Don’t judge the high school by the parking lot
posted by: gretchen
We’ve been busy registering our eldest child for high school. I’ve had to visit the campus several times to make sure she’ll be an official member of the Class of 2015, starting next August.
To get to the front doors, I’ve had to run the gauntlet of the F-bomb. Every group of students I pass in the parking lot uses the word at least once in conversation. They’re also fond of calling each other by another F-word used to disparage gay people.
In a high school parking lot, pedestrians do not have the right-of-way. Trash doesn’t feel constrained by cans or bins. It’s obvious which pairs are couples because the hands are very busy and the lips are locked.
I have left the school after every trip to the office feeling alarmed at worst, dismayed at best. Once inside the building, I feel okay until I see boys with mustaches. But that brings up other issues I have with my daughter growing up. It’s emotionally safer to focus on my hatred of the high school parking lot.
I recall the biggest danger in my high school parking lot was the possibility of stepping in tobacco juice, or maybe running over someone’s books because he forgot them on the roof of his car. That was 20+ years ago in Western Colorado. A different time and certainly a different place.
What do I expect from a high school parking lot in 2011?
Is it the norm to feel like I am on a crab fishing ship with hip hop stars as I stride from my car door to the building? With every other word rhyming with buck and tuck and luck, maybe I should start sprinkling The Big One into our dinner table conversations so our daughter will feel acclimated to her new surroundings in the fall.
How is the ducking asparagus? Steamed to ducking perfection?
Much of adolescence is spent trying to out-shock the last kid. Under all the exterior swagger lurks insecurity. The kids I saw are probably good kids. The most important thing I need to remember is that I trust my daughter and that the parking lot isn’t a representation of the geometry class.
In geometry, parallel lines aren’t just suggestions.