THE FIRST TEN LIES THEY TELL YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL 1. We are here to help you. 2. You will have time to get to your class before the bell rings. 3. The dress code will be enforced. 4. No smoking is allowed on school grounds. 5. Our football team will win the championship this year. 6. We expect more of you here. 7. Guidance counselors are always available to listen. 8. Your schedule was created with you in mind. 9. Your locker combination is private. 10. These will be the years you look back on fondly. TEN MORE LIES THEY TELL YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL 1. You will use algebra in your adult lives. 2. Driving to school is a privilege that can be taken away. 3. Students must stay on campus during lunch. 4. The new text books will arrive any day now. 5. Colleges care more about you than your SAT scores. 6. We are enforcing the dress code. 7. We will figure out how to turn off the heat soon. 8. Our bus drivers are highly trained professionals. 9. There is nothing wrong with summer school. 10. We want to hear what you have to say.
Principal Principal: Where's your late pass, mister?Errant Student: I'm on my way to get one now. PP: But you can't be in the hall without a pass. ES: I know, I'm so upset. That's why I need to hurry, so I can get a pass. Principal Principal pauses with a look on his face like Daffy Duck's when Bugs is pulling a fast one. PP: Well, hurry up, then, and get that pass.
We tilt our heads back and open wide. The snow drifts into our zombie mouths crawling with grease and curses and tobacco flakes and cavities and boyfriend/girlfriend juice, the stain of lies. For one moment we are not failed tests and broken condoms and cheating on essays; we are crayons and lunch boxes and swinging so high our sneakers punch holes in the clouds. For one breath everything feels better. Then it melts. The bus drivers rev their engines and the ice cloud shatters. Everyone shuffles forward. They don't know what just happened. They can't remember.