This week, Milly and Lucas’s daring investigative funtimes drop them right into the public cattle sorting at Clinton Pub ic High School. What will they see? How will they react? Why am I asking questions that are easily answered by clicking that link?
If you’ll permit me to wax antinostalgic for a bit, let’s discuss school. Stories like this one and the previous Milly ‘n Lucas story are very much influenced by my own experiences in public high school.
Twenty years ago I was going through the daily grind of six classes and six teachers and six ‘small’ loads of homework, chopped into forty-five minute chunks, before the final bus ride back home to actually do things I wanted to do. That’s what I saw school as… not malevolent or unpleasant, but boring, filled with grind and busywork.
Mandatory foreign language classes that would be soon forgotten after the term was up. Lengthy and thick books in English ruminating about death that we had no business reading at that level, which nobody particularly cared about in the first place. Semicomprehensible math classes where you sit in isolation and bewilderment, trying to parse the alien geometries being splattered on a chalkboard. Everywhere you turn… apathy, incompetence, and confusion.
But there are bright spots. Your friends, for one. They’re all in the same mess together with you and they’re the ones you’re REALLY slogging through this muck for. And sometimes, just sometimes, you get a teacher who actually does ignite the flame of knowledge and kindles it properly… for instance, a history teacher who legitimately lived through the madness of the sixties from the hippie end of the perspective, and BOY did he have stories. Not just funny ones, but insightful ones, relevant to the continually changing world. Someone who can take current events and ancient history and tie it all together. A person the kids respect and look forward to listening to.
For that man, Mr. Maslow, I named one of the schools in City of Angles. It’s the least I could do.
Next week we have the conclusion of the schoolyard sleuthing. After that, it’s Marcy dealing with the fallout of her sister’s disappearance. I’m 2.5 weeks ahead in my writing so hopefully my upcoming PAX East trip won’t break things up, but the timing of updates may change, so keep an eye out. And if you see me at PAX East — I’ll be the guy with black hair and glasses sitting on a motorized scooter at a mighty three feet two inches tall — feel free to flag me down and say hi. I may not know who you are, but as human beings, we’ve all marched through the same wastes in some way or another. I’d be happy to nod the head to that effort.