An Abridged Dictionary of SHS

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ACT |āsēt|– The four-hour-long test that isn’t the SAT.

Anxiety |a ng ˈzī-itē|– The drumming of fingers on a desk or the tap tap tapping of an Ugg-clad foot or the coloring in of an entire sheet of paper with highlighter that occurs as you sit in class thinking about the 75 Spanish vocabulary words you need to memorize for tomorrow and who you are going to dress up with for Halloween and if he is looking at you or the girl on your left and whether you are enough and are doing enough.  (See: This is Normal)

Batteries |ˈbatərēs|– The things missing from your graphing calculator on the day of the midterm.

Best Friend |best frend|– The person who makes you waffles at two in the morning as you cry on her couch.

Community Service Club |kəˈmyoōnitē ˈsərvis kləb|– The organization that you and your best friend brought to SHS and persuaded your entire friend group and that one random freshman to join so that you can help starving puppies in Africa and teach orphans how to bake and, as an added bonus, impress colleges with your leadership abilities.

Delusional |diˈloō zh ən ôl|– What you become when you have convinced yourself that you really do know best despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  (See: About)

Free |ˈfrēər|The 49 class-free minutes you tell yourself you are going to get your math homework or history news journal or geo lab or, if you’re feeling particularly productive, all three done in until you see your friend studying in a cubicle and you ask if they want to grab a table… (See: Procrastination)

Gap-Year |gap-yi(ə)r|– The period of time you spend “finding yourself” when you decide an Ivy League education is too bourgeois for an innovative non-conformist like yourself. (See: Delusional)

Headphones |ˈhedˌfōnz|– The only way to silence both a parent asking for the fiftieth time whether you have finished your college essays yet and the voice in your head telling you that you should probably get on that but really what’s the point, it’s not you like you’re getting into your dream school anyway.

Lanyard |ˈlanyərd|– The glorified keychain you swing around for the first few weeks after getting your junior license to prove that yes, you actually can drive; until you smack a teacher in the face with it – ruining not only your cool stature, but also your physics grade.  (See: Safety School)

Naviance |navēəns|– The college application comparing website that you tell your friends you’re boycotting as you log on to see if the circle that has smushed you into a number has moved since the last time you checked. Synonym: dream-crusher.

Planner |ˈplanər| — The spiral-bound book that functions not only as a way to obsessively organize and meticulously plan your entire life but also as a home to doodles in 32 different shades of Bic markers.

Pressure |ˈpre sh ər|– The feeling that no matter how hard you study, how many friends you have, or how many organizations you preside over, you will never be good enough.  That despite your desperate attempts, you will never achieve perfection.

Procrastination |prəˌkrastəˈn|– The guilt-filled yet expertly rationalized avoidance of those assignments and activities that you might get done eventually only because you know you should.  (See: What’s in an Hour?)

Reach (R) |rē ch|– The school you have convinced yourself is actually a target.  (See: delusional)

Red Solo Cup |red ˈsōlō kəp|– That thing that holds the alcohol that with a few sputtering sips has the power to make you forget about your college apps due in a month and the math test you didn’t study enough for and your friend who never seems to eat and the dent you made in that woman’s car when you forgot to check before pulling out and [insert issue here].

Safety (S) |ˈsāftē|– Just no. (See: Gap-Year)

SAT |ˈes ˌā ˈtē|– The four-hour-long test that has the power to determine where you get into college and how successful you will be at life – that your parents spent thousands of dollars trying to prep you for – when in reality all it is testing is your ability to beat or cheat the test. (See: SAT: The Self-Assessment Test)

School Friend |skoōl frend|– The person you wave to in the hallways and complain to about the Spanish test you have next period and Facebook message to ask if there’s homework tonight but would never think to text on a lonely Friday night to see if they have plans.

Second-hand |ˈsekənd-hand|– The red line that is always moving too slowly during chemistry but not slow enough during the poetry in-class essay or the mad dash to school in the morning.

Selfish |ˈselfi sh|– What your parents call you when you refuse to pick up a sibling from a playdate or fold the laundry or go on a family excursion to central park or pick your clothes up off the floor or stay at the dinner table for more than five minutes before going back upstairs and shutting the door.

Senior Slump |ˈsēnyər sləmp| — The lack of motivation that is only supposed to set in starting with pajama day on the first day of the second semester of senior year but actually starts a few months after becoming a junior.

Target (T) |ˈtärgit|– The school you would like to think is actually a safety.

Water Bottle |ˈwôtərˈbätl|– The reusable container you are inspired to use after stumbling upon a statistic about how the plastic variety takes a million years to decompose but quickly give up on after it explodes inside your backpack, bubbling the bottoms of every page in every notebook and binder, or is forgotten in the gyms or at lunch or on your desk in English.

42 Pounds |pounds|How much your red Hershel backpack weighs.  And they wonder why you never stand up straight.


2 thoughts on “An Abridged Dictionary of SHS

    Claudia L said:
    October 10, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    This is hilariously and scarily so on point. This is amazing rach 🙂


    Natalie Reich said:
    October 12, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    I realize I’m not the “you” that you intended to target as your audience. But I can clearly hear your voice in this. Sounds like it’s been a somewhat negative experience going though SHS! Glad you can create humor out of it and express yourself through blogging!


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