After a discussion with Garrett about our upbringings in Ye Olde Small Townes of Kansas, I had a startling realization of how poor my school was as my career at the only Catholic grade school in Miami county progressed. I hereforeto present my case.
CASE 1: Corndogs
So as I began to enjoy lunch as a 5th grader at my school, I looked forward to Corn Dog day. No no no, it’s not an actual dog, it’s apparently just a hybrid type farm-raised dog that has had it’s hair removed so the public feels better about eating it. Eating a cute fluffy puppy…no thank you. Eating an ugly bald dog…A-OK. The delight was almost unbearable as I would eat one, or two, or on special occasions (like Columbus Day or any of the many holidays I had made up including “Eat tons of corn dogs day”) I would partake in THREE corn dogs. As the years went on, suddenly there were less free corn dogs to enjoy after everyone had firsts. Then we started taking roll before class of who was eating hot lunch so that Lunch Lady Martha would have NO CHANCE of making extra. We countered this strategy by hiring kids from other classes and homeless people to sit in class for 10 minutes and raise their hand when this count was taken. Take THAT you frugal bastards. This went on for another year until the administration caught on and the homeless people realized we would never actually give them the bottle of Slivovitz we promised (or even a corn dog for that matter). Then it happened…
We had to start paying for second helpings of corn dogs.
We immediately began to sound our barbaric Yawps over the roofs of the world. This was ridiculous. What was once a flowing utopia of corn dogs and happiness now became a desolate wasteland of hunger and cheap-asses. I tried different tactics to get my deserved second corn dog but unfortunately they saw through most of my plans. I couldn’t even find a homeless guy to help me this time around since I had pissed most of them off. I began to feel despair. I couldn’t bear to spend the $1.15 to get another one. That was ridiculous. Do I have a cool comb-over? Do I look like Donald Trump? No! So after much crying and throwing furniture and thrashing and paying for broken furniture I resigned my battle and accepted what had become clear…My school was poor.
CASE 2. Field trips to Public School
After we had dealt with the dire lunch room situation, my private school began to focus on outsourcing many of the extra special classes that they offered to save money like band, drama, math, science, recess, etc. We would leave the grounds of our school and take a bus to the PUBLIC school. I didn’t understand why the kids were not wearing snazzy uniforms or why they were allowed to have “text books” and “lockers”. After we had returned to Catholic school because somebody forgot to turn the AC up so we could save energy, we finally arrived at public school. It was amazing. The kids laughed and skipped and carried on without a care in the world. They could literally just leave a trail of pizza rectangles on their way to class if they wanted to, THAT’s how rich they were. After band class was over, I’d pack up my triangle and spoon/mallet and wait for the bus to take us back to our school. The public school kids waved goodbye and then went back to “reading” their “books.”
After we turned the AC back down and cooled down our gym/lunchroom/auditorium/janitorial closet we would frolic and enjoy recess until the end of the day. For some reason, playing invisible dodgeball and pretend monkey bars just wasn’t the same after Public School…I felt cheated…I felt poor.
Case 3. I was homeschooled.
My school was so poor we couldn’t even afford a SCHOOL! OK some of the skeptics might think that this is a fairly common alternative to education and many kids come out smarter than their public school counter parts…to that I say NUH UH! My school was so poor we couldn’t even afford a school. We had the internet and my teacher/mom who just read wikipedia articles to me as I took notes. When I was 17 and realized that I wasn’t going to an actual school but was in fact just taught by my mother…I was so distraught. How had I been so blind? Why was I so lonely? How many homeless people had I invited into my home over the course of the years? It was such an unsettling realization and I refused to believe it. After much therapy and crying and compulsive eating I finally got it together and was ready to move on to the next level. Though I was still skeptical, it all came back together when I left for college. I attended The Johnson’s House University, which was just like my first school except had a second story and at least one more student.