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Boy, you guys work fast. I'm still wearing white shoes over here (that would
be a half-Cleveland) and lots of you all are already
starting school?! But I can't not send out big mad BG props to all the people
doing their bravest best to bring Columbine High back
A normal year, it won't be. Back to normal, maybe not ever. And it's a sad,
sad September when we're made to see so clearly that today, "safe
and "school" are far, far from redundant.
But while we're on the subject, there's one kind of safety-at-school I'd
none of you feel.
School activity fundraising efforts have come a long way since the day BG
the Breakup High bake sale -- and put the lit mag in the black -- by holding
a Rice Krispy Treat sale instead. Today, evidently, school groups are
organizations to sell
students lists, based on surveys, of compatible -- as in dateable --
Oh. Wait. This just in: Chris just in. He
tells me they did this in his high school. So I guess I'm a bit out of
it on this front. Well, Breakup High was all girls, and it wasn't that
progressive. ("Coming out" was a whole nother thing.)
Anyway, it's true that this practice is becoming more and more popular --
Today reports that these folks do their yentification in over 20% of the
high schools. (And many firms are starting to offer same-sex or "best
services.) (AND, apparently, sometimes teachers get matched up with students?
So there's a lot I could say about this, aside from reporting that no, Chris
didn't "meet anyone" this way.
But here's what strikes me right now. Annie Morgan of the National
Association of Secondary School Principals says these lists offer "an
opportunity for kids to get to know each other who otherwise would never have
because they don't have the same friends or aren't in the same clubs."
Um, yeah, but do they? As one student who used the service told USA
Today: "I still remember one kid on my list, and I shake." Said
pointing to a list, "I know this one, and this one's a 'no.'"
Hey, look. If you're really not drawn to -- as Xander
once said -- "the Dirty Girls" (not as in "easy"), or, say,
The Guy Who Always Wears Shorts, Even When it's Freezing, (or Chuck),
I can't force the fit. But promise me in general, lists or no lists, that no
one will be a "no" just 'cause their clique is.
I don't mean to be glib; I know cliques mix like oil (Greasers) and water
I know that one false move can make you Mayor of Pariahville,* Population 1.
And I'm not just trying to get you to do the right thing, to appoint you
to The Jugglers just to meet your community service requirement.
But still -- yes, especially post-Columbine -- I'd rather you didn't play
so safe. Seeking someone who shares your interests is one thing. So is seeking
someone who butterflies your tummy. But seeking someone merely who mirrors --
or enhances -- your status is another. That's arm candy. Date Light. Looks
less fulfilling. For you.
And yes, there is a sense in which "dangerous" dating --
flirting, or simply "hi"-saying -- moves can, little by little, add
up to bringing a certain kind of safety back to school.
* not to be confused with the term inadvertently coined by a recent
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