October 12th 2004 Smoking in the Boys’ Room

Loyal Monkey Robot fan Wiz Stark recently sent an email to me regarding some incidents in the bathrooms at Lewisburg High School that she thought I might be interested in reading about. Apparently there have been some crazy goings-on at my old high school since I left (which just goes to show that everything goes to hell once I’m not there to keep things under control). From my understanding, some students have been smoking in one of the bathrooms on the first floor (which, believe me, never happened while I attended that school). I’ve also been informed that someone urinated on the floor of the one of the girls’ lavatories (which in and of itself is a somewhat difficult feat). And, of course, the school has the ever-present problem of graffiti on the bathroom walls (apparently someone stepped up and took over for Jackson Howard and John Nicholson after they graduated). After these incidents, the school cracked down on the perpetrators. They closed all but one bathroom (the one near the gymnasium, which is one of the worst restrooms in the whole school) and required students to check in with monitors posted outside the bathroom before using it. Evidently about 90 students all coincidentally chose to use the restroom at the same time Thursday afternoon, resulting in a lengthy line; the restroom was closed for a short time, and Vice Principal Krum ordered punishment for any student or teacher allowing more than one student to leave the classroom at a time. This, of course, did not sit well with the students, who then attacked her office with pitchforks and torches and stuck her head on a pike as a warning to all other administrators.

Beyond all utter ridiculousness of the situation, I am left with only one question: what’s the big deal?! I have to deal with this kind of stuff in college all the time. You should see my bathroom on a Saturday morning: toilet paper all over the floor (often tracked out into the hallway), vomit all over the toilet seats and sinks, unflushed toilets, foreign objects in the bottom of the showers—and that’s only the short list! As for smoking, well, everyone at Bucknell smokes. You walk into someone’s room and they’re smoking weed out the window. You walk out of any exit and there’s a gang of people standing around smoking. You walk into Pi Beta Phi’s wing in Hunt Hall and the place smells of Virginia Slims. It’s not a big deal at all! I’m inhaling far more unfiltered secondhand smoke than anyone at LHS, and I’m still alive (for now). Besides, you cannot tell me that there’s more smoking going on in that bathroom than in the “secret” place where Mr. Jennings goes to smoke everyday.

Here’s how I see it: the point of high school is at least in part to prepare us for college, right? And what better way to prepare students for college than by letting them mess up their bathrooms! They’re going to have to deal with it in a few years anyway—they might as well get some practice in now while they’re still young! Furthermore, maybe they will spend more time studying and less time defiling the restrooms if they just get it all out of their systems now. Instead of trying to control nature, the school administration just needs to let them deal with their youthful angst while still in high school, so the little brats don’t come to my school next year and mess up my bathrooms when I am a sophomore.