A Day in the Life of a Jackson Public School Kid | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

A Day in the Life of a Jackson Public School Kid

Youth Media Project

Inspired by an article ( http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/index.php/ymp/comments/a_day_in_the_life_of_a_private_school_kid ) written by my new best friend Emma Liston (I realize that because text has no real sure emotional trajectory that to some this can come off as sarcastic. No I mean it, I met Emma and she is becoming one of the cooler people that I have met and I love her so there).

I've decided to let everyone know who wonders in on the secret life of public school kids, it's very awesome. I know that many have only heard and seen the bad things about public school kids and while that's true, it is also extremely detrimental because it prevents them from being able to accept that public school kids may just be the coolest and most fascinating kids on the planet. So here goes nothing.

6:45: I wake up in a panic, I've forgotten to do someone's homework yet again and I really don't know how I'm going to dig myself out of the rut I've worked myself into…
7:00: Wake up again to the sounds of my mom calling me. Apparently I'd fallen asleep thinking about how much trouble I constantly make for myself.

7:01: I look around in a frenzy trying to find clothes that the Big Cheeses at my school won't consider ground for suspension. Although a part of my mind thinks about certain people who wear pretty skanky things and escape the wrath of the system, I am quickly brought to reality with the remembrance of that one time when I got shuffled into to ISS for walking slow… anyways.

7:30: I wait outside for my "short bus" to come pick me up. I stand there wondering whether or not it has broken down again because, well it does that a lot….

7:59: I arrive to school dismayed at the time. It is not even eight o' clock which means I have to wait longer in the waiting area of death--soon to be explained.

8:00: I am shuffled down the halls along with the rest of the "cattle" To the dumbest destination ever: the school gym. A place designed to hold 500 people comfortably is now forced to fit almost twice that. The teachers that monitor us wear faces of annoyance since this was completely not apart of their job description…. And just as an aside, the safety of this procedure really concerns me. This is the only time when everyone in the school is in the same place at the same time. I am not joking, all of the students and the administration and most of the teachers. Really. If something major happened I doubt the number of survivors would be that high. Okay moving on.

8:15: The bell rings, but I am forced to wait until I am told to get up and begin to move to my next class. I just want to learn ya'll!!

8:20-10:00: After shoving my way through a sea of people I finally make it to my AP Government class. We try to begin the class several times but are interrupted constantly by announcements about stolen things, basketball games, and threats from the administration to do what they say or else.

This is something that happens throughout the entire day and takes about an hour out of a student's total class time. Besides that, AP Government is awesome. We get off of the subject a lot, but I'm learning. I realize the benefit of not following a lesson plan to the letter and I wish that other kids in my school were getting the same benefit.

Unfortunately, JPS feels that there is a need for more structure failing to realize that just because you have more, doesn't mean you are improving something; in fact you could be seriously damaging something. I guess the bureaucracy of JPS and clogged arteries have a lot in common…

10:05-11:40: Intro to Engineering/Discrete Math!! I love this class. It is small and Socratic and amazingly awesome. In this class I began to love math. Like really. However, the principal felt the need to give my teacher a low rating for class control because he came in (the only time he's ever really come in) and caught people sitting on desks and eating breakfasty things. I mean really. This class contains some of the most brilliant students and yet he fails to understand that sometimes allowing things like food and sitting on desks to the side, kids learn. I mean really learn. The intense kind of learning: the kind of learning that college students know. And then I find out that the teachers can't critique the principals back, a fact which I find complete bull. I mean how do you expect to get better if you don't allow the people who work for you a way to express the problems that the administration has. This really worries me.

11:45-12:12: My AP Calculus class. I am crap at math but grades aren't really my teachers aim. She just wants to make sure I learn. Something that aggravates people who are used to being benchmarked by grades and not overall comprehension as applied through question and answer and actual communication with one's teacher.

12:15-12:45: I follow the drones (I am one too by the way) towards the cafeteria. It looks like a giant zombie mob walking toward brains except we are alive and its food but the feeling's there. It's very systematic and processed--much like the food. I am monitored as if in jail--because apparently going to lunch is dangerous--because this is when fights appear the most, other than in between classes. I can't believe no one fails to see that maybe if some of us were allowed to eat outside maybe we'd vent our anger someplace else; or better yet the beauty of nature calms us all down and we can truly relax from a stressful school day. I'm just saying.

12:50-1:50: We come back to class and try to finish the lesson, but that's hard to do when not allowed to properly work off food….

1:55-2:00: I am forced to get on a bus to ride down to my Performing Arts school which is less than two minutes away from my main school. We used to be able to walk but some people say that it was a "liability." I guess exercise and fresh air is evil…

2:00-3:30: I into my Theatre class and proceed to have the best time of my life. I'm doing what I love to do and my brain is growing in both directions. This is awesome!

3:30-3:35: I walk up to my main school for after-school practice only to find that it is canceled., but someone in charge forgot to spread the word. You gotta' love the disconnect. And then I run to catch my bus, hoping it left me, lost in the mass of kids all waiting to get home.

And that's my day: very tiring, and confusing, but good. I am glad I have gone to public school for the whole of my life because I have been exposed to some pretty epic things. I may not know a lot about the governments in other countries or traveled for a field trip to a beautiful fountain in Spain, but I've learned about people up close and personal and I'm better for it.

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