While in the twin cities this week I decided to stop by Cooper High School in New Hope Minnesota where I had the displeasure to spend much of my HS career. My intent was to see an old teacher who I had always thought highly of and eventually did so... but this post isn’t about that... the next one is.
I did not exactly have a good time while at Cooper... in fact I hated it, miserably so and nearly every day getting out of bed I dreaded the day ahead... and while there today I remembered some of those reasons.
While waiting in the main entrance area for the day to end so that I could enter I stood behind a series of security doors and listened to and watch some of the kids (despite being in their teens, ‘infants’ might be a better term) and see what those sorts of kids are like today.
Oh My God! I’m sooooo hungry... I want some mac and cheese... I’m sooooo hungry, oh my god... ooooooooh, I want some mac and cheese.
That phrase line was repeated several times from a girl who looked 15, all the while clutching her stomach.
Also while waiting I saw numerious kids walk buy, each with an attempted swagger and their shorts hanging down quite far.
I thought I remember sagging going away in the late 90’s... I guess it has come back.
It was also entertaining to see how many guys both big and small thought they were real bad asses and tough when coming across people bigger or more intimidating than them... which is odd because not one of those kids ever looked at me and I look like some crazy mountain man who’d kill ya if you even think about cutting across my lawn.
After getting past the security doors things got even worse because just as I reached the middle of the lobby area a huge rush of kids came flooding out... and rather than being somewhat intelligent in terms of their directions they were constantly zigzagging back and forth (while still headed in the same general direction) which forced me to start dancing all around to not run over anyone and still make forward progress.
Finally after making my way past the throngs of poorly behaved and quite loud children I made it to the third floor where I saw what appeared to be a hall monitor not even give me a second look while walking to one of the wings.
Given the sort of security they’ve installed at the front door (magnetically sealed inner doors, attendant behind glass with two LCD monitors with ~24 video feeds each, name badges, sign in paper, etc)... I was surprised how lax things were just 5 minutes after the final bell.
It was interesting to be walking those halls again after so long. The last time I spent any time there was in the spring of 1999 while I was a ‘senior’ there and didn’t care a wet-slap about high school any more and due to not caring since ‘junior’ year I did not graduate. Instead a week after my class graduated I went in and took the GED test and even ended up arguing with the proctor over the accuracy of a question (which I have verified since that I was right on).
While there I had the traditional interest in the changes to the building, a more open lobby area, banners hanging down, new and freshly painted lockers, new walkways outside... and still so many things were the same. The same tacky floor that is nearly indestructible (and still looking quite good), the same tiles and railings in the different stairwells, the same poorly maintained classrooms while the administrative offices looked better than those of the owners of the company I work for.
While there I even passed a few teacher who I had remembered and that added to the experience of reminding me why I hated the place so and why I was so glad to be rid of it, but then I was only there for once reason... to see Mr. Stewart, something I’ll post about a little later.