Friday, March 25, 2005

On school offices

I went to a small private high school across the street from my house. I would hear the first warning bell and roll out of bed to make it to homeroom. My senior year I didn't even hurry -- I just strolled in through the school office, as if I owned the place. I was truly an obnoxious child! I never got into trouble either -- I even got an award for best student and a trip to the state's private school convention... I also had a miserable time dealing with my classmates... no need to wonder why, in retrospect.

The spark for all this self-revelatory school angst? A terrific passage from Jon Fasman's The Geographer's Library:

"The school office was a beehive of nonactivity. Three attenuated secretaries of indeterminate middle age sat at three identical desks equidistant from each other: the one on the left stared balefully at her empty desk; the one on the right talked quietly on her telephone; the one in the center looked up at me with a total absence of expression on her face. They looked as though they slept in mothballs and lived on weak lindenflower tea, Platonic forms of an ideal New England private-school secretary." (p265)

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