Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Unless We Get a Little Crazy

I have a deep, dark secret and it is this: I did not hate high school. Are you shocked to the depths of your innards? Apparently, you should be. Cool grown-ups hate high school. 4 out of 5 dentists agree. It's totally a verified fact. And I am a card-carrying life-long misfit in many ways, in that I am not your conventional girly. Now I am not saying that those were the best years of my life, or that you could pay me to go back there and relive it. I don't get misty at Glory Days or that Nickelback song or anything. But I don't look back at it with hate and disgust. I mean, sure, I sort of always hated the oppressive nature of schooling in general. All that raising-your-hand when you want to talk, put-your-head-down when you were bad, parrot-back-what-you're-told, get-in-line-and-shut-up stuff was never my cup of tea. So I hated that, but I didn't mind the social stuff. It was fun, angsty, hormonal goodness with all the usual drama, and I knew I was getting out. I always knew I was on to better things. So I wore blue mascara and silver metallic flats and kissed boys and ignored teachers and ran around town to my heart's content. And my friends were smart, cool, sassy chicks and so I had run-around comrades. My talent seemed to be that I was a part of every group and part of no group at the same time. A lot of high school was crap and a lot of it wasn't. Whatev. So that's my keyboard confessional for today. I didn't loathe high school and I was a misfit. Both. Inexplicable but true.

So here I am a librarian and part of my job is to sometimes go to high schools and talk to teens. And being back in those buildings is enough to turn anyone's stomach. The lockers, the sweaty bologna smell (what IS that?), the infernal bell-ringing. It makes me want to ask permission to go to the bathroom. It makes me uncomfortable that I am walking around the halls without a big piece of wood that has the words "hall pass" burned into it. It makes me want to go out back and have a smoke with the burnouts. It makes me remember the teachers who we thought of as one and the same with the friggin' po-po. It's just all so fraught with...anxiety. Between classes, I see the kids swarm into the halls, and watch as many of them run amok. A-serious-mok. And I can't really blame them. When I go into the classrooms and I remember what it's like to sit there in those Goddamn rows while hour after hour some adult comes in and talks at you until you want to stick your pencil in your eye, I certainly understand the need to get nuts during your five minute break that you're allowed. Look for the purple banana 'til they put you in the truck, certainly. I totally get that. In fact, I kind of envy it. That's honest-to-goodness freedom of expression right there, and I can so relate to it. I wonder what it would feel like to cut footloose like that. I wonder if, during my breaks at work, I could get away with letting it rip like these teens do. I can picture it now: on my break, I could put in my ipod and do a full-scale poplock routine in the lobby, just because I want to. I could yell out "Go-rillaaaaaaaz!" as I walk through the work room, just to let off some steam. Ah, refreshing. And when breaktime is over, I could savor every last minute of it, and then run back to work, doing a full layout in order to get to the ref desk exactly on time.

There was something so pleasant about that phase. So true, Gnarls, so true.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

3 comments:

MAP said...

I was a sassy cool chick? And all these years I was thinking I was just a misfit. I remember those crazy days of 5am McDonald's runs and bringing bags of bagels to get through the film strips in social studies class. Oh yes, there will be angst.

Librarian Girl said...

Why the hell did we ever go to McD's at 5am? After staying up until 1 or 2am? WHY?????

Leah said...

One of my best friends since 6th grade is now a high school math teacher, which I find hilarious. Getting drunk with the math teacher makes me giggle!

I'm debating whether or not I want to attend my 10th reunion this summer... leaning towards no. The only reasons I can come up with in favor of going are that it might be fun to gloat that I'm still reasonably skinny and my husband is cute. That's not very nice though, is it.