Sunday, October 16, 2011

I Went to Public School and Survived: An Anthropological Anomaly

The building was like a blank ice box prison, much like a gigantic igloo. Wary and prepared, Hannah the Anthropologist stepped into the holding and training facility. The walls had been pasted with motivational posters and other cheerful propaganda that was put in place for a positive impact on the species.Oh, the humanoids were everywhere! Hannah found it fascinating to observe these sub-species of the homo sapiens, other wise known as "public schoolers". They gathered like clots in the main throughfare: the hallway. Moving and socializing, performing everything on the range of social relations: Communication, sharing media such as art (comic books) and music (earbuds), several of the humans seemed to be openly engaged in the mating ritual of kissing. Or perhaps they were simply exchanging saliva samples in an act of sharing? It was hard to tell.One thing was clear to Hannah, however: A sub-species whose females wore sparkly booty shorts in 60 degree weather would be fascinating to observe...

Yeah...pretty much looked like that.
So i'm not actually a student of anthropology, but that doesn't mean I didn't feel like an alien in a foreign land when my friend Steph and I went to a local high school to take the PSAT. As a life-long homeschooler, I've never actually been enrolled in public school/spent more than 3 hours in one on a school day. So for me and my friend, it was slightly like being in a foreign country. A very small, strange, diverse, and narcotic country which we only spent about 4 hours in before high-tailing it out of there. 

Let me begin by saying that walking around the school trying to find someone, ANYONE, who knew where the PSAT was being held was like was worse than riding a London subway during the evening commute. Worse than an awkward elevator ride with 30 strangers in Tokyo. Unimaginable as it may be, the hallways of a public high school were more turbulent and discombobulating than any form of commute I've ever been on. (Well, almost. There was the train ride with The "It". But thats another story...) Its like trying to fight your way up a down escalator crammed with surly, loud, and hormonal teenagers who haven't been fed yet.

Ok, ok. Maybe Japan was worse. But still, the hallway was pretty bad.
Really, it was like Homelink (the "homeschool high-school"/Co-op we attend) except multiplied and sleep deprived. How the various clicks and social circles were treated and accepted was obvious to see, though. For Example:

-At Homelink: Fun, if slightly bizarre, people who often come to class in cosplay or wearing t-shirts from their favorite TV shows/Anime. Usually pretty intelligent and are the kind of people who fully embrace their nerdom and aren't afraid if its cool or not to wear a fez to school. (Because everyone knows you can't go wrong with a fez. Duh.)

-At Public School: Sad little people with capes and action figures stuffed in their pockets. They hug the lockers and avoid people as they walk down the halls. Messy, unkempt hair and black layer upon black layer of clothing. They travel under the radar one by one and meet to play D 'n' D near the water fountain between classes.

Quick question. How is it possible to be high before breakfast? I mean really, some of the people we met must have been eating some pretty potent poppy-seed muffins on the way to school.

Can I get a witness?
The test itself went fine. We sat in silence, the sound of scribbling filling the chilly lunch room. The lunch ladies were cooking dehydrated food on the far side of the caff. and teachers paced about and looked over our shoulders, like silent sharks with monotonous blonde hilights and comfortable shoes. Whenever they walked by me I felt like i'd been caught with my hand in the cookie jar. This was ridiculous because I don't know how in the world someone could cheat on a standardized test. Where was I going to hide my answers, anyway? The soggy tissue in my pocket from catching a cold?

To sum up the experience, i'd like to share this little blurb:
(After test)
Girl next to me: "So, um, my friend wants to know if you're home-schooled?" (All the homeschoolers had a Hall Pass)
Me: "Yeah, my friend and I are just here for the test."
Girl: "Right. So, after the test, do you like go home or stay here for lunch?"
Me: "...go home. I'm not enrolled here."
Girl: "Ohhhh, ok."

Sigh. I know several public schoolers and most of them are nice, funny, and intelligent. I guess they were all home sick that day. If you are a public schooler, a home schooler, or any other type of schooler I may not know about, please don't be offended. I'm writing commentary on the not-too-fabulous side of public school that I experienced, but its not like I attend or can say I know everything. Plus, its the person that comes out and not the place they come from that counts. I love you all. Except you, the one with "I Heart Math" t-shirt. You need help.

Bottom line, you aren't missing out on anything by not going to public school and it isn't the hellish place that some people make it out to be. Light purgatory, maybe. But they do give you your own cubby-hole.

Go Lions,


  1. Oh man...I have my "I Heart Math" T-shirt on today!!! LOL

  2. this totally made my day and deffinately depicts high school. well done girl

  3. You put a picture of awesome skydivers as stupid shame on you Madame HOO! Shame on YOU!

  4. Haha, this is hilarious! I love all the pictures, they just made me laugh more!! I'm about to go take the ACT...the school won't be full, but I'll just be lookin round for stuff like this lol