Monday, August 9, 2010

Two Years in Prison

I'm on a roll today! So, a little known fact about me is that I spent two years in prison. It was called Urbandale High School.

Teachers doubled as guards. When they were not teaching, they stood in front of door exits to make sure nobody left the cafeteria during lunch, or their classrooms at any other time of day. Everybody crammed body-to-body into the school entrance during blizzards because we were not allowed in the hallways until the morning bell rang, five minutes before our first class started. The result was pushing and shoving to get out of the cold.

We were not allowed to carry any type of food or drink (even water) around with us. We could only leave the classroom one at a time with a big hot pink pass around our necks if we needed to use the restroom or get a drink. My German teacher thought it was dumb and that we were all dehydrating, so she gave us extra points to sneak water bottles to school in our backpacks.

When we had bomb threats, we were not allowed to leave the building. Some kids had their parents write notes in on those days, saying they had some kind of appointment or other so that their kids would be allowed to leave. We'd all (even the teachers) look up at the clock as the time of the declared detonation approached, and breath a sigh of relief when nothing happened.

It was the administration we had to worry about more than the students. During my two years there, our Drug Abuse Resistance Education officer was arrested for dealing drugs (and worse) and our principal was fired for embezzling.

When I moved to City High my junior year, I was floored that they let us eat lunch outside on the grass. We could even leave campus for lunch if we wanted to. People roamed freely in the halls when they had open hours (there were no such thing as open hours at UHS Prison). In short, I felt like there was trust and freedom. Because there was trust, most people behaved themselves as if they were deserving of it.

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