Today was my first day of sophomore year. I was looking forward to it a lot, for a variety of reasons. I must admit, summer gets old (which is why I advocate year-round school, but that is a post for a day when I do not have so much homework). And while IB is rigorous and challenging, it is fun. That is right. I said it. Stressing out to learn the material, finish the lab, get the problems solved; it is incredibly fun. Complaining about it and bragging how much homework you have is always worth a laugh too.
Coming back to PHS after these two months reminds me how much it sucks. I mean, honestly. The place does not have a lot going for it: as inner-city as you can get in this town, with a ~50% pass-rate, and prestigious IB and HOSA (health academy) programs. Yeah, one wonders how those last ones ended up there. I actually hear it is all about the funding they get from all the AP and IB exams we take, but that does not make me feel any better. The point is that if you’re walking down the hall, you can quite accurately group people into IB/HOSA and non-IB/HOSA (General Population, or GP) just by the way they are dressed and act. It’s a pretty effective form of segregation, where most of the Asians are in IB/HOSA, and there are few African-Americans who are not GP.
I have very little school-spirit, mainly because I see very little to be proud of. Pensacola High has made it into Newsweek’s Top Public High Schools, but if it read “Pensacola High School International Baccalaureate Program” it would be just as true. I do not see the point in cheering on our football, basketball, baseball, tennis, volleyball, soccer, track, softball, cross country, weightlifting, golf, and swim teams when no one applauds a good grade. For a top-100 public school, PHS is not focused on academics at all. It is just for irony’s sake, after all, that GP students are referred to by IB teachers as “the scholars” or “the winners”.