High School Memories (Brian Katcher)
High school is not a time or place, but a state of mind. --Frank Zappa
Looking back on people's high school memories, they tend to fall into two categories: It was the best time of my life, or I don't mind aging, because it puts more time between now and high school.
Personally, I don't see what the big issue is. My teenage years were mellow, hanging out with my friends: Barbarino, Horshack, Washington, and Epstein...
No, wait, Zack, Kelly, Lisa, Slater...
No, they were Archie, Reggie, Betty, Jughead...
Geez, maybe all I did was watch TV. The point is, the teenage years can be difficult. My daughter is now fifteen, and when she entered high school last year, I worried how she would fit in. I know how cruel kids can be. There was this one unpopular girl in my high school, Carrie something, and some kids ran her as prom queen as a joke, but when she went up to be crowned...well, that's a story for another time.
But my daughter has taken to high school like anything. And while some things remain the same, some have changed. For instance, she was talking about how she stood up for a gay friend. I told her earnestly how proud I was for doing that, and she just rolled her eyes.
"Really, Dad? Did you think I'd stand with the homophobes?"
That hit home how much the teenage experience has changed. In the 90s, it would have been worth your life to come out at school. Now it's just kind of understood that if you have a problem with that, you're the jerk.
Of course, all is not pep rallies and milkshakes. I received a disturbing e-mail (electronic mail) from my daughters school. It seems that certain kids are bringing a kind of extra spicy potato chip on campus and the administration wanted to make it clear that sort of behavior was not to be tolerated.
No, I'm not being funny. Apparently the 'one chip challenge' is the moral panic of the day. So I had a nice bonding moment with my daughter, doing something I hadn't done in years: making fun of the principal.