High school (and Washington?) as Dante's Circles of Hell Archives
High school (and Washington?) as Dante's Circles of Hell
Joanne Jacobs describes a very funny post by Ms. Cornelius of A Shrewdness of Apes: "high school is organized into concentric circles of despair and Sisyphean drudgery which align quite nicely with the Nine Circles of Hell our friend and eternal optimist Dante Alighieri described so fully."
Joanne Jacobs "favorite is Circle 5 for the 'wrathful and sullen' seniors."
Circle 5 - The River Styx; the Wrathful and the Sullen: The seniors have slogged their way through all these levels only to discover that they are merely on the verge of true Hell. They've figured out to take AP and honors classes their first semester, and as soon as the transcripts are mailed off to their fifteen dream colleges to "drop them like it's hot" and coast through the rest of the year. The ones who SWORE that they would never want to go to college or trade school have lost a bit of that sneer as they are slowly coming to the realization that after antagonizing Mom and Dad for the last six years, what with the brushes with the law and the suspensions and the phone calls from school and the poor grades, their parents are COUNTING the days until they can tell their offspring that their bedroom has become an exercise room, and seven bucks an hour at TWO part time jobs at fast food joints minus something called FICA and social security will get them a run-down one bedroom apartment with three roommates, rides to work on a bus, peanut butter sandwiches, no vacations EVER-- much less three months in a row off, no health care, and tennis shoes from K-Mart, not Foot Locker. No bling, no phat threads, and no pimpin' any rides. Suddenly four years of sitting in a classroom listening to someone drone on and on about 18th century British literature or the principles of accounting doesn't sound nearly as stupefying as fifty years of soul-destroying repetitive labor where you come home at the end of the day with the smell of fried food permeating even your HAIR, which you now have to get cut at Great Clips four times a year.
We also like Circle 4:
Circle 4 - The Hoarders and the Improvident: Most of the juniors are engulfed in a tsunami in post-high school planning, as the first deadline to register for the ACT was on the Friday after we started school, and they are frantically collecting honors to list on their aplications and recommendations from harried staff. Those who swear that they'll NEVER want to go to college or trade school or sit in a classroom again are sneering at their classmates who are wigging out. They can't wait to get out of school so they'll never have to do what anyone tells them, EVER AGAIN.
"When teaching school is like... a divine comedy," by Ms. Cornelius, A Shrewdness of Apes, August 27, 2006
Meg Greenfiled described Washington as a "stunted, high-schoolish social structure" so Ms. Cornelius' descriptions kind of work here....
September 2, 2006 11:37 AM Humor