morag (marrog) wrote in _from_within_,

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I've been trying to think of my best High School memory for the past week, and coming up with nothing. High School basically sucked for me. My school was tiny, and I was kind of a geek on so many levels, so things just didn't go well. I'm not bitter or anything - hell, my life is amazing now, and there are few kids from my school who turned out as well as I did. But it's hard to pick the good memories out from the bad.

That being said, there is one thing that I thought of. In my sixth year (final year) of High School, I was a prefect. I have no idea what prefects are in the States, whether you have them or whatever. Basically, you get to partol the corridors making sure kids aren't out of line, you hold doors at the end of the school day, monitor behaviour when the weather's bad and everyone's indoors, head up lunch queues, etc, etc. Basically, you were a mini-Fascist member of The Authority for the year. You could only be a prefect by application, and basically the heads of the school would decide whether they liked you or not. In my fifth year I wasn't a prefect, basically because the Assistant Head didn't like me. In my sixth year, she had left the school in a huff because she hadn't been made Head, and so, coincidentally, I was a prefect.

So, I was a prefect, but that didn't make me One Of Them. The kids I hung out with (we all hated each other, but we hated the popular crowd more so we sort of stuck together) were mostly rejects, and I continued to hang out with them, shirking my duties and generally avoiding the other 'perfects'. And instead of hanging out in the prefects' common room, I hung out in the Sixth Year common room. The prefects had a warm, freshly painted room with a kettle, toaster, toastie maker, microwave, CD player, and comfortable chairs. The non-prefect sixth years had a cold, dingy room next to the (mercifully girls') toilets, containing only some plastic desk chairs and an ancient sound system so old you had to wedge the CD tray shut with a plastic fork to make it play, and that was all.

Is this sounding like a 'tale-of-woe' school story yet? I'm honestly not kidding. But may I remind you that I was here voluntarily. The company in the prefects' room was bad enough that it outweighed the awful surroundings of the aternative.

We brightened it up a bit, over time. We painted part of a wall orange (only part, mind you, the leftovers from painting the prefects' room only went so far), we brought in cushions so that we at least didn't feel like we were in class, we fitted some coathangers, someone brought in a kettle (although we had to fill it from the water-fountain in the girls' loos). It became almost liveable.

So, my best memory from High School is that room, I guess. Or most specifically, what we did to it towards the end of our stay. We trashed the place. We had been writing a story around the white dado rail of the wall for some time now, and it had extended around more than half the room. Towards the end of the year we stepped up the pace a little. We covered the walls with our scribblings. Dan drew an enormous picture of a tree, strange things sitting on, hanging from its branches, we all added something. Caroline drew a big Metallica logo, surrounding it with images of Metal and Fantasy. Katie wrote an obscene song she knew down one side of a wall, I added my personal rendition of a number of poems I'd done in English that year, along with their originals. We wrote, drew, graffittid everywhere, but we weren't finished. We started collecting our own litter, and stuck it to the wall. Not rotten food, obviously. Cleaned crisp packets, drinks cans, sweetie wrappers, that sort of thing. And we stuck it all (artistically arranged, of course) to the wall with the door in it, so that anyone who happened to be passing but didn't go in wouldn't see it. We wanted this to be a lovely surprise. Pride of place was given to a cross made of wood in Art, with my spare prefect teeshirt pinned to it, then mounted on the wall (supported by the coat-hangers).

D'you know the amazing, funny, and somehow very sad thing? No one noticed before the end of the year. We were never caught. No one came into that room, not even cleaners. No teacher saw it before we left, no one commented. No one noticed us while we were there. But they would sure as hell notice when they went in to clear it for the next year of rejects.

And now, a promotion. I totally resent communities that make you promote as you apply, but hey, I'm bored.

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