Archive for August 19, 2009

Are You Cooler Than a High Schooler?

My old junior high and high school started school today. It’s weird having a job like this. Summer comes and goes and I don’t notice a single difference around here. I don’t like that very much. I especially hate it during the holidays. While all of the younguns get a week or two of vacation, I work up until noon on Christmas Eve. It’s not right.

It’s this time of the year that I get nostalgic. I wander down the school supplies aisle and dream about pink spirals, sharpened crayons, college-ruled notebook paper, and (when I feel like going way back) Lisa Frank Trapper Keepers. I got new school supplies each year. It was a like a new, fresh start. I loved it.

I wonder what it would be like if I went back to high school. I don’t mean if I rewind and do it again. I mean if I woke up today and instead up putting on my jeans and pink top, I put on khakis and a kelly green polo and headed back to my high school. If I sat it the class with the students, did the same work, listened to the same lessons, kept the same schedule. What would it be like?

I definitely wouldn’t have any friends. I’m sure they’d all get excited at first since I’m well over the legal drinking age. They’d invite me to the cool kids’ parties and ask me to buy them some Boone’s Farm. I wouldn’t, of course, because that’s illegal and the only time I break the law is when I don’t fully stop at stop signs in my neighborhood. And I remember high school. Nothing good happens when Boone’s Farm is involved. So they’d start to realize that I’m not very cool. Then we’d go to class and I’d get annoyed that they were all texting under their desks while we were trying to discuss chapter one of Les Miserables – which, of course, they didn’t read and, of course, I did and took notes and highlighted my book. They’d be texting about how much of a suck up I am even though I have no interest in sucking up, I just have an interest in learning.

They’d complain about their homework and how they have no life and can’t wait until they are grown ups so they don’t have to deal with algebra, tucking in their shirts, and hall passes. And then I’d laugh in their faces because they have NO IDEA what’s in store. They go to a school where the teachers genuinely care about them and care about their lives. They have the opportunity to get involved in anything they want to try. They have vacation. The teachers walk around with trashcans at the end of lunch to collect trash. Their lives are easy. But they have no clue.

So they’ll think I’m lame. And I’ll think they are dramatic and whiny.

I remember one time in college, I went to play Laser Tag with a few friends. I’m not quite sure why we decided to do this. I’m not one to enjoy running around in the dark in a germ infested room that smells like recess. But we did. I had only done laser tag once before, many years before. I don’t really like running around in the dark, shooting at spots on vests. Probably has something to do with only using one eye, not having any depth perception or aim, and my tendency to get headaches from heightened heart rate and anticipation. But as with most things you do in college, it sounded like a good idea at the time.

We suited up in these vests that have been continuously sneezed and sweated on. They filed us all into this room to go over instructions and rules. Everyone there was male and under the age of 15. Besides the 4 of us. Apparently this mob of boys come here often. They don’t need to hear the rules. The dude at the front says, “Now do we need to go over the rules?” All the boys act so cool and say, “No man!” He asks again, “Is there anyone here that hasn’t done this?” I raise my hand. I’m the only one. Even my friends had done this. (Feel free to judge them. I did.) In complete synchronization and with utmost frustration, all the boys let out a huge sigh. They rolled their eyes and groaned.

I can’t say it didn’t hurt. The guy went through the rules. I didn’t pay much attention. I was too busy eavesdropping. Half of the boys were getting excited because I wasn’t on their team so they knew they had an advantage. The other half were royally pissed off that I’ve decided to come to Blazer Tag and ruin their Friday night. I wanted to scream “It’s just a game. Shut your face!” at them but decided that stooping to their level was not the solution. Either that or I’m scared of confrontation and even more scared of being cornered in a dark room and being shot at by my own team.

Anyways, it was scarring. I’m not good with bullying.

So while I may be nostalgic about all the students going back to school today, I’m not jealous. I know what it’s like to have all the younger folk turn on you. I think it would be much worse the second time around. I’m not confident enough to deal with catty girls, even if I do weigh 50 pounds more than them and could surely win in a meeting by the bleachers. And I’m not strong enough to deal with the tough guys who would probably call me “mom” after I tell them to slow down when they pull into the parking lot and pull up their pants because they look like punks.

It would take a lot to make me go back there. Lisa Frank doesn’t even have that much power.

August 19, 2009 at 9:56 am 19 comments


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