50th Edition, Lifestyle

Where to go, what to do: Students escape from intellectual atmosphere

By Denebola
Published: February 2011

By Denebola staff,
Volume 10
September 29, 1970

School: an institution devoted to the propagation of reading, writing and arithmetic. Does this “code of learning” fit in with your theory of education? If not, there are a variety of other ways to supplement your curriculum.
It is up to you to choose the one that will make your school hours the most relevant and meaningful for you.
There are some students who are so dissatisfied with the order of the school day that they take it upon themselves to incorporate their own changes, legal or otherwise.
Whether or not these changes are relevant to one’s education is left for the reader to decide.
For many students, the hours eight o’clock in the morning until two in the afternoon become somewhat of a hardship.
To ease the oppression of the long day, a variety of ways to avoid classes seem to be familiar to those who seek it—a sort of oral code.
One old favorite is a visit to the nurse (to help ease that 11:00 headache). This is usually good for one class.
Or, if you happen to miss homeroom, your name would appear on the absent list, thus relieving you from any unwanted class for the rest of the day.
If you want a leisurely break from trigometric functions and the nagging urge for a drag overcomes you, the Newton South restrooms should offer you the ultimate in security. Just knock three times and ask for Joe.
That will gain you entrance into one of the notorious smoking spots—alias ‘Girls Room’ or ‘Boys Room.’
One student rationalizes “If we can’t do it in the open, we obviously don’t have any choice.” One person, who sticks to Cutler House for convenience, adds “It’s a good place to meet people…you can talk about anything there without worrying who may be listening.”
Now you know what the signs “Girls” and “Boys” means. If you had any other intentions before going in, you may find the atmosphere a little too stuffy.
If the Newton South kitchens do not suit your culinary tastes, there are still means of satisfying your taste buds, Where you choose to go for your lunchtime meal depends on your present financial status, just how hungry you are, and most important your sense of adventure.
Remember—you have to be back in twenty-five minutes unless you have been blessed with a lunch block study.
Cappricio’s is the most popular place to get your lunch. In fact, the first thing you see as you come in is a sign saying “Students Welcome.” The directions there are pretty easy to follow. Exit through the front door, and follow the path through the woods to Dudley Road. (The threat of poison ivy is greater than the threat of punitive action on the part of the faculty).
Anyway, for 60 to 95 cents you can get a sub and a drink. The 10 or 15-minute walk can prove to be quite relaxing. If your sense of adventure will permit it, and you are lucky enough to have taken a car to school, Giovanni’s in Framingham has a menu to satisfy the most demanding gourmet.
If you make all the green lights, you should return to school just as the last block is beginning. The only hang-up you may run into is a large group of businessmen who undoubtedly will be served first.
For a wide variety of menus, Route 1 offers several small restaurants that specialize in 15-second service, at 15-cent prices.
There is one last place at Newton South that serves students who are looking for somewhere to go. The woods in front of the school are an ideal haven for almost any purpose you have in mind.
The spot is truly a beautiful one. The trees, the quiet, and even the few animals you may see running by offer real serenity and a peaceful refuge from the cacophony of bells, daily announcements, and obscene remarks that make up a normal school day.
I talked with one frequenter of this place. Donned in purple striped bell bottoms and hair brushing the nape of his neck, he remarked, “You’ve got to admit it’s one of the nicest places around.” And I did.
This article may seem like a handbook on how to avoid school. But that is absurd. If you are that intent on skipping a few classes, you may as well just stay home.
In the midst of the many “illegalities” mentioned in the article, there may be some thoughts, which we would do well consider, if we are really trying to make the hours spent in school meaningful and even relevant.
Is spending time in an area away from the school such a frightening thing to ask for?
Teachers might do well to ask how their students would react to a class held in the peace of the woods, instead of the stuffy atmosphere that four walls and wooden desks may create.
After all, the woods are the closest thing to nature that South has to offer.
Thoreau seemed to fare pretty well there. It would be naïve to think that education is the basis for every student innovated deed that does not fail within the school policy. But, maybe we should find out.

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