Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ode To High School

This is really a long Quote of the Day, but is so pitch-perfect, from Maureen Dowd:

High school looks like the beginning of adulthood and feels like it, but it isn’t adulthood. It’s some kind of dress rehearsal. It’s the first experience of a grown-up emotional and physical life, where you feel the rush of your powers and your vulnerability. Every reversal is gigantic. It’s a perfect storm of potency and ignorance, power and inexperience.

High school is the place where people get wounded — somebody else does better, an endless source of injuries, slights and offenses. Everyone comes out of high school needing vindication or revenge or compensation. It’s all about somebody else getting the pretty girl or the cute guy or the higher grade or the position on the sports team. Or the opposite: the Biffs, the quarterbacks who look back and realize they can never be that again.

The two kinds of people who never let go are the injured and the injurers, people who got slammed and the prom kings and queen bees who swanned at the top only in their teens. In a way, you could define adulthood as a passage into a time when you realize high school no longer matters.
It's a political column, ostensibly, but I'm not sure I've ever heard the high school experience encapsulated so eloquently.

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