Insider's Guide to High School Journals The Tattoo

Our schools are a construction zone

— Third of a Series —

Friday, Sept. 18, 1998

High school, the best four years of my life!

Well, that rumor is coming to an end, and pretty quickly for that matter. How am I supposed to enjoy my high school career when I can’t even find my way to classes?

This renovation project is completely throwing me off track. Try to imagine yourself as a frightened 14-year-old trying to overcome puberty while being shoved into a school filled with adults with fully grown beards. I mean, that’s horrifying enough already, isn’t it?

Now on top of all that I have to worry about finding my way around the school. They should just send us to boot camp. And not only that, but by the time we catch the drift of things we are shipped out and moved off to different classes.

Not only is the renovation making me get lost, but it is also annoying me during class. Just the other day I had to complete a test in all this racket because of the renovation. And in my math class we always have to repeat ourselves four or five times because the teacher can’t hear us over the construction.

Overall, I despise the construction work. I highly doubt that the results are going to be worth the three years of havoc that the students have to put up with. But then again, there is nothing I can do about it so I guess I am just going to have to deal with it like everyone else for now.

— Irene Sitilides, freshman, Bristol Central High School

Friday, Sept. 18, 1998

I was poking at something on my Styrofoam lunch tray with a little plastic fork and just beginning to worry about the Italian test next period.

A friend of mine turned to me slowly and said: “Has it occurred to you yet that we could very well be breathing the asbestos they’re removing in the renovation?”

I said: “I have reflexive verbs and this artificial steak sandwich to contend with just now…no health issues, please.”

She said: “Think about it, it just can’t be safe.”

I said: “I have. It can’t. You’re right.”

She said: “So what do you think of it?”

I said: “I think that if I breathe deeply near the English hall I may escape a foreign language quiz…”

She said: “Oh.”

And then she moved to another table.

— Joe Wilbur, junior, Bristol Eastern High School

Friday, Sept. 18, 1998

I am in study hall trying to read a short story for lit class. I have read and reread the same line about six times. I sigh, slam my book shut and realize there is no way I can concentrate. Being on the lower level, the classrooms don’t have ceilings, just metal roofs that magnify the sound of everything. The rustling of chairs and books on concrete only increases the noise level, and because of all this noise there is no way anyone can concentrate or do any homework.

Teachers try to yell above the noise but it is no use, it just adds to it. Although I know the construction will last only a few years, it won’t be done soon enough.

— Bethany Raffanello, freshman, Bristol Eastern High School

Friday, Sept. 18, 1998

It’s 1:30, and it’s the end of another steamy September afternoon at good old B.C.. The heat is intensified by the fact that this construction nonsense has segregated the hall I’m in, stagnating
the already humid air. I drift into an uncomfortable doze, but, unfortunately, wake up seconds later.

Now to worsen the situation, I have yet another so-called “asbestos headache.” It feels as though two men in hard hats are standing on either side of me, taking turns bashing my skull deeper and deeper into my desk….

Then, just as suddenly as it appeared, my headache vanishes, and two construction workers pass by my classroom, with their hard hats and hammers, off to give some other poor kid their headache. And I wonder if I’m not dreaming all this, too.

— Amanda Lehmert, senior Bristol Central High School

Tuesday, Sept. 22, 1998

While you are walking down the hallways you can’t help but notice the depressing mood you are forced into. The dark hallway engulfs you and saddens your soul. You are pushed into a dim room waiting to work, yet anticipating the sound of the bell at the end of class. Perhaps you can’t wait until you get out of the dreary room to see the light of day. As you work, you may be disturbed by the rustle of desks being moved around in the classroom above you. You may find it hard to concentrate because of the noise.

As the freshman class stepped into the polished floor of a Bristol Eastern High School hallway they could not help but notice the renovations. The cement floors and the rooms without ceilings. It may not effect you individually, but I’m sure that there are some students who are feeling the effects. Many students believe that the renovations are an inconvenience now, but will help the school in the long run.

— Shaunte Miller-Ligon, freshman, Bristol Eastern High School

Wednesday, Sept. 23, 1998

STUDENT:”So…when exactly are we going to use this?”
TEACHER:”Well, actually, Geometry is used in a lot of everyday occupations.”
STUDENT: “So, ‘engineer’ is an everyday occupation these days?”
TEACHER: “You see, it’s a common misconception that only engineers use geometry. Why, the men working at the school renovations need a strong grounding in geometry to go about their jobs.”
STUDENT: “So what you’re trying to tell me is that you can use geometry to do things loudly and over budget, inconveniencing everyone?”
TEACHER:”Um…not exactly. Okay, let’s try this again…”

— Joe Wilbur, junior, Bristol Eastern High School

Wednesday, Sept. 23, 1998

Bristol Eastern High School construction has made achieving education impossible. Two halls have been blocked off, and signs are posted everywhere informing staff and students of the inherent dangers. Of course, this is just a waste of paper since the noise level is enough of a declaration in itself. For instance, I was walking my friend to class this morning and the workers were so disruptive that we couldn’t even hear each other’s talk. Trying to get around teachers strolling shopping carts is also an ever-increasing hassle, as well as an embarrassment for teacher and student alike. The only way of coping is to take the environment with humor and play “Guess the Interruption.”

— Merissa Mastropiero, junior, Bristol Eastern High School