple self defense. Tardies are perhaps the biggest red flag here. Sometimes tardies are unavoidable. Sometimes you just gotta cut class late because you had tacos for lunch and now you’re locked in a bathroom stall shitting the lining of your large intestine out, sometimes your piece of shit first car breaks down and you don’t make it to first period on time. Shit happens and that’s just part of life and seriously this is fucking high school we’re talking about; it’s not like you’re missing anything life-altering. The threshold of “freebie tardies” that students are given per year has gotten smaller and smaller; you used to be allotted dozens of the fuckers without punishment, now many schools assign detention after only three, and God help you if you’re in one of the schools that start punishing for one.
You’re also not allowed to ever stand up for yourself if you’re in a position where someone is going to cause harm to you. It may not seem like it, but learning how to defend yourself against assholes who want to steal your lunch money is more than just a mere scuffle, it’s an event that can help you learn how to manage situations of self defense. When I was in middle school some douchebag who thought he was hot shit decided to punch me right in the stomach for no reason. I sank like a sack of rocks because an unexpected cheap shot like that will do that to you. He just stood there laughing and scoffing at me, so what did I do? I stood up and punched him square in the face as hard as I could and the second his ragdoll’d body hit the ground I kicked him in the head and told him I was tired of his shit. He was sent to god knows how many days of detention and I was told to go back to class. Why? Because he fucking started it.
He put me into a situation where fleeing wasn’t likely possible. The only way out was through him so I took that route. If you pulled that stunt today you would both be suspended and reprimanded even though you’re the victim trying to get out of the situation even if it means having to throw a punch or two to get away. Nobody gets into a fight they don’t want to be in but sometimes you have to land a blow to get away. If you do that you’re just as guilty as the instigator. What do they tell you to do? Cut your balls off and run like a bitch or sit there and take the blows until a worthless faculty member notices what’s going on. Yeah, you’re not allowed to “be a man” in school anymore.
Just another way to pussify kids along with giving everybody a “WINNER” ribbon even when they suck at sports. Fuck high school.