A Day in the Life, in Jersey

Sam is a 15-year-old from Montgomery, NJ. She enjoys playing tennis, writing and Community Service. Her favorite subject in school is History.

A lot of people have several misconceptions about what life is really like here in the Garden State. I’ve always heard the same stereotypes that everything is polluted (not where I’m from, at least) or we act exactly like the stars of Jersey Shore (Only one of the cast members, Sammi Sweetheart, is actually from New Jersey). Well, I’m here to give a little insight on what goes on in my small New Jersey town.

The following information was collected on May 12, 2010

6:00 AM: Wake up. Go through the typical morning routine. Wash face. Get dressed. Eat breakfast. Brush teeth. Get on the bus. Yadda Yadda Yadda.

7:20 AM: Now we are free to roam the halls and get to first period. Kids of all kinds (not just our seniors) warm up with college sweatshirts in an amalgam of monikers. Marist, Lafayette, James Madison, Coastal Carolina. However, the one school that pops up the most (usually coming from the Chinese and Indian kids, the leading minorities at Montgomery) is Princeton. Considering that Montgomery is only a 10 minute drive from one of the most renowned colleges in the world, I’m not too surprised to have so much orange and black thrown in my face.

7:30 AM: First period of the day: English Honors. The teacher is notorious for her tough grading and strict ways. She drones on and on about the current book we’re reading, Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. Contrary to most kids here, I actually enjoyed the book, not for its content (it is actually one of the saddest books I’ve read in a while), but for its style of writing. I furiously take notes, my eyelids heavy.

8:55 AM: AP U.S. History I. Watching a movie, as always. Civil War, this and Gettysburg, that. I’m feeling a little low considering that we had a small pop quiz on naval aspects of the Civil War and forgot to read the sections. Not much I could do. Some of the teachers here in rural New Jersey don’t do too much (My AP US teacher being one of them). They should though, with all of the crazy budget cuts and layoffs that our new governor has been promoting. One Spanish teacher was already laid off two months shy of tenure. Kids this week wore bright white shirts with “Save Ms. N” written in blue. Anyways, my best friend Lani, a long-haired hipster living vicariously through her favorite underground bands, and I pass notes jam-packed with doodles of what’s going on to inside jokes we haven’t let go since we became friends.

9:15 AM: Advisory (because we don’t call it Homeroom here). My friend Allison, a lovable and sweet band geek, and I freak out over the quiz (she has AP US after me) and how he jumped the quiz when the reading in question wasn’t due until the following day. Unfortunately, since Advisory’s only 10 minutes, the bell rings. On to the next class.

9:30 AM: Drama. Probably one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in my life, class-wise. Completely forgot that there was a listening test on musicals we’ve studied. Relieved when two of my desk-mates, Buchi, my crazy, Nigerian best friend, and Rachel, a down-to-earth tennis prodigy, forgot about it too. The teacher’s attempts to make the songs play are futile. We’re not sure whether to laugh or be annoyed. Spamalot comes on and she begins to sing along, refusing to go to the next track. Forget any consideration of laughing, this woman needs to go to the mental clinic 5 minutes away.

10:20 AM: LUNCH! Mmmmmm! I’m the only one of my friends who doesn’t buy lunch. Never been a big fan of processed food… Everyone arrives: Ashley, a black anime-loving senior who can rock a lip ring better than anyone I know; Paige, another hard partying senior with a knack for fashion design; Krissie, a quiet Hispanic junior in love with Japanese culture; Becca, a off-beat sophomore with blue tips; Kathy, my best Chinese friend who idolizes Tokio Hotel; and Conor, a guy once a boyfriend, now a fair-weathered friend. As we chat and eat, we notice custodians installing an ice cream machine. Paige and I shake our heads, confused as to why they’d give us ice cream when they’re firing our teachers.

12:17 PM: Double Period Chem Honors. This is probably the most interesting class, people-wise. At the center of it all is Kristyn, a semi-popular, lacrosse goalie and political junkie who famously called Glenn Beck “the love of [her] life.”  However, a whole bunch of the boys in our class tease her mercilessly The ringleader is Kevin, a cynical and sarcastic Indian-American junior, who taunts Kristyn about her long-distance boyfriend (“Ben’s not real. He’s just a fake Facebook profile you made.”). Since Kevin and our chem teacher are absent, two popular jocks, Drew and Justin, make fun of Kristyn instead. Kathy and I simultaneously feel god and bad for her as we listen in to the comments. As we hop off into a corner to go on Facebook, we see Sean, an immature yet kind junior, passed out on his desk. No one says anything.

1:25 PM: Pre-Calc. Another graded assignment done! The second this week, though. My class is mostly juniors, the popular ones that look down on smart quiet people like me, and they don’t understand anything that goes on in class. At least the seniors, who understand the material even less, are always nice to me.

1:45 PM: Spanish. A lot of the Asian kids are coming off the high of AP Chemistry testing and can’t stop worrying about their precious scores. The elderly, slovenly teacher starts throwing another presentation at us. Great. Another thing to add to my long list of things to do.

2:35 PM: On the bus, I chat with Kimmie and Calvin, two Asian kids who do gymnastics and tennis respectively. Suddenly, the bus stops and a junior jock, Kyle, drags his girlfriend off while screaming “Look at my sexy Kyleigh’s Law sticker!!!!” How could I forget? Only 2 more months and I’ll get my permit. Unfortunately, here in Jersey, they’ve recently put in a law that requires teens to put a decal on their car, indicating that they are a novice driver. However, kids in my school have completed ignored this rule, mainly by not wearing the decals, but also by driving past the 11 PM curfew and having an extra friend in the car (you can only have 1 non-family member). Kids have openly talked about stealing decals, rather than pay $4 for them, and feel like they may as well as ask for sex offenders to stalk them.

3:00 PM: Finally home, I grab a bite to eat and channel surf for a little bit before starting my homework. Things seem to calm down for a bit…

6:30 PM: A quick dinner, then a Facebook check. Surprisingly, a bit of drama has started up. A popular eighth grade wannabe guidette tried to flirt with a very taken, very adorable hockey player in my chem class. Sure enough, all of his friends, seemingly every popular boy, gang up on her and make lewd comments about her, but she scarily doesn’t understand that she isn’t wanted around. I can’t help but laugh at this girl’s guts. I’ve been in her position, and it wasn’t pretty. At least I knew when to shut up and go.

11:00 PM: After hours of homework, exercise, dessert, and procrastination, I finally climb into bed. Another day is done.

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