Friday, June 6, 2008

Chapter Eight

According to some research, gossip makes up about fifty-five percent of mens' conversations while womens' conversations are sixty-seven percent gossip. That's a much smaller gap than people usually think. But if you take time to listen or eavesdrop on other peoples' conversations, you can hear guys talking about the weekend teen news almost as much as the girls.

It's like the information mainstream. This person heard it from that person that this person did this to that other person, and that person's friend did this in return and this whole thing happened from that. You rely on this information for relationship advice (Jane told me to tell you that she heard that Mark's friend Anthony, who goes out with Sasha, who told Miranda to tell Michelle that Emily's boyfriend Matt, has a friend named Neil who's cousin, Devon might like you.), trash talk (Girl, I heard that Nala was saying some shit about you, like how you better watch your back. You better put her in check!), relationship forecasts (Hey, man, I heard Britt has a thing for Steve and that he's breaking up with Jilene to go out with her. Look out for that.), and teachers of course, (I heard Mr. McCale is getting fired. He was sleepin' around with that pretty student teacher I think. No wonder she always stayed so late with him. Gross.)

You don't want to listen to gossip, because you know all the consequences. It splits the best of friends, ruins the strongest relationships, and turns the most confident person paranoid. You know how to get rid of it. You tune your ears out. You don't say anything incriminating, you don't respond to it.

Or at least you try.

Because it's like a drug. It's so negative, yet so addicting. You can't get enough of it. You have to know what's going on. You hear how much of a slut Courtney is and you don't feel bad about all the hookups you've had. You know about Jake's family issues. It equalizes the dork-faced nerd with the hot football star.

Once there's something that could change the future or a person or persons the rumor spreads like wildfire. The fire travels from mouth to ear to mouth to ear. They don't care, they're not burned. Yet, the subject of the matter is left to deal with the scars.

Gossip is also like an illness. It spreads like a virus, infecting everyone it happens to pass by. Everyone knows, everyone is looking at you. They know something about you. You're vulnerable now. They have something against you and now it feels like you're alone. For all you know, they could sympathize with you, but no one is going to risk that. They stay on the side of the majority, to much of a coward to stand up with you.

Even the ones who smile to your face can be quick to leave you when it matters. They tell you about what a bitch Krystal is for atleast ten minutes. You know Krystal? Dark hair, brown eyes, blue shirt. The one your friend was just smiling and talking to just a minute ago. That Krystal.

That's why eveyone tells you to be careful about who you choose as your friends. Even if they're the trustworthy ones, they can be tempted easily.

In the end, it seems like you're alone for good.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Chapter Seven

Let's take a moment to go back to my theory of relativity, shall we? Do we remember what it is? Yes? Lovely.--Oh wait no? Look back then. For those who answered yes, keep that in mind as you read forward.

"Is it true?" I asked.

Sam nodded his head solemnly. "Yup, he's leavin' for good."

It was first period in history class. Kevin had not been in class since the incident last week and another twist had emerged in the student gossip vine.

"So Kevin's moving...away." I repeat, making sure I had the story straight.

"Yup," Sam replies.

I don't know what else to say so I turn my head and looked at his empty seat. I would probably be doing the same thing in Biology class. The whole turn of events had just been...weird, at least the pieces of it that I tried to put together. The abrupt interruption of the Vice Principal, the fight at lunch, the absences....

And now this?

I turn my head back to face Sam again. "Do you know where?"

By now his head was down on his desk, ready for his morning nap. "Winchester," he sleepily muttered.

"He's moving to a suburb?!" And a rich one at that!

"Uh-huh," Sam yawned. "I dunno, really. I just heard. Aren't you not supposed to listen to gossip?"

"Not when it's something like that!" You would've thought my exclamations would have caught the attention of my whole class, but the truth was, everyone was self-absorbed in the same subject with whoever was right next to them. The thing was, they were just as clueless as us. No one had known why Kevin was leaving exactly. More specifically, no one really know how last week's events connected to this.

With Sam now sound asleep, I listened to the multitude of voices which all proposed their own ideas.

"...maybe he'll be safe over there?"

"I bet he has issues..."

" weird..."

"...he living there?"

"...SEIP I bet..."


The State Education Integration Program. It's one of those programs that was introduced in the sixties when we were all about progression and equality and great stuff like that. Schools around the country were forced to be desegregated, which was a problem from Mississippi to Boston. Naturally, when you say desegregation, you mean sending the minorities to the 80%+ Caucasian populated school districts.

Kevin's bi like me--biracial I meant. Half Cape-Verdean and half Pueto Rican I believe. I have no idea what kind of last name 'Getis' is though.

I wonder if he would like that kind of place.

They said SEIP was to "provide more opportunities for students to obtain a beneficial education and the necessary life skills to exceed in life, by providing a less distracting and more friendly environment to learn in."

Pfft. Bullshit.

It's not that I have anything against SEIP.....Well actually I do. I was in it for a year and I'd rather try my chances getting shot on the way to school than stay somewhere I knew I didn't belong in.

I know when some kids mention SEIP, they look at me, because they know I been through it. My mother heard about a shooting near the middle school when I was in the sixth grade and was so freaked out, she applied for me to get bussed everyday at five AM to Bellton High for the seventh grade.

I turn my head and see two girls looking my way: one with a questioning expression on her face, subtly pointing at me mouthing "'Lana?" and the other nodding her head. I wasn't the only one in the school who went to SEIP, just the only one in this class.

I sigh heavily and lay my head down. Please, tell me this class ends soon.

The difference of opinions has now somehow morphed and combined into a resounding conclusion that Kevin is deffinately in SEIP and he will be safe from all harm. I decide to wait for the official report. Ashlee Peterson, the stereotypical loud-ass black girl, is making jokes about black kids in white school. Jessica Picano argues that some of her friends actually liked the program and had friends there. Nick Donovan says that's just because they probably just stuck with the other kids from this school. You can see it around some other kids' faces. They agree with him, even though that's missing the point of the whole integration program. It's true but no one wants to admit it. Yet, at the same time, everyone else has their own belief, even if they know it's not the truth, somehow they still believe it.

Information gathered: Kevin is possibly leaving us for the SEIP.
Information inferred: It's different for everyone I suppose.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Chapter Six

Remember when I told you about a school system that delayed their school hours to 8:30 so that if the students had more sleep they could focus better?

I really wish my school would do that.

I'm sure that I'm not the only kid who despises Monday morning. But how many of them curse into their pillows or nearly throw their alarm clocks (a.k.a. cell phones) on the floor?

I've seen links to websites and news articles that claim that scientists have found links to our emotions and our physical conditions. Somehow being more grateful for life or just being happy will increase your lifespan and prevent diseases. I don't doubt it, someone feel a lot better when your glad, rather than depressed I suppose.

That someone would not be me at the moment.

I close my eyes and find myself waking up fifteen minutes later, which isn't so bad. Not as bad as the time I woke up at 7:15, still in my pajamas.

I stretch, because that's supposed to wake you up more, and stand up, still a little wobbly. I follow the regular hygeine routine: take a shower, brush your teeth, thankfully I don't need to shave at the moment, apply lotion and body spray, put on some jeans a t-shirt, and a zip-up hoodie, with my converses, put on a pair of earrings, apply some lipgloss, fix my hair into a messy ponytail, make sure everything is in my bag and head downstairs for some breakfast.

By the time I'm ready to leave for school, I hear my twin brothers rush around the bedrooms. The quick pounding of their feet is followed by my mother yelling at them to slow down. My dad has already left for work. My mom will leave as soon as she drops off my brothers.

"Ma, I'm leaving," I yell as I'm about to open the front door.

"Got your keys and phone?" she asks. One time, in the seventh grade, I forgot to bring my house keys and I was stuck outside my house for three and a half hours. My mom will not let it go.

"Yup!" I still answer and walk out the door.


"I'm still pissed at you."

I'm at my locker right before homeroom, seeing which books I'll need for the first two or three periods. Mike Bentham is right next to me, waiting, since we also have the same homeroom.

Let's see, I have history first... "Oh yeah," I chuckle. "How did it go with Mr. Valero?"

"I had to explain to him that I was talking about some other teacher."

Then English... "That worked?"

"Yeah, but he asked who it was."

What do I have third period? "He's good."

"I'm better. I told him that it was at a different school that my cousins go to." He straigtens his posture, beaming proudly.

Damn, I forgot... "Really now?"

"Yup, in Arizona."

I think it was... "That's..."

"awesome, huh?" he cuts me off.

No, not gym, that's fourth. "I was going to say, 'random', but whatever you say."

He sticks his tongue out at me and I roll my eyes.

It was... "So, did you do the lab?"

"Shit! I forgot to print it out!" His beam is gone, and I'm almost certain that he just had an intense urge to kick my locker. I stare in shock for a little. That was more random than Arizona. However I maintain my cool.

"That sucks," I snort.

"Wait," he pauses, calming down a bit. "I think I have a copy of it on my email."

"Print it out during lunch or something."

"Yeah, ok." He nods, much calmer now. "I have Spanish first."

"Spanish!" I yell. That's it! I have Spanish third!

"What?" he askes, utterly confused.

"Nothing," I shake my head. Too much of a bother to explain. "I have history first, though."

"Not so bad, maybe you can take a nap."

"Like Sam?"

"Haha, yeah."

The bell suddenly rings and students now begin to slowly move into their homeroom classrooms.

Mike looks at me. "Should we go?"

I shut my locker door. "Yeah," I grab my bag and swing it over my shoulder and follow Mike into homeroom.

Information gathered: Mike brags about lying, loses lab, freaks out, calms down, and other useless chit-chat.
Information inferred: He may just be as (un)predictable as this school.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Chapter Five

If you were to google 'sleep statistics' especially for teenagers, you would find numerous web sites and articles arguing that teenagers sleep too late and wake up too early for school. Some schools in Minneapolis changed their school hours to start at eight-thirty in the morning.

You know what time my school starts?

Seven fifteen...AM.


One website also said that additional sleep on the weekends would not make up for the lack of sleep during the weekdays.

That sucks. But, I'm sleeping in anyway.

It's Saturday morning, and although I usually work at both the local library and the Stop&Shop in the next town over, I get a day off from my bagger-boy (or girl) work. I don't need to be at the library until three anyway. That's just community service anyway. I only work for two hours. The school requires seventy hours of if before you graduate. I'm a little jealous though. The suburbs around here only have requirements of about fourty hours. Plus their schools start at eight and their bathrooms smell nicer. Keisha Dolan told me that when her soccer team had a game in Winchester, an extremely high class town.

I plan to sleep until at least noon. If I wake up then, I can give myself enough time to get ready and walk to the library. I don't really have any other plans so I might rent myself a movie and invite Alyssa and Vicky over to watch. Knowing Sam or Mike, they might get word and crash our little gathering and bring someone like Logan Verani too. They were cool so it didn't matter.

Thinking about it in my half-concious state I smile and close my eyes to drift away in my Saturday morning freedom.


"Milana!" Bang, knock, knock. " 'Lana?" knock, knock, knock, knock

I groan and lift my head up lazily. I can read my little analog alarm to seven fourty-three. It's early for the weekend. Can't I sleep more?

" 'Lana, I'm gonna come in." My mom is continuously banging on my door. What does she want.

"Whaaaaat, Ma?" I whine back.

"I'm takin' your brothers to the library. There some breakfast if you want, downstairs. I'll be back," there's a pause. "Maybe..."

"S'aright." I yell. "Take your time."

"Okay then hun. Your father is doing an errand for me. He'll be home sooner than me."

"Okaaaaaaaay," this is tedious. Let me sleep!

"Bye, love."

"Bye, Ma, love you."

"Love you too." I can hear the sound her shoes make as the footsteps begin and slowly fade away. She's wearing sneakers. I can tell. The sound is lower and softer than if she were wearing heels or flats. I fall asleep to their rhythm and nothing wakes me.

For at least a half-hour.

That's when the front door slams and it's so loud I almost jolt up in bed, even though my bedrooms on the second floor of our house and my door is closed. It's not any better than when we lived in that two-bedroom apartment, before my twin brothers were born. I was around eight when we moved to this house. A couple of streets over from that same apartment building.

Assuming my dad's home I glance at my clock again. It's eight-seventeen. Ugh, what happened to noon?

My dad is a naturally noisy man. He doesn't speak that much. But when he does, he's pretty funny. He even has a couple of good blonde jokes. Everything else, however seems to translate whatever volume he keeps down inside him. When the door closes, it slams with the force of an angry drunk. When he's in the car, he blasts whatever music is playing to the highest volume level. It has potential against the annoying twenty-something year olds in their souped up cars that act like a neighborhood hip-hop radio. Whenever they drive by, you always hear some rap artist like Weezy (Lil Wayne) or whatever. The problem is the television though. He loves to watch it late at night and does not cut down on anything, noise-wise. It's hard to focus on schoolwork or sleeping when it's on.

My dad decides that today is also a pleasant day to bum around the house watching anything from Saturday morning kids' cartoons to local news reports. It'll be impossible to 'make up' any sleep at this point.

I start my plans a little early. I take a shower, brush my teeth, put on some comfy clothes and walk downstairs to the kitchen and pour myself a double-sized bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, my favorite cereal. With my bowl of breakfast in one hand, my spoon in the other, and sweetened cereal in my mouth, I trod over to the living room, where my father has made himself quite comfortable, laying across the sofa. There's no room for me so I sit on the love seat.

He sees me and smiles. "Good monring, angel moy." That's Russian for "my angel". My father was always busy working when I was younger that he never made it a point to teach me or my brothers any of his native language. However I still could count and say some phrases.

"'Mornin' Daddy." I'm sort of a Daddy's girl. Except I'm not spoiled. I just like hanging out with him, a lot.

My dad then starts asking me about school and how my classes are. I tell him about Mrs. Stone and her attitude towards me. He laughs and shakes his head, telling me what he always tells me about her. "She's crazy, moya dorogaya (my darling). You just have to deal with them sometimes."

I wonder if I should tell him about the Kevin situation. I refrain. I don't want to keep stuff from my father, but I can tell that he's tired. Plus I shouldn't really spread this around before I know completely eveything.

Daddy gives off a big yawn and I smile. He worked overtime again. He always does, since the day he came to America, he's always been working. He only rests on Sundays and sometimes Saturdays, including today. My mom works too, but he works a lot more overtime so she won't have too.

By this time, I have finished my food. I go to my dad and give him a kiss on the cheek. "Sleep," I tell him. "I'll get a blanket."

He thanks me and asks me if I would like it if he took me and my brothers out to dinner, while my mom helps her sister pack for a trip.

"Sure," I say. "Where?"

He starts describing this nice semi-fancy restaurant in a far-off suburb. "The drive is nice, you'll like it." He says the twins can occupy themselves with their gameboys on the way and that there's a shopping center around too, so that one day my mom and I will go there.

He always says things like, "One day, we'll take you to this place." "I have to show you here." or the one that was somehow the sweetest and most disappointing. "I'll take a day or two off of work and I promise to take you, moya lubov," (my love). It never ended up happening, whatever they promised. I was never too upset though. I thought how hard life is for them so I thought I shouldn't complain. Even though I did sometimes.

With my dad finally asleep and the house finally quiet. I take a little nap in my bed and wake up around two-thirty. I curse under my breath, wondering if I can walk to the library by then. I grab my purse and at least make sure that my phone and keys are in there before I leave.

Information gathered: Another promise yet to be broken is made and sleep is interrupted.
Information inferred: Life is hard, especially when you're tired.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Chapter Four

You know how a liar is not supposed to be able to look you in the eye when telling you a lie? Or how they'll seem uncomfortable or they'll grow a Pinocchio nose? Well those aren't the only signs to look for. There are some features of a face that you can't control when telling a lie. Those features will give you away, especially when telling lie that is particularly fateful. However they're difficult for the common person to discern.

At least that's what this article I'm reading says. Sometime after lunch, sixth period, I'm in my AP Psychology class. I can't really focus in class because I'm still thinking about the fight at lunch. That and my stomach won't stop grumbling. I feel like collapsing. I really should have eaten breakfast. I should have known out of all people. All those statistics and readings should have given me some incentive.

Unfortunately not. I turn around to look at Melissa Carten. Her long, wavy, red hair is spread out across her desk. It's odd. Her parents are both brunnettes. Random genetic mutation? Natural-looking hair dye? The only thing I can infer is that she's as tired as me. I hesitate to ask her what we're supposed to be doing other than reading the article. I can't tell if she's asleep or not.

"Ms. Romanov?" That was my last name. Romanov. Milana Anastasia Romanov. I'm half Russian, you see. The other half? Some kind of African-American. I'm not sure which African country, but my mom (the African-American herself) says I'm a mix and somewhere I have a tribal princess as an ancestor. My dad thought it would be fitting to name me after a Russian princess. Somehow we happened to have the same last name as well.

I turn back around to face Mrs. Stone. I smile awkwardly. I don't think she liked me very much. Some people whispered that she was a racist. It was somewhat logical. She once gave detention to Devon Lee, another black kid, accusing him of covering her whiteboard in graffiti even though it was really Anthony Domini, the Italian immigrant.

She looks at me, her stern face unchanging. Her last name is very fitting if you ask me. This is uncomfortable.

"Is there a problem?" She crosses her arms impatiently.

"Uh, I-I just forgot what we were supposed to do...after we read the uh...thing...article."

"Did you listen to the directions?" Directions?

", I just, uh, forgot."

"They're on the board. Read them." And with that she turned around and walked back to the front of the classroom and faced us once again. "I really hate to repeat myself everyday. The next time someone asks me for the directions, after I already told the whole class, will not receive an answer."

The whole class is silent.

Twenty-seven agonizing minutes later the bell rings and we're on to the seventh and final period. My class: Biology. I hurry. I like Biology itself. However it's the only other class I share with Kevin. I wonder if he will show up.

I arrive earlier than most kids and I sit down at my usual lab bench, next to Mike Bentham. From the expression on his face, I can tell he's thinking the same thing as me.

"Think he'll show up?"

"Maybe," I shrug. I have more important issues on my mind by now. "Did we have homwork."

"Milana!" He stares at me, with his mouth open. "Don't you care what's going on?"

"Yeah, but I spent all of Psychology class thinking about it and ended up getting yelled at by Mrs. Stone."

"She's a racist anyway."

"I'm only half-black."

"She probably thinks your Russian blood is now disgraced."

"Very funny. Did we have homework?"

He rolled his eyes. "No but the lab is due Friday."

"I bet we can trick her into making it due Monday."

"I dare you."

I smirk. "Just watch."

The bell rings and Mr. Valero closes the door to begin class. I look around. Kevin still hasn't shown up. Mr. Valero clears his throat. The noise begins to die down. I immediately raise my hand.

"Alright, alright, let's hurry up, we have a lot to cover today-- yes Milana?"

"Mr. Valero, the lab is due Monday, right?"

"Monday? I thought I said it was due Friday." He walks over to his desk as if to check his weekly planner or something like that.

Mike snickered. Bastard...

"No, it is due Monday. You said so." I turn around to see Lisa Evans. Suddenly a chorus of student's voice chime in agreeing with me.

"Yeah, I wrote it down for Monday."

"Me too."

"It's deffinately Monday."

Mr. Valero looks at all of us in confusion. "Well if that's what I said, then Monday it is."

I stick my tongue out at Mike, who just shakes his head.

At the end of class, Mike rushes to the back of the classroom and sneaks a peak at a random kid's agenda book. He then jogs back, smirking.

"What did you do?"

"That kid's book says the lab is due on Friday." He laughed. "I can't believe you did that."

"I'm good at what I do."

"Yeah, OKAY. We all just know that Mr. Valero is just oblivious."

"What was that, Mr. Bentham?"

Mike turns sharply in shock to see Mr. Valero staring inquisitevly at him. "Uhh..."

"See ya, Mike." I leave him to think up his own lie.

Information gathered: Some teachers are easier to deal with than others.
Information inferred: Don't get yourself in sticky situations unless you can get out.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Chapter Three

According to scientists, mainly nutritionists, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In high school, it is the most skipped meal of the day. High schoolers also have that 'stupidity' third-grade-reading-level stereotype sometimes. I think this is where one would make an inference.

Yet, as 'stupid' as we may be, we know well enough that we make up for the lack of food during lunch.

Even though our school has three separate lunches, they are still as crowded as downtown on the weekend nights, especially my lunch, the first lunch. Kids who have this lunch, and even the ones who don't, come as soon as they can to get the best food before it is gobbled up and hoarded away by the rest of the high school jungle animal community.

The nerds are smart. They pack their own lunches.

I guess that means I'm not a nerd...or smart.

I first walk over to my table where Sam Michaels has already beaten me. I guess it would be stereotypical that a boy would beat me to a place in school where the subject is food. I sit down next to Vicky Montall, my childhood friend. The difference between me and her is immediately apparant as I set down my backpack as she digs through her purse to find her mirror to check if her makeup is perfect. I wonder how long it would take for her to realize I was next to her if I didn't say anything. Maybe I could calculate the odds. No, I'm not a nerd, remember?

I look back at Sam who is now accompanied by Mike Bentham, his best friend I would say. I had no idea who's Sam's best guy friend was. I don't really feel like observing that though.

"I'm getting lunch." I don't really know who I announce that to. Maybe myself? It didn't seem like anyone was else around me was paying attention.

Nevertheless, I proceed to the mass of students shoving each other to grab a slice of pizza or snatch two cheeseburgers because we all know one won't fill up the average American teenager. Unless you're a girl, which most likely means you're trying some new diet you found on the internet or Seventeen magazine.

I toast a bagel and purchase a bottle of water from the vending machine. I made sure it was the working one, not the one that justs eats your money while your beverage gets stuck somehow. Only the clueless freshmen tries to buy their drinks there, because they see that there's virtually no line compared to the one next to it, not thinking logically at all.

Back at my table, I see that more kids have gathered. Lisa Worelle, Alyssa Barnes, Daniel Richards, Logan Verani, Keisha Dolan, and Alex Schnieder have all situated themselves around each other to provide optimal communication ability with the right people. I sit between Alyssa and Vicky, across from Sam.

As soon as I sat down Sam throws his hands into the air. "They won't believe me!"

"About what?" I ask, tearing off a piece of my food.

"Dude, where's the cream cheese or butter?" Alyssa asks looking at my dark brown cinnamon raisin bagel.

"In the cafeteria..." I reply, thinking she wanted some.

"Why not on your bagel?"

I pause, remembering that I had forgotten to grab some on the way out of the cafeteria. Not wanting to look like an idiot, I make up an excuse. "I don't really trust what they put in that stuff."

"They buy it from Kraft," Mike answers.

"Yeah, but how long have they kept it in there?" I retort quickly. Maybe I am smart.

"True, true," he replies and leaves it at that.

Sam, frustrated at being ignored, restarts his conversation. "Tell them about Kevin," he demands.

"About him? He got kicked out, well, dragged out," I explain, with a mouthful of bread in my mouth.



"Are you serious?"

"What did he do?"

"People relax!" Alyssa yells at everyone who had decided to jump in on the gossip. I still was chewing my food. "Let her eat, god..."

I hold up a hand to signal for everyone to wait a few minutes and swallow, followed by a gulp of water.

Vicky is now paying attention to something other than her face. "Who took him out?" she wonders aloud.

"The VP," Sam answers.

Mike looks up and swears. We all look at him in confusion.

"Speak of the devil," is all he mutters and we turn to none other than the VP himself followed by none other than Kevin Getis. As if on cue, they walk right up to a table by the window, filled with obnoxious athletic senior boys. Due to the other noise in the caf, we can't hear much, but we can deffinately observe body actions. Finger-pointing is followed by arm flailing while mouths open huge to argue. Slowly the other noise dies down and we begin to listen in on the incident.

"So he's telling me one thing, and you're telling me another!" VP yells, pointing first at Kevin, then at one of the jocks.

"I don't even know what you're talking about," the jock yells back. "I didn't do anything wrong."

Kevin then speaks up, with a voice that did not sound like it belonged to him. "You know exactly what the fuck's goin on! Why the hell are you lying for?"

"Shut up, Getis," another jock commands.

"Fuck no!" Kevin begins to move towards the jocks. Even though he's just as tall and wide as them, I doubt that he could match their physical strength.

Two jocks and Kevin come closer and closer to each other, and soon they're pushing. Pushing is followed by a punch and all hell brakes loose with the rest of the enraged athletes as they scramble to attack Kevin.

Screams from cheerleaders and girlfriends slice through the air like a siren, letting everyone know there's a fight. Less obnoxious kids begin to chant "Fight! Fight! Fight!" and the first lunch crowd rushes over to see the spectacle while VP yells frantically into his walkie-talkie for backup. Some try to break it up, but it is impossible. In the rush of the stampede my bagel is knocked to the ground and my water bottle shoved out of my hands, spilling water all over the floor and some gets on the lower legs of my jeans. Keisha pushes me to get out of the way, before I get run over and the few sane of us sneak through bodies into the hallway to escape the chaos.

Information gathered: A massive fight breaks out between Kevin Getis and senior-year athletes, causing insanity and the loss of my lunch.
Information inferred: I should have eaten breakfast.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Chapter 2: Additional Research

The important thing about projects is that if you ever want credit for it, you have to finish it. You can't stop in the middle of something, because you were bored, or it was too hard. Would you just kill yourself if you had a minor setback in life?

The same goes for me. If I want to actually know how to survive high school, I need to experience it, meaning it's back to observation. Continuing with English class.

Usually there is some sort of pointless activity we're forced to do, but today Ms. Wales just keeps on talking about the importance of Shakespeare's life and how it affected literature in the following centuries. I understand when it's in scientific terms. The law of inertia states that no object will move unless a force is acted on it. Now apply this to literature. If Shakespeare is the force, then he is what sets of a literature movement.

Well, historically, he didn't...but he was part of one. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, she greatly supported the arts: visual, theatre, literature, etc. You could say she was the initial force of England's Renaissance.

Forty-three minutes later (although it seemed a near eternity to me), the bell rings, freeing me from Shakespearian murder by boredom. It was only first period. I didn't have math until fifth period and science until seventh. Oh well, onto history.

You would expect history to be as boring as English, which it is. But unlike English, it mainly focuses on facts, dates, and names. Since it's based on memorization, it's an easy A. Of course there are essay questions asking how one event or person affected another, but there's no interpretation of quotes or anything. Maybe a speech, but those are pretty straightforward. No BS to deal with.

I'm thirty seconds late to history (they have to place these rooms on the opposite sides of the building?!) but Ms. Sullivan doesn't mind at all. I like her better than Ms. Wales. She may talk as much but only when necessary. I sit next to Sam Michaels who looks like he's ready to take a nap.

History begins. We're learning about the French Revolution. Apparently they got the idea from us Americans. Who knew we influenced people way back then. I take notes on what she says. Not that I need them, but Sam will eventually.

The lesson is abruptly interrupted when the vice principal walks in, asking to see Kevin Getis. An uncomfortable silence floats above our heads and eyes are locked onto him. It's not often that an authority figure will come into an honors classroom, asking to see a student. That only happens to the "at-risk" kids. I look over to Sam and stab him with my pencil. He looks up, pissed at me, but I nod my head over to the VP and he nods to me with gratitude.

Kevin seems stunned at the first mention at this name, but then is indifferent about it. He calmly stands up and adjusts his jacket.

"Take your books," VP commands. "You might not come back so soon."

I can almost feel the uncertainty in the air, although it is physically impossible. Maybe some unknown force is creeping into all of us. The spirit of the VP probably.

Kevin has an almost confused look on his face as he now adjusts his hat and bends over to pick up his bag. He slings it over one shoulder and uses his other arm to pick up the notebook on his desk. Slowly and confidently, like nothing is wrong and that the VP is harmless, he walks out of the classroom followed by the VP, who has a very stern expression on his face.

Ms. Sullivan clears her throat. "Well...that was...mildly awkward." She laughs to break the built up ice around our throats and we laugh as well. "I'm sure he'll return soon. Anyway, back to the French...maybe we could have a demonstration of students rebelling against our head departments."

We all laugh again.

Information gathered: Authority figure whisks honors student away, possible never to be seen.
Information inferred: High school is unpredictable.