May 1998
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The Unwritten Rules Everyone Needs to Know in Order to Survive Waterford High School

by Julie Wernau

Imagine this. You, an average sized student, are walking down the W-wing, mushing your way through the crowded halls of Waterford High School. Suddenly, Chad Vietch comes walking straight towards you with his huge, towering, massive self. According to the unwritten rules of Waterford High School you are obligated to move your scrawny butt out of the way. There are many rules in Waterford High School which no one has written down, but deserve to be given this privilege. Maybe shedding some light on this subject will clear up a few things which some of the more oblivious students in this school may not have quite caught on to yet.

Let's start at the beginning of the day shall we? The bus stop. Now, I know that not everyone has the privilege of taking the loser cruiser, but I happen to so let's start out there. At the bus stop, the first thing which everyone must automatically do is look as if they haven't slept in 300 years. Everyone at the bus stop will hate you if you show up happy. No one is happy to take the one. I've found normally it is also a requirement to complain incessantly about everything until the bus arrives. This serves as an ice breaker for the three people who would never even acknowledge each other's presence in front of their friends. I mean, the three people who are at your bus stop always have to be the three people who either A.) You haven't talked to since that big fight in fourth grade B.) Have slept with your significant other or C.)Embody everything you will tell your children not to associate with. That's a small town for you. Anyway, this drunken morning stupor must carry on to the bus ride to school. If you are a morning person and want to survive this journey just make sure you stare straight ahead and pretend not to notice that anyone else on the bus exists. Whatever you do, don't talk. I guarantee that any word you say above a whisper is ticking someone off to the point that they would bash your face in if they weren't so busy pretending that something extremely interesting was outside the window.

Now, I think it is important to mention that there are very specific rules to getting down the hallway. If you ever want to get through the mess of people who prevent you from reaching your destination, you have to be bold. You have to be brave. You have to have that look on your face that says, "I was born to walk down this hall and no one can get through me. I am God. I am your worst nightmare. Get out of my way." Anyone will tell you that it takes a truly amazing person to get through the E-wing at rush hour while walking a straight line and not get into full fledged brawl. For those of you who are not quite so bold and have that look that says, "I'm a freshman, please don't hurt me." These are the guidelines to follow. First of all stay to the right, and stay as close to the lockers as you can. With this path, the people who are attempting to get books out of their lockers will simply push you along. Your feet won't even touch the ground. Another approach is to take a shortcut through Mr. Reynold's room. I've seen many saplings try this method. As soon as they reach the intersection they make a mad dash for Reynold's room and come out the other end high and dry. No one even notices the detour. Not everyone realizes the art of hall walking, and I would hate to see the mushed up remains of a small person who accidently went to the left. By the way, all you people who have little tea parties in the middle of the hallway ...move.

Here we are. You've reached your locker, your locker neighbors are on either side of it, and you have three minutes to get to class. You have a few options, depending on which way your locker opens. Let's just say that your's opens to the left. Now, because the people who designed the lockers at W.H.S. are such geniuses your door bangs into the person's door to the left of you. In order to survive this adventure, you must open your locker door just enough so that you can get to your books. If you come into your locker like you are some kind of crazed lunatic who thinks they own the school, you aren't going to have any locker buddies, and one day someone will lose it and put a nice red locker dent in your forehead. That could ruin Christmas. So just open it a teeny bit and put your huge mother of a backpack in any open space you can find. Oh, and whatever you do, don't stand at your locker and bend over to get a book from the bottom. You're just asking to get your butt slapped.

Here's another thing to watch out for: many people have the mistaken impression that just because someone acts one way when the teacher is present, they always act that way. Au contraire. It is unbelievable the things that people will do once a teacher leaves the room. You just aren't allowed to be good when the teacher says, "Be good. I'll be back in a second." One person always has to scream, "Party!" One person always has to make fun of the idiot who screamed, "Party!" One person is keeping watch, and one person is always arbitrarily running around the room doing something completely random like playing duck duck goose. Everyone always just accepts this as normal of course. If this complete lack of order scares you, just squeeze your eyes shut as tight as you can until the teacher comes back. Whatever you do don't say, "Come on you guys. We should really be good." Those nine words just cost you your life. Oh, and if you happen to be involved in the duck duck goose game, don't continue to play when the teacher comes back.

You don't want to be the only person standing in the middle of the room screaming "Ha! GOOOOSSSEEE!!! I got you! I got you!" when the teacher comes into the room. That goose will most likely suddenly be very involved in a copy of Moby Dick.

Another wonderful adventure is the bathroom. Of course, the rules to the bathroom are very different depending on your gender. All guys know the rules of the urinals. They shouldn't really have to be explained, but for those of you who were born in a cave...stare straight ahead and whatever you do, don't look down. Also, don't urinate in pairs. When men see men standing and peeing next to each other they assume that they are lovers. It's a guy thing. Now, women are very different in the school bathroom. Most of the time if you are a female you should try to slip into the bathroom at a random time like 10:17 when no one is in there. This is your best bet, but if you do go in there during another time, be sure to follow the rules. First, if you smoke, don't take up a stall. You aren't fooling anyone by pretending to be peeing for five minutes straight. Boof isn't completely oblivious you know. If you don't follow this rule, at least wipe the ashes off the seat as a common courtesy to those of us who actually have to pee. It isn't much fun when you realize that you forgot to check the seat before you sat down, and there are ashes all over your butt. For those of you who don't smoke, make sure you check the seat. Don't approach the person who left the ashes there either. Most non-smokers assume they are the only ones who don't smoke in the bathrooms. In reality most people don't, but a little known fact is that all of us who don't are afraid of the people who do. Actually, it works out quite nicely. The smokers are nice to the non-smokers because they're afraid of being ratted on and the Non-smokers are nice to the smokers because they are afraid of getting beaten up. The two sides are constantly at arms. Don't approach the other team, it just isn't smart. If you stay on your side, they'll stay on theirs. Also, don't talk to the person in the stall next to you. No one wants to talk at a time like that. It is embarrassing enough.

One rule that will get you through any jam at Waterford High is to act completely disinterested. It works in so many cases. At football games when we score a touch down don't ever let on that you are excited. If you want to be really cool, you have to make fun of our team and root for the other team. School spirit is a big no no. During the moment of silence, don't pray. Act like you suddenly had something really important to say to your best friend next to you. I can not recall a time when it was ever silent during the moment of silence. If there is a test the next day that you are going to stay up all night studying for, when your friend asks you about it say, "I don't care, I know I'm not going to study." Disinterest is the key.

Just a few rules to live by and you'll get through Waterford High just fine. Now that you know what they are be sure to follow them, and if you ever get stuck and forget a few rules, just remember that there is always someone who is way more clueless than you are. Just laugh it off and vow to try harder next time. We all make mistakes. Some people just make them more frequently than others.

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