Monday, May 2, 2011
The Beast: A Guest Post
I’d walked into her classroom every day of my freshman year taking a deep breath and feeling like I could relax. After going through six classes that comprised a schedule one might call hell for a freshman, I always felt like I could come into Mrs. Lastname’s class and take it easy while still learning something pertinent.
She was strict but kind; she taught a much more rigorous course than the alternative, Mrs. Idiocy. Some would ask, “Why in the world would you take the harder teacher?!”. However, I never regretted my decision to take her class. I actually thanked God every day that I had [taken it], even a month into the school year. All along I knew that the alternative would result in an easy A, but also quite the gap in my English education. Mrs. Lastname’s class prepared me in a way that no alternative could have, and I still use tools that she taught me.
Going through a single day at Hell High School was enough to make a kid want to go home and fret -- and that’s exactly what I did. Was it because of my teachers? Partially. But mostly, even my freshman year, my stress was due to the evil workings of The Beast. The PRINCIPAL of my high school. If It were reading this today (God knows, It probably is), It would chuckle. It would love that It made me unhappy; It would smile! It may do a little dance around a fire with Its Spawn not far behind. I don’t know what kind of rituals The Beast practices, but I know It makes it Its prerogative to make the lives of good people miserable.
One of those good people was Mrs. Lastname. She taught Shakespeare without missing a beat; every student understood Romeo and Juliet. She drilled grammar into our noggins until we could quote every participle form of every irregular verb diligently. But for some strange, strange reason, The Beast took delight in making Mrs. Lastname miserable. I’ve learned much more extensively over the years just how awful It really was to my favorite teacher, but I knew enough just my freshman year to get worked up and write a letter to the school board.
Now, here’s where I find this saga to be so ironic, and truthfully, quite sad. I wrote the letter that is now included in The Beast: Part 13, not yet knowing 95 percent of what actually occurred. A couple of my buddies had ridden to a sports event with The Beast at some point during the heat of the mass chaos Mrs. Lastname was experiencing, and The Beast (being the unprofessional, above-the-law albatross that It is) shared some confidential information with said buddies. She told them, “Mrs. Lastname is a worthless teacher and you should be so glad that I didn’t allow you two to take her class. But don’t worry, she won’t be around next year to mess anything up.”
Now, any respectable human being should see the shame and illegality of the aforementioned statement. It was not only unprofessional, tasteless, and immature, but it was downright unnecessary. Why did It need to tell these 15-year-old boys how It felt about Mrs. Lastname? What was Its prerogative? I’ll never know. What’s more frightening, however, is that upon examining this statement, one should be angered by more than the mere fact that It said such things to students of the high school which It ruled, that It shared privileged information.... But this statement proves that It actually had the gall to hand-pick Its favorite students (friends of Its Spawn), and insist that they not take Mrs. Lastname as a teacher the summer before they even entered high school. It undermined the staff, over-abused Its power (yet again), and set those students up to believe for the rest of their high school careers that they were “special” and “taken-care-of.” It’s disgusting.
This is the first piece of information that I had upon writing the letter. The second, was also a trivial piece of information in the grand scheme of things, come to find out. I was simply told by a friend that she had substantial evidence that Mrs. Lastname had been forced to resign and that the entire situation was against her will. Period. I had already heard enough at this premature point, and proceeded to type out what I was determined to use not only put The Beast to sleep, to put It in Its place, but to save Mrs. Lastname at the same time. She didn’t deserve it, and come to find out she suffered so much more. It simply wasn’t fair.
The day finally came for me to read my letter before the board, and I was quite nervous. After all, I’d still three years of high school to endure before I was out of there. But I'll never regret my decision. It was the most liberating experience, seeing those 70ish signatures embody into a group of supporters as I walked in to read my statement. It was the most amazing feeling to experience that support. Support for me became support for Mrs. Lastname, and vice versa. It was SO worth it.
Sure, I was nervous. What if The Beast found out? What if It went on to target me next? Oh, and did It ever. Until my junior year, at the end of which I would finally leave Hell High School for a “normal” high school experience, It turned to me in every way possible. It went to great lengths -- and succeeded -- in fudging my GPA so that Its Spawn could be valedictorian instead of me. And in that aspect, It sure won. Whoopie, Its Spawn has a nice lookin’ GPA from Podunk Hell High School, but absent from the bubble of HHS will likely never make it as anything more than a pretty face and an empty mind.But what do I have? I have a 3.989 GPA and a diploma from an ACCREDITED high school that just-so-happens to be the largest, most prestigious public high school in the state of Missouri.
Best of all? I’m out. And Mrs. Lastname is out. And The Beast is still there. Though It's no longer in full power, It has procured Itself a nice support group of superintendents, board members, and other Hell High School staff so that It may continue Its shenanigans in peace and without resistance. It's yet to be stopped, sure. But meh, Hell High School deserves her. In the mean time, we who escaped are living our lives without misery, stress, or constant ridicule. And I’d venture to say that we’re quite happy.