21st Century Kid

Back To School, Back To Cool

“Did school start this week? I thought I saw Mom post something about this on Facebook,” I ask Mickey.

“Yeah, school started.” she writes, seemingly exasperated by day three, “And, it’s soooo hot. My school barely has air conditioning: the air conditioning broke the day before school started so we have this temporary system that doesn’t work that well.”

“Bleh,” I think to myself, disgusted by the thought of sticky, humid weather. The thought of school, actually, sounds quite refreshing. My young self would probably get all Problem Child on me for calling school refreshing but hey, a working man has to get some kicks lusting after being in school again. I ask, “How does the air conditioning not work? What classes are you taking? Dang. that blows with the weather and stuff.”

“That’s the problem: all the AC does is blow air – not even cold air. It’s like, 105 degrees here on a daily basis!” She laughs at her joke. I, on the other hand, can’t help but be reminded that this somehow reflects the poor state of the economy and the stupid debt crisis. Thankfully, because of all the school budget cuts and the soon-to-come new cuts, kids in school not only are going to get a bad education but will be smothered by hot and cold temperatures in the process. Hurray, government! I hope bitter teachers are at least educating these kids how they can use their future to retaliate.

“Oh, I’m taking Literature, Chemistry, World History, an Acting class, Spanish 3, a Theater Tech class and a Math class. So fun…” she says, reminding me what we’re supposed to be talking about. “How does it feel to be a ~*~sOpHoMoRe~*~??” I enquire, recalling sophomore year being such a good year.

“Well, I like to think of it as the awkward grade of high school. Not new but not quite old enough to be an ‘upperclassman’. And there’s no real median grade, so it’s… awkward?”

“It’s like the butt of High School… but in a good way! You know how everything works in your school.” I tell her. Then I remember sophomore year in High School is an awkward, simply transitional year. My high school sophomore year was ruined by the death of Aaliyah. I remember me and this girl Latoya who sat in front of me in English would reminisce on her death after discussions on Flowers For Algernon. Rest in piece, baby girl.

“That’s right, being a sophomore in college is the good sophomore year – not sophomore year in high school. But as a rule, junior year is the best year (although the hardest).” I ask her, “What else is going on in school?”

“Um… the only thing I can really think of is lockers. I haven’t been able to get into mine for two years,” she confesses.

I Internet laugh at her and ask, “Did you even use a locker last year? How big are the lockers in your school, anyway?”

“No, I couldn’t get into it. Since I was new to the school, I decided I wouldn’t bother anyone about it. Plus, our school janitorial staff is very intimidating,” she says. I’m unconvinced that is a reason to not have a locker: scary janitors. She continues: “Ours are half sized but I got a big Tech locker. It was in the Tech room and one of my favorite seniors gave me hers.”

I Internet laugh, “Nice. Did you know that I was, like, the king of decorating lockers in High School? I took such pride in making mine look fly. I put like a collage on every side of the locker and like hung an air freshener…yet again, another indication I as a homo but did not know it in school.” I Internet laugh at myself, Mickey obviously not amused, “Also, you are silly: why wouldn’t you talk to the janitor about your locker??”

“They were very intimidating last year! My backpack wasn’t that heavy. And, it’s not that bad now.” she says.

“What? Do they not make you carry books anymore or something? WTF?”

“Oh, no: I still have to carry all the books, but I have a really good back pack now,” she says, Internet laughing.

“Well, that is good. What makes the bookbag so fly? Is it fashionable or just functional? I always went with just fashionable bags.” I tell her.

“Of course you did,” she Internet laughs, “Mine is kind of both… but not really: it’s mostly just functional. It’s a Hurley. Like, the skateboard brand. It’s not my favorite, but its big.”

“Oh, that sounds fly. I mean, it’s both fashionable and functional. My bookbags in High School were only ever like the weirdest, with like one large asymmetrical strap or it was from a thrift store and needed to be carried by hand like a purse. I made carrying books way too hard for myself.”

“It’s a wonder you were in the top five in your class,” she Internet laughs and Internet just kiddings me, absolving herself from the jab with a flippant JK. “I would love to have a fashionable, functionable backpack. But I’ve yet to find one. Teen Vogue should do an article on that…”

“You should write an article on it! Do research and then send it to Teen Vogue, telling them to wise up!”

She laughs. I tell her she needs to write that article so I can read it.

“What if I made it a blog post for my site?” she asks.

“I think that would be perfect.”

“OH!!! Today, someone in the halls at my school – who I’m not friends with on Facebook and they don’t follow me on Twitter – stopped me and said, ‘OMG: I saw your article on HelloGiggles!!!’ and I mentally freaked out.” she says, excitedly.

I laugh a lot, telling her how cool that is. Sounds like these articles are even reaching all the way to the hallways of Augusta, GA schools.

“When is that going to happen to me???? No strangers have told me they saw the article! Just kidding. I actually don’t care,” I tell her, which is a lie because I am sure I would melt like a stick of butter that was left on top of the hood of a black Ford Escort in a High School parking lot if a stranger was like, “I saw your Hello Giggles articles. Here is a development deal for an NBC show. And a million dollars. Congratulations!” That’s how it works, right?

“Maybe people just relate or like me more… just kidding.” she tells me.

“Hey, you be good, Mickey…or, I will write these articles about me and my dog Dottie from now on,” I tell her sternly, then give her a taste of her own medicine: “Just kidding!”

“That actually scared me for a second.” she says.

“Good,” I think to myself, “I’ve won this match, Michaella Fitzpatrick.”