Complex Lullabies

Looking back on school makes you wonder how many of the things they’d told you  about it were really true. It seems to me like a lot of times, myths seem to get away with their trashtalk just because in between hearing them and living your school life out, you don’t really get much time to think about them. (No, the time you spent whining about them doesn’t count.) You hear them, get busy living a completely different life, and then realise one day well past graduation that certain high school stereotypes were, well, unproven myths.

Heck, either that, or I was just a science student. That’s my one label to hide behind and blame for everything including something as trivial and unsuspecting as “My tea tastes poisoned” (long story for a day you’re up for some physics).

I digress here, but chemistry is all about the exceptions. Us failed chemical sugar bombs are no exception [or wait… would that then be ‘we are exceptions’?  Aargh, language conventions! Don’t tell my English teacher. I bribe you with a picture of the structure of meth.

Image result for structure of Methamphetamine
C10H15N

Us science kids were sort of exceptions to the high school stereotype. You thought the nerds, the jocks, the queens and the means were what you’d find in a typical grade 12 classroom? You’re wrong—we only have zombie versions of these.

 

The only stereotype that did fit us well was the absentee one. On the plus side, an empty class is a quiet one (well, relatively). On the flip side, it kind of defeated the purpose of school and had me carrying a 300-page Iron Man survey notebook for nothing… but apart from the last bit, those were teachers’ opinions, what zombie am I to judge?
PS: We didn’t have absentees though. Only zombie-absentees. We’ll let them loose on the city this Halloween… by which time, the first semester of college would have kicked in and they’ll be powerful zombies in the truest sense. Get out your cameras, filmmakers! The Rise And Pillowfall Of The Zombies will be premiering live (how ironic) this fall. Coming to a school near you. Mwahahahahahahaa!
Spoiler: This is the climax of the movie.

But yep, one high school legend that’s a truth is that high school will turn you into a sleepwalking insomniac. (Yes, that is a thing.)
I don’t know if it’s possible to catch up on four years’ worth of sleep, but my little sister, only just beginning high school, is already showing insomniac tendencies. It’s going to be a long four years.
[In other news, I am absolutely shattered that insomniacal is not a word. What happened to building a varied and diverse dictionary? They really are squeezing multiple meanings (as a noun and as an adjective) out of a single word… it’s ‘1984’ all over again!]

Anyway, I was talking to her about her math last night. She’d spent a few hours on some last-minute English homework she’d remembered. No one remembers English homework until it’s real late. It’s 1 AM. She’s due up at 6. But she’s a school-zombie. Not a very graduated one, I’ll grant her that; 3 AM was my timezone, and 2 AM was thermodynamics’, but she’s owning 1 too. On a random whim, I tell her what math lies in store for her. Circles, proofs, volumes, ‘angles in semicircles are always right’ (by which I meant 90° of course, not correct. But if you’d rather try that reasoning in your proof, I won’t stop you. It’s your bragging rights.), complex numbers, the redefinition of the ‘imaginary’.

“Mmmhm.”

I began to tell her about the trigonometry that followed up in two years, a personal favourite of every emotionally shattered high school kid… second only to calculus.  I started talking about the fifty or so formulae you’d be buffeted by in nothing but your underwear. There also really are fifty, I kid you not.

The next scene is straight out of the Saturday morning cartoons, but I hear a snot-filled snore. Our neo-high school zombie-borderline insomniac is asleep in a record five minutes.

Hey, it could be the English homework or the weird human thing you date for all your student life called ‘exhaustion’, but I’m selfish, so I’ll pawn off all the credit.

Following that, out of sheer perverse habit like the true student-zombie I’ve become, I sat in torchlight and drafted this post till 2.