Here's my first article published for the Plank, which got handed out today. I've positive responses along with Mr. Hornback's comment that I seem a little bitter and a "bit sarcastic" (THAT'S not a understatement). I'm open to criticism too, as this turned into uncharted territory when it suddenly became much more opinion-oriented than I originally intended. Turned out I was actually ticked off about some of this stuff. But without further interruption, here's Fun With School Policy.
Before I really get started here, I should probably point out that there a plenty of reasonable, effective policies at Jesuit High School, both old and new. They just aren’t any good to make fun of. For example, giving three days of detention for every class missed on a suspension. How dare a student not come to school on a day he would be forcibly removed from the campus? He should have the dedication to sneak in and get called for roll. I think we could do more with policies like this, though. Like all these kids getting twelve, fifteen day sentences of JUG. They’re obviously doing something wrong. Let’s suspend ‘em.
There are also some amazing things that get done around campus. For one thing, I have no idea how someone managed to create an appointment system that made getting pictures at Homecoming take longer than it used to, but they did. That must have taken a lot of effort, and isn’t that what counts?
No, it isn’t. Just like always, there are plenty of changes which are working fine and others that aren’t. There’s not a whole lot the school can do to pick out the ones that don’t work without some proper feedback. And as well as complaining with our friends about the changes we don’t like works to change the pace from whining about teachers, it really isn’t going to get us anywhere. In a way, it’s my civic duty to be a Negative Nancy on a greater scale and get things moving. I should be getting service hours for this. But I’m not. I get my service hours letting kindergartners beat me at tic-tac-toe. Life is tough.
You know what else is tough? Trying to have fun at a dance when two teachers are standing about ten feet high in the middle of the dance floor behind me on the “Box of Justice” (working title). It’s a little awkward, and I don’t buy the argument that it’s only strange because I’m dancing in some perverted way. I don’t think people would dance just to be inappropriate. What would they call it? “Strange” dancing? “Crazy” dancing? “Freak” dancing? I don’t buy it. You have two teachers standing ten feet tall leering over me while I’m eating a sandwich, and I guarantee you, it’d be pretty awkward.
Of course, I’d be eating that sandwich with the crust towards me, not with it facing away like some sicko. Now, if you’re thinking eating a sandwich is the same either way, you obviously aren’t out on the front lines with your flashlight every dance. And if I get anything out of this article other than people who think they’re funny calling me Negative Nancy, I want it to be an official answer to this question, because obviously none of us are seeing the big difference: Why is front-to-front dancing just fine and dandy and front-to-back dancing completely unacceptable? They’re pretty much equally bad or equally good, depending on whether you’re a student or work in the flashlight and beige box industries. The school could say, “Neither are now acceptable, and this will now be enforced thanks to junior Negative Nancy,” but then again we’ll be able to think of somewhere fun besides a dance to go out on a Saturday night in Sacramento that isn’t the movies. It’ll take us a few hours of driving around aimlessly, but we’ll get something together.
Look, Catholic school students could make line dancing look dirty, and the difference between your standard issue hoedown dance and line freaking would be pretty obvious. So how about we forget about the platform, tone down the flashlight, and stop taking the card from the guy shaking back and forth five feet away from the back of his date and at least be fair about annoying everyone. The changes could at least stand to be a little more gradual, considering that two years ago the school used to throw a few hundred people in the Little Theater and essentially look the other way for three hours, hoping nobody got too rowdy.
Speaking of Rowdy, we can’t forget the furry, crime-fighting face of our fun new anti-drug policies. They’re a nice extension of the idea that no matter how much something invades our privacy, we shouldn’t care because its for our own good and we have nothing to hide. If we’re going to go with that, we might as well just keep running with it and put cameras everywhere on campus or maybe assign faculty to occasionally follow us around on the weekends. It’d be for our own good, and besides, we shouldn’t have anything to hide.
We could give all that a shot, but I think Rowdy is setting a bad example. He gets to run around out in the parking lot during the day and outside during class looking for a fix when we’re all banned from the parking lot during the day, and we’re not supposed to be able to leave class to go the bathroom (if we can’t stop the drug users, we’ll seriously inconvenience their day planning) and if any of us were that dependent on “party smell” to get through the day, we’d probably be in rehab right now. Anyone who’s been fine with giving up their bathroom privileges for a solution to the drug problem is probably going to be a little less enthusiastic when that solution is going to the bathroom on the Senior Lawn during class.
Everyone who was pushing QSP so much a few weeks ago must be really busy trying to find places to store all those leftover blimps, because nobody seems to have thought through the fact that we might actually need to use all the JUG passes they threw around. Procedural JUG, hmm, let’s see, that sounds like it’s for all the nitpicky things the office gives JUG for and teachers used to threaten to give it for but usually never did. And when we did get it? We could just pass it. Sounds like procedural JUG would work just fine for everybody if we could pass on those detentions too. Well, we can’t, and I haven’t quite figured that one out yet either. And now that Procedural is for all the small stuff, a teacher would have to be pretty ticked to give out some old school JUG. Probably ticked off enough to write “No Pass” on it and get some satisfaction out of the whole deal. JUG passes don't even work until the last day of an extended sentence. That's not exactly helping out those of us getting JUG for getting suspended for getting too much JUG. Then, in academic, we can’t, never have been, and never will be able to use our passes. So whether we’re forgetting notes for the office, being jackasses or not doing our homework, all our JUG passes are going nowhere fast. If this keeps up, why even give passes out? Nobody’s going to care anymore. Good thing the school has the whole blimp thing to fall back on.
Maybe you don’t think the issues here are the important ones. Maybe you have your own serious issues to deal with. That’s fine. Have your own fun with school policy and decide what needs to be changed yourself. Take it to student council. Talk to an administrator. Have your parents write an anonymous letter to Father McGarry. Get something done instead of just complaining about it. The administration could use the input, and between picking up trash at lunch, waiting in picture lines, taking breaks from figuring out that perfect magazine selling plan to get a blimp next year, we have the time to think up solutions.