Editor Blog – Ally Bair

Ding, ding! Ding, ding!

As I opened my heavy, sleep-laiden eyes and regained consciousness, I groggily reached for my phone on the other side of my desk. To my dismay, it read 6:00 AM. I felt disgusting; I hadn’t showered the night before because I fell asleep while studying for a history test. My glance switched from my phone to my grossly-large history book.

James K. Polk, I read, was a former president of the United States…I slammed the book shut. I already knew how the story would end because they’re all the same. *Insert former president* is some dead white guy who messed with taxes and war and “significantly changed our country”. Our history books only care about the what, as in what some guy/civilization/country did. They don’t care about the why, as in why we should care.

In my opinion, there’s something seriously wrong with our school’s history curriculum. They teach us all about “upstanding historical figures” such as James K. Polk, but on the homecoming page of our school website, after it announces the theme of Saturday Night Fever, it feels the need to add “Disco Theme” in parentheses. Why can’t we learn about John Travolta and how his white skin-tight bell-bottoms shaped fashion culture? Moreover, why can’t we learn the tips and tools that the Brat Pack gave us to survive high school or “who we’re gonna call” when there’s something strange in our neighborhood? Sing it with me now…Ghostbusters! These are the historical figures I grew up with, not James K. Polk or any of the other stuffy dead presidents.

I blame my mother; she introduced me to the far-out era of the late 1970s-early 1980s the second I entered the womb. She made me feel like I truly belonged to her time, not just by forcing me to watch Patrick Swayze dance his pants off in Dirty Dancing but by talking about her senior year of high school any chance that came her way. To me, her senior year seemed like a John Hughes movie, with her friends book-smart Wendy, athletic Katie, popular Beth, class-clown Bob, and charismatic Paul. My mother, Diane, topped the cake off by embodying the all-American girl. Not only was she head cheerleader, she was the homecoming queen who dated the captain of the basketball team. Usually I’m not a fan of clichés, but she made it seem so glamorous that I couldn’t help but want to share her senior year experiences.

I thought I would make my first attempt at homecoming. I tried on my dress for the first time just last week. As my reflection stared back at me, I saw a light bulb hover over my head and illuminate a new way of thinking. I studied my dark, voluptuous mane and thought of my mother’s light, pin-straight ‘do. After 17 years, I realized that our hair contrasts each other’s. Now, I know what you’re thinking: You just figured out that your dark hair doesn’t look like your mom’s blonde hair? Are you colorblind? No, I knew that our hair was different long before, but I didn’t understand why. We have the same facial expressions, the same mannerisms, the same eyes, but not the same hair color, and for some reason, that spoke to me. It taught me that I’m not supposed to copy her experiences; I’m supposed to get out there and make my own while embodying her bright spirit. That’s why instead of screaming on top of a pyramid during football team, I dance around in a cat suit. That’s why instead of going to homecoming with the captain of the football games, I’m going with the best group of friends I could ever ask for. That’s why I live a life that’s all my own. I’m free to make my own decisions and take my own courses of action.

That’s also why I failed my history test. James K. Polk, nobody puts Baby in a corner…except you.