I guess you could call it a sort of targeted ignorance. I blot out unnecessary disturbances, and I transform objects that need transforming. I edit out all of the mistakes, and revise all that is around me. It’s a perfect world, customized just for me.
It allows a freedom, from the ball-and-chain effect of the rest of the world’s synthesized opinion. It allows me to interpret beauty in my own way. I can choose whether or not and how I want to believe in God. I can decide for myself what being alive means. And I can make up my own list of what is right and what is wrong.
High school is the most useful place to have such a separate world. Bullies can’t touch me; in my world there is no such thing. Rumors aren’t spread, homosexuals aren’t ridiculed, teenage pregnancies aren’t conceived, teachers who ridicule their students are forgotten, and pimples vanish off the faces of their victims. But most of all, over everything, where I live my aptitude and intelligence is most definitely not based on a letter. Here, grades represent effort. And only effort.
If I get a bad grade, it doesn’t stamp my forehead with the word IDIOT. It only means that next time I need to work harder. One of the most wonderful things about having your own world is that I can replace all of the horrible aspects of this hostile place of ‘growth’ and ‘learning’. The sterile, bleached walls wash themselves over with color, and every, single, malicious, headache-inducing fluorescent light blinks out one-by-one. The windows are opened and the sunshine seeps in, and I can hear the sounds of the rest of the world again.
And when I walk through my mind’s transformed hallways every bullying encounter between students end as everyone involved collectively decides to stop being mean to one another when instead they could just be happy somewhere else. Everyone laughs for no reason and people twirl and dance just for fun, and when I smell BO in the air it is funny and endearing rather than disgusting. Here art is encouraged and happiness even more so, and kids are allowed an equal freedom to responsibility ratio. And there is absolutely no prospect of a school shooting. I go to this place five days out of every week, and because of this I am a better person.
Because of this place, I will grow to be a compassionate, intuitive adult. Because of this place I will better the world with my presence. All because of this place. But I am afraid. I’m scared! I’m scared of and for all the children unlike me who don’t have their own, perfect little worlds. They are teenagers who will learn from their high schools to condemn, and standardize, and give up.
Teenagers who will see social hostility every day and it will become their norm. Hundreds of kids who will leave their high schools feeling stupid because they didn’t get A’s. Millions of children who wonder each day if that will be the day someone enters their school with a gun and shoots them dead. I am terrified of these kids because they’ve been cultured as thus their entire lives, and soon, someday, they will be the adults. They will rule the world.
And they will pass on all of the terrible things they learned to the next generation. And the cycle will never stop.