#020: Real Life – School

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]


Welp. I sat back the other night and flipped the old television on. Beverly Hills 90210 assaulted my senses and I realized it was one of the first season episodes. Heh. I changed the channel in under 5 seconds and started my usual grazing process. Flipping through each channel, one by one, going up and past channel 62, back around to channel 2. I gradually got back around to BH and thought about it a sec. I had always hated the show but I actually gave a thought about the show for a sec. I also thought about the other show, Class of ’96, and how well it does, and the advertising for it that I had heard.

We have two shows here, one that went so many seasons, and another that is supposed to go for 4 years or about that long. Both have/had a huge base of watchers each week. They are two of the most popular shows on TV among the teens. Many of the younger people actually think high school and college is actually like that no doubt. Perfect little society, storybook romances, emotional triumphs, and an occasional sad time or two.

They are all bullshit yet they make tons of money, and pollute the minds of millions of kids each episode. So, this file is to make a few people aware of the real shit that goes on. I guess this file is geared toward a younger reading crowd, that hasn’t experienced either high school or college. For reference, I have attended two high schools(both quite different), one in South Carolina, and one in New Mexico. I have attended Texas Tech University for about 2 years(7 semesters), including summer sessions. I think I have a decent concept of what school is really like.

90210

What a wonderful high school, located in one of the wealthiest areas of America. The show always opens up with a view of a beautiful high school, in perfect repair, with perfect people spread all around, talking and smiling and having a grand old time. Classes are easy, people are friendly, and free time is abundant.

Lessee. My first high school was Irmo High, located in Irmo (suburb of Columbia) South Carolina. The school was pretty old, and was in the middle of some really rich neighborhoods, and some really poor neighborhoods. I would guess it was almost 50% white/50% black, but I am not sure. It was/is considered one of the nicer high schools in the greater Columbia area. Fights happened about one a day, a major incident with a weapon occurred once a week, and things like vandalism and such were an hourly occurrence. Cliques were abundant at that school, and they never interreacted unless they had to. Many people kept to themselves, and staring at someone too long was often times a prelude to a fight.

Each morning over half the school rode the bus, not in 15 thousand dollar cars. We got there, and went to our classes, a third of which were in small trailers called portables. Near the summer, the temperature was often times around 85 or 90 degrees, with 85% or so humidity, and classes inside those trailers were living hell. In-between classes we went to the cafeteria or outside to concrete slabs to eat our lunch, and looked at brick walls, and sometimes the trees across the railroad tracks. Two or three teachers and security roamed the area during lunch to break up any fights that might break out.

Class let out around 3:30 in the afternoon, and the nearest mall was about 20 minutes away. But you didn’t want to go there. Hanging out there got you kicked out. No money, no mall. Overall it was a school that was sort of lacking. People could be friendly enough, but it was rare.

My second high school was La Cueva High School, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was located in the richest part of town, and was the newest high school. I graduated during its fifth year. The school was often times mistaken for a shopping mall, no shit, and money wasn’t much of a problem for the school. The original plans of the school called for a McDonalds to be located in it, but instead, a snack bar went in that served a wider variety of food.

The school was primarily white. I think there were a total of 15 black people at the school and about as many with Mexican/Spanish blood. The school had a total of 1500+ people attending class at any given time. My graduating class was 470 or so. I moved in, and started school halfway through my sophomore year. When I attended, they were in “phase II” of the building, and the later 3 phases called for a swimming pool, outdoor stadium, and a second gym.

Typically, the people that went there were rich, sons/daughters of rich people in town. I figured it would be a much better school but I found myself to be wrong. I was new to class, and everyone knew it. Instead of friendly ‘hellos’ and stuff, I just received disinterested stares. The fact that I came from a state halfway across the country didn’t interest any of them in the least. I made a small effort to meet people but it was hard. Cliques were even tighter, and there were twice as many of them. In the concourse at lunch, small groups would eat their lunch and talk, and rarely venture out of their groups. After two months of attending class, someone actually came up, sat down beside me, and said “you are new here right? mind if I join you?”. I quickly said that was cool and looked at the guy. About 6’6″, long hair, Megadeth shirt, ripped jeans, and a reputation of having more drugs than a pharmacist. No shit.

In three months, I had one person offer to eat lunch with me. That is all. About that time I was approached by the manager of the snack bar and offered a job there. So for the next two years I worked for an hour before school, an hour during lunch, and an hour after school. No prob. A little extra money and free food for lunch.

Graduation came, and I imagine I knew about 50% of the class by name, and even fewer personally. I knew more ‘of’ them than anything. Sorta dull, but the truth.

This shit on 90210 with a class saying they won’t graduate because the school is holding one person back is so ridiculous. The money there, and the general comradery portrays it a place of absolute friendship, and the perfect living place. -Bullshit- . Enough said.

Class of ’96

First, this show advertised in our area, as being a show that would bring back memories in all the college graduates of past. Heh. This takes place in an Ivy league school, and they expect it to remind people of all their college times? Yeah right. We are introduced to like 7 or 8 people, and they quickly become friends. They are roommates, and are instant friends for life. Classes are hard but well rewarding. Each class teaches them something totally new to them. The life outside of college is that of perfect harmony. No problems, little worry, and a lot of good times.

Notice how they don’t really say their majors? If they did I missed it and then I would have to say they are bullshit. Any declared major is more work than what they show. For all of one semester I was a dual major, Architecture/Civil Engineering. After that, I dropped to architecture by itself, and after 4 more semesters of that alone, I switched to English.

If you wonder why, it wasn’t so much because the classes were hard, I just thought some of the classes were total bullshit is all. That is the thing about college. There is so much review work, in the middle of new stuff that it is hard to get it all down. Classes take a lot more time and don’t leave quite as much time for messing around as they would leave you to believe.

Next. Notice how they all go to the local bar/pool hall and get some beers here and there? How old are they? All over 21? All I know is I have gone to school for 7 semesters now, and I still haven’t legally bought any beer. I can get it and all, but at a bar I have to have a friend buy it for me. Also, notice how they never leave campus it seems? I am hardly ever on campus unless I am at class. Even when I lived in the dorms, I tried to get out of them as much as I could.

My two roommates I had, I hated. The first was tolerable when he wasn’t around. The other, was outright stupid. We didn’t get along at all. Most of the people I lived near, were the same way. Just didn’t get along.

I guess my major problem with this stupid show, is if they are trying to bring back memories, and show what college is like, then shouldn’t it be at a regular university? Ivy league school are quite different.

Summary

So in conclusion. Don’t believe the hype. They are bullshit shows that aren’t close to the truth. If you are in high school or college then you probably know what I am talking about. If you don’t, and you are about to attend either, then don’t let shows like that have ANY influence on you if you can help it. Shows like that should have a disclaimer I think.

The following program is not even close to real life. Sit back and enjoy the show while we make a killing.

Don’t believe the hype.

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