"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Saturday, September 04, 2010

High School

In Asian societies, people go a lot on hearsay. And because of my reputation as 'the smart daughter of the smart lady who goes to the smart school', I get asked a lot of questions about high school. What is high school like?

This is what high school is like.

High school is lots of pre-dawn starts - starts, as in, sometimes you leave the house when it's pitch-dark. School starts at the deceptively late-sounding time of 8:50 am, but most people travel by public transport, which means leaving the house at seven or earlier. Plus, you get psychotic music teachers who have no concept of personal lives or sleep deprivation and make you stay at school at all hours for music rehearsals.

High school is mountains of homework you never, ever, ever feel like doing - unless they're Mr Quin's essays in which case you actually enjoy yourself, for a change. The worst kind of teachers don't do anything but preach in class and make you do all the learning at home, but at least at my school those kind of teachers are relatively thin on the ground.

High school is wearing daggy uniform and laughing at the other school's even daggier uniforms. My school is a sort of dog-private school in that we look private, teachers act private, we have no private lives, but we're not private (if you live in the UK the previous sentence would have been 'My school is a sort of dog-public school in taht we look public, teachers act public, we have no public lives, but we're not public). We wear stiff, uncomfortable polo shirts, knee-length skirts we try to hitch up as high as possible and daggy white socks with black leather shoes which are roughly as heavy as the Great Wall of China.

High school is having to lug around ridiculously heavy bags wherever you go, and teachers yelling at you for putting them in the aisles when the reality is there is quite literally no-where else to put them. In primary school you could dump your bag and forget about it until the end of the school day - in high school 3 kilos beome 3000.

High school is about getting your heart broken again, and again, and again, until you reach this point of enlightenment as I have when you realize that the only kind of perving that is safe is drooling over pics of hot actors on Google images. High school is about cliques that collapse and regroup several times a second, and about 'extremely long and deep and meaningful' relationships that last for about twenty seconds, if you're lucky. High school is about failing everything you once passed in primary school. High school is about teachers making thinly-veiled stabs at each other. High school is about teachers playing favourites and making sure that you're that favourite.

High school is political, high school is bitchy, high school is fun and crazy and psychotic. High school is...well, high school.


Adelaide Dupont said...

First of all, it's great to hear that your Mum is smart. Hearsay or no.

Second of all, the music teachers and their lives.

Third, the bags.

Fourth and probably most interesting: the dog-private/dog-public concept.

(Makes you wonder why we send dogs to obedience classes when they might do better with trainers).

Glad there aren't so many preaching teachers.

Blur Ting said...

Your mum is smart, that I know! You're extremely smart too! You're so observant and you describe high school so well.