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  #1  
Old 09-20-2017, 03:09 PM
Silver lining Silver lining is offline
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The Breakfast Club with fresh adult eyes watching

The Breakfast Club

I must have seen this movie twelve times, but it's been at least ten years since I have seen if from start to finish. No longer a teenager or 30 something adult, my views of the movie have changed a bit.


Stock Up Characters:

Carl. The lowly janitor, a type I might have laughed at in high school has a real sense of humor, sense of self, and is pretty smart. Too bad they cut out one of best scenes when he and Vernon were predicting where the kids might be in the future. One thing I did not catch in the very end is Bender treating him with respect as they walk out to " See you next Saturday. " Carl's view of the children as they exit is not one of my favorite parts of the film. I mean if some deadbeat mocked my livelihood, I'm not so sure I would forgive him that quickly.

John Bender. Judd Nelson's performance stands the test of time. The movie would not work without him. He's funny, authentic, and has the worst home life of the bunch. Sure he looks a little too old for high school, but beneath the front of his image, he's really street smart, and a bit scared.

Stock Down Character:

Andrew Clark. As a young adult, I liked this character. Now I think he's a bit miscast with Emilio Estevez. He's short, hardly a powerhouse athlete type. Granted wrestling has weight classes for competition, but when he and John Bender face off, my money would have been on Bender as he much bigger and rather athletic.
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2017, 03:53 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is online now
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My adult eyes told me that Molly Ringwald was a hell of an actor, and very beautiful to boot.

Sure, all the characters are clichés, but didn't we all know someone in high school who fit each stereotype? I sure did.

It's kinda Gilligan's Island in a classroom. ☺️
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Old 09-20-2017, 03:56 PM
Silver lining Silver lining is offline
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My adult eyes told me that Molly Ringwald was a hell of an actor, and very beautiful to boot.

Sure, all the characters are clichés, but didn't we all know someone in high school who fit each stereotype? I sure did.

It's kinda Gilligan's Island in a classroom. ☺️
No argument there, though I felt the lipstick trick camera angle sort of sucked
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:21 AM
cmyk cmyk is offline
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The movie itself acknowledges that they’re cliches when Anthony Michael Hall’s character calls them the nerd, the princess, the jock, the basket case and the criminal*. I think the point was a character study on those stereotypes, and how they’d all interact if forced together for a day. Including the principal and janitor.


*In my school, we called them burnouts.

Last edited by cmyk; 09-21-2017 at 05:22 AM.
  #5  
Old 09-21-2017, 07:29 AM
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Here's a piece from This American Life where Molly Ringwald watches The Breakfast Club with her young daughter.

https://www.thisamericanlife.org/rad...ike?act=3#play
  #6  
Old 09-21-2017, 07:46 AM
Cardigan Cardigan is offline
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I've only seen it once and that was when it was released in the theatre. I was 21 at the time and high school was a fairly recent experience and I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. Recently I've been toying with whether I should watch it again. To be honest, I was afraid seeing it again (as a cynical adult) might spoil my fond memory of it.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:04 AM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is offline
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I'm not watching it again unless they add the punchline to that damn joke.
  #8  
Old 09-21-2017, 09:41 AM
Go_Arachnid_Laser Go_Arachnid_Laser is offline
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Originally Posted by Vinyl Turnip View Post
I'm not watching it again unless they add the punchline to that damn joke.
A user named u/tyzik came up with the perfect fit at Reddit:

A naked blonde walks into a bar, carrying a poodle under one arm and a 6 foot salami under the other.

The Bartender says, "So, I don't suppose you'd be needing a drink?"

The blonde says "I definitely do, after what just happened to me."

The bartender says "I'm so sorry. What happened?"

The blonde says, "Well, my boyfriend and I were just about to make love, when out of nowhere the crazy bastard says 'I'm gonna pound my favorite bitch with my giant sausage'. So I grabbed them both and got the hell out of there!"

Last edited by Go_Arachnid_Laser; 09-21-2017 at 09:41 AM.
  #9  
Old 09-21-2017, 01:42 PM
Uosdwis R. Dewoh Uosdwis R. Dewoh is offline
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I've always been curious how true-to-life this, and similar, movies are because my Finnish high-school experience was so much different. In movies, an American teenager's life seems to totally revolve around high-school. It's a lot looser over here. Most have friends outside school. There's no jocks, or drama geeks, etc. like in the movies. A school might have theater productions and football but they're not even close to importance for everyone like in America. One Tree Hill (the TV series) is baffling to me. Is sports really that important? If someone over here is seriously into sports he joins a local sports club (often a soccer or hockey club).
  #10  
Old 09-21-2017, 02:40 PM
Horatius Horatius is offline
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Originally Posted by Uosdwis R. Dewoh View Post
Is sports really that important? If someone over here is seriously into sports he joins a local sports club (often a soccer or hockey club).

Oh heck yeah, some of them are absolutely nuts about it.

http://www.cracked.com/personal-expe...-football.html
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  #11  
Old 09-21-2017, 03:00 PM
Uosdwis R. Dewoh Uosdwis R. Dewoh is offline
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Oh heck yeah, some of them are absolutely nuts about it.

http://www.cracked.com/personal-expe...-football.html
Holy shit! The amount of stress that kind of attention brings on a teenager can't be healthy.
  #12  
Old 09-21-2017, 03:42 PM
ZonexandScout ZonexandScout is offline
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Originally Posted by Uosdwis R. Dewoh View Post
I've always been curious how true-to-life this, and similar, movies are because my Finnish high-school experience was so much different. In movies, an American teenager's life seems to totally revolve around high-school. It's a lot looser over here. Most have friends outside school. There's no jocks, or drama geeks, etc. like in the movies. A school might have theater productions and football but they're not even close to importance for everyone like in America. One Tree Hill (the TV series) is baffling to me. Is sports really that important? If someone over here is seriously into sports he joins a local sports club (often a soccer or hockey club).
It varies from place to place. Many states, including Texas, are known for the heavy emphasis on high school football, but many school districts are much more relaxed and it's just not a big deal.

I don't know much about Finnish schools, but I'm going to guess that there's less difference than you think. High school (usually grades 9 through 12) takes a lot of time each day, just as I'm sure it does in Finland. Many friendships and activities are naturally linked to the school. We typically have everything from sports to band to literary magazines to language clubs to whatever. There are also sports clubs outside of high school.

Where I went to high school (and played varsity football) the athletic teams were fairly important, but they weren't fawned over and they certainly didn't rake in huge amounts of money. It took a lot of dedication to play football (about 30 hours a week pre-season and 20 hours a week during the season), so the players had to be pretty dedicated. We were proud of doing it, but I was equally proud of being tapped for the National Honor Society or getting a good-looking yearbook put together.
  #13  
Old 09-21-2017, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Uosdwis R. Dewoh View Post
I've always been curious how true-to-life this, and similar, movies are because my Finnish high-school experience was so much different. In movies, an American teenager's life seems to totally revolve around high-school.
I was in high school around that time (graduated 88') in the midwest and while I liked the movie it never really resonated with me all that much. I went to school in the morning and left after last period. My and my friends social lives were much more centered around our part time jobs. Out of our class of 300 there were probably a dozen or so kids who were really into school, school activities, and it was probably a big part of their lives. The 180 of the rest of us had more going on outside of school.
  #14  
Old 09-21-2017, 04:06 PM
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The movie resonated way too much with me. It's not a happy ending, if you identify with the nerd.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:03 PM
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You know, I didn't like certain parts of the movie. The geek is the only guy not to get a girl, and he does the assignment for the five of them. And the principal is right-- Bender would be lucky to get a job working fast food after high school.

I guess I've always sympathized more with the adults than I did with the teenagers in this film. (Of course, I didn't see it until I was an adult.)
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:07 PM
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I've long said it's a movie you only like if you personally identify with one of the characters.
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:06 AM
Leaffan Leaffan is online now
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I've long said it's a movie you only like if you personally identify with one of the characters.
I dunno. I hung out with some jocks, some nerds, and some burnouts, plus had a really nice looking girlfriend.
  #18  
Old 09-22-2017, 07:08 AM
cmyk cmyk is offline
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The movie resonated way too much with me. It's not a happy ending, if you identify with the nerd.
You had a flare gun go off in your locker too?
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:38 AM
manson1972 manson1972 is offline
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The movie resonated way too much with me. It's not a happy ending, if you identify with the nerd.
Of course it's a happy ending. He gets to converse and meet with people he never would in regular school. He writes a paper that he loves so much that he kisses it. He got out of 1 day of studying that he probably would have to do at home. "Getting a girl" is not the end-all be-all of happy endings.
  #20  
Old 09-22-2017, 07:45 AM
Mr. Nylock Mr. Nylock is online now
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Oh heck yeah, some of them are absolutely nuts about it.

http://www.cracked.com/personal-expe...-football.html
It depends on the region.
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:39 AM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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I think it's interesting looking at the groups in The Breakfast Club, comparing them against my high school classmates and seeing on Facebook what each of them are doing now that we are all in our mid-40s.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Uosdwis R. Dewoh
I've always been curious how true-to-life this, and similar, movies are because my Finnish high-school experience was so much different. In movies, an American teenager's life seems to totally revolve around high-school.
I would say that it certainly resonates with anyone who went to a suburban middle to upper middle class high school in the 80s, as portrayed in the film. A main theme of The Breakfast Club and 80s high school films in general is this concept of high school being socially organized along various subcultures, almost like departments in a corporation. Preppy jocks, hick jocks, burnouts (we called them "hoods" or "bong kids"), nerds, skaters, Goths, freaks (collectively called "AV kids"). So there is often a lot of pressure to figure out which of these cliques you want to be a part of and play that part. Keeping in mind that they are not all socially equal in each other's eyes or the general publics. And within each clique there may be separate hierarchies.

Also keep in mind that you can't just "pick" a group to belong to. Brian can't be a jock because he sucks at sports. Claire is a preppy because her dad is rich and buys her BMWs and nice clothes. Bender is a cool stoner because he (supposedly) has a tough home life.

Although, I'm not entirely unconvinced that much of Bender's backstory is bullshit and that he might actually be "gifted" intellectually.

It may seem like American teenagers lives revolve around high school because the high school typically has close ties to the suburban community. There was also not a whole lot to do outside of activities associated with the high school in the 80s. No internet, remember.
  #22  
Old 09-22-2017, 09:45 AM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
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Is sports really that important? If someone over here is seriously into sports he joins a local sports club (often a soccer or hockey club).
I disagree somewhat with the folk who say it varies by region. While some regions are MORE over the top than others, is there any region where local papers do not report on HS sports? I see it regularly in the Chicago burbs, and a nephew reports on same up in Alaska. Meanwhile, there is not comparable reporting of academics or other HS activities. Jocks are disproportionately represented among the HS elite.

Last week I asked someone from Mexico about HS sports there. He said there was some interschool soccer, but nothing to compare with the US.

HS band is another thing relatively unique to the US.

IMO, it reflects the US's ongoing de-emphasis of academics and infantilization of youth.
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Old 09-22-2017, 10:31 AM
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Loved it. Most of the kids I hung out with would have fit into the "Criminal/Burnout" group. My daughter (14) loves it too. Sure, fashions change, but a lot of the movie stands the test of time.
  #24  
Old 09-22-2017, 12:13 PM
WOOKINPANUB WOOKINPANUB is offline
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I feel pretty much the same about it now as I did then; I enjoyed it but it doesn't really resonate all that much with me. I adore(d) Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall but really didn't care for the other leads. The Simple Minds theme song is awesome and the dance sequence in the library is too cringe worthy to ever watch again.
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Old 09-22-2017, 12:39 PM
JackieLikesVariety JackieLikesVariety is offline
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IMO, it reflects the US's ongoing de-emphasis of academics and infantilization of youth.
interesting!

by infantilization do you mean just making youth last longer? past when another culture would have those kids out working for a living?
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Old 09-22-2017, 02:39 PM
Kimballkid Kimballkid is offline
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"Oh, he's very popular Ed. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads - they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude."
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Old 09-22-2017, 02:47 PM
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
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Originally Posted by Go_Arachnid_Laser View Post
A user named u/tyzik came up with the perfect fit at Reddit:

A naked blonde walks into a bar, carrying a poodle under one arm and a 6 foot salami under the other.

The Bartender says, "So, I don't suppose you'd be needing a drink?"

The blonde says "I definitely do, after what just happened to me."

The bartender says "I'm so sorry. What happened?"

The blonde says, "Well, my boyfriend and I were just about to make love, when out of nowhere the crazy bastard says 'I'm gonna pound my favorite bitch with my giant sausage'. So I grabbed them both and got the hell out of there!"
Excellent.
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Old 09-22-2017, 03:22 PM
Silver lining Silver lining is offline
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Of course it's a happy ending. He gets to converse and meet with people he never would in regular school. He writes a paper that he loves so much that he kisses it. He got out of 1 day of studying that he probably would have to do at home. "Getting a girl" is not the end-all be-all of happy endings.

Well if you go to a 20-year high school reunion, the geeks as a group particularly the guys ended up with highest paying jobs, meaning some of them got the girls in the end. The jocks were the biggest losers, overweight, middle class at best, and a tad disgruntled as a group, though there were exceptions. You saw the hot girl lost her looks and the one who was overweighed to look like a knockout.

I also saw clicks reform in front of my eyes as the evening went on, but for me, I was there to talk to everyone who showed up, not the 2 friends I went with.

I had a diverse set of friends in high school, but I also played sports, and went to some parties, that some of my friends viewed as geeks, deadbeats and not exactly invited or welcome. It sucked, but that was the way it was.

I remember sitting with them sometimes in the cafeteria, getting some looks. But outside of school, it was all good.

Back then I used to walk into a room and see who liked me. Now I walk into a room and see who I like.
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Old 09-22-2017, 03:26 PM
Silver lining Silver lining is offline
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I think it's interesting looking at the groups in The Breakfast Club, comparing them against my high school classmates and seeing on Facebook what each of them are doing now that we are all in our mid-40s.




I would say that it certainly resonates with anyone who went to a suburban middle to upper middle class high school in the 80s, as portrayed in the film. A main theme of The Breakfast Club and 80s high school films in general is this concept of high school being socially organized along various subcultures, almost like departments in a corporation. Preppy jocks, hick jocks, burnouts (we called them "hoods" or "bong kids"), nerds, skaters, Goths, freaks (collectively called "AV kids"). So there is often a lot of pressure to figure out which of these cliques you want to be a part of and play that part. Keeping in mind that they are not all socially equal in each other's eyes or the general publics. And within each clique there may be separate hierarchies.

Also keep in mind that you can't just "pick" a group to belong to. Brian can't be a jock because he sucks at sports. Claire is a preppy because her dad is rich and buys her BMWs and nice clothes. Bender is a cool stoner because he (supposedly) has a tough home life.

Although, I'm not entirely unconvinced that much of Bender's backstory is bullshit and that he might actually be "gifted" intellectually.

It may seem like American teenagers lives revolve around high school because the high school typically has close ties to the suburban community. There was also not a whole lot to do outside of activities associated with the high school in the 80s. No internet, remember.
Top post. I went to a high school in the late 80's just like the one in the movie. I agree on Bender, he's pretty sharp, he just chooses to be stoner.
  #30  
Old 09-22-2017, 05:32 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
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Carl. The lowly janitor, a type I might have laughed at in high school has a real sense of humor, sense of self, and is pretty smart. Too bad they cut out one of best scenes when he and Vernon were predicting where the kids might be in the future. One thing I did not catch in the very end is Bender treating him with respect as they walk out to " See you next Saturday. " Carl's view of the children as they exit is not one of my favorite parts of the film. I mean if some deadbeat mocked my livelihood, I'm not so sure I would forgive him that quickly.
This reminded me that someone I went to high school with had an oddball interpretation of The Breakfast Club where the janitor was actually God (or at least an angel or something) and had brought everyone together that day so they could have an enlightening experience.

I doubt the filmmakers intended any such thing, but it would explain why Carl was so understanding.
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:34 PM
Ulf the Unwashed Ulf the Unwashed is online now
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In my experience: The people I've known over the years who went to big suburban high schools do indeed see this movie as a very accurate reflection of their youths. What's interesting to me is it doesn't seem to me to be generational either: folks who attended those schools in the sixties, in the eighties, or in the 00s all seem to say, "yeah, that was what it was like!"

And I'm sure it was. But I attended a different kind of school (late seventies) and the movie really had no resonance with me at all. As seems (again, anecdotally) to be the case with other people I know whose high schools were not like the one depicted in the movie. It's quite a divide!
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:03 AM
Maserschmidt Maserschmidt is offline
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The stereotypes were pretty much exactly like my high school, except the nerd would have been working on D&D maps in detention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uosdwis R. Dewoh View Post
I've always been curious how true-to-life this, and similar, movies are because my Finnish high-school experience was so much different. In movies, an American teenager's life seems to totally revolve around high-school. It's a lot looser over here. Most have friends outside school. There's no jocks, or drama geeks, etc. like in the movies. A school might have theater productions and football but they're not even close to importance for everyone like in America. One Tree Hill (the TV series) is baffling to me. Is sports really that important? If someone over here is seriously into sports he joins a local sports club (often a soccer or hockey club).
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Oh heck yeah, some of them are absolutely nuts about it.

http://www.cracked.com/personal-expe...-football.html
Yeah, high school football was (and still is) the center of the universe in most parts of Texas. Our high school was at the low end with a stadium seating about 12,000, but either way the culture of football was constant and pervasive, and jocks were terrifying and owned the hallways (and my high school was about 3,000 people in 3 grades).

If Siam Sam wanders by this thread he'll have something to say, he grew up in the Mecca of HS football, West Texas.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:04 AM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
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I agree on Bender, he's pretty sharp, he just chooses to be stoner.

That was my impression as well.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:30 AM
Lamia Lamia is offline
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Yeah, high school football was (and still is) the center of the universe in most parts of Texas.
Back when Friday Night Lights was on, I remember someone posted that they couldn't get into the show because it seemed ridiculously unrealistic that the whole town was depicted as caring about high school football, including adults who didn't even have kids in high school. Another poster replied "Clearly you've never been to Texas." And it's not just a Texas thing, I'd say high school football is considered a pretty big deal through much of the American South and Midwest.

So in response to Uosdwis R. Dewoh's question, yeah, school sports, especially football, are treated as important in the US. This does vary somewhat from region to region and even school to school; for most of high school I attended a very small school that didn't have any sports teams at all. That's unusual for the US, though.

I would say that the importance of school plays is often exaggerated on TV, though. I spent a year and a half at a big, rather Breakfast School-esque high school that had a well-funded theater department and competitive auditions -- I knew someone who was turned away due to "lack of experience", although I don't know where a teenager is supposed to get experience if they can't get cast in a school play -- but it seemed like it was only really a big deal to the people actually involved plus their friends and families. School plays could easily be ignored if you weren't interested. But even if (like me) you thought sports were stupid and boring, they were talked about all the time at this school, football players and cheerleaders wore their uniforms to class all day on game days, and several times a year we had a shortened class schedule to make time for mandatory pep rallies.
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Old 09-23-2017, 12:02 PM
Biggirl Biggirl is offline
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Wow, suburbia is different. Here in NYC you were lucky if you had an athletics department in your high school, much less people caring about it. What riled the parents in my South Bronx neighborhood was when my district contemplated getting rid of the music department. It was a New York tradition to come home for the weekend with that Bd. of ED stamped flute case (or in my case, violin case). Even in the urban decay hell that was the South Bronx in the '70s and early '80s , the parents fought for the music. At least in my district.

I didn't go to high school in my local district, however. Lucky for me because the cliques there included the nerds, the really stupid, the Black Spades and the Latin Homociders (told you there were dumb) and the only princesses were boys in lipstick. I was rescured by going to a specialized high school. I loved The Breakfast Club when it came out and was fascinated by the campus. The school was on a damned campus with friggin grounds. And I went to the largest high school in the city.
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Old 09-23-2017, 01:59 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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Wow, suburbia is different. Here in NYC you were lucky if you had an athletics department in your high school, much less people caring about it. What riled the parents in my South Bronx neighborhood was when my district contemplated getting rid of the music department. It was a New York tradition to come home for the weekend with that Bd. of ED stamped flute case (or in my case, violin case). Even in the urban decay hell that was the South Bronx in the '70s and early '80s , the parents fought for the music. At least in my district.

I didn't go to high school in my local district, however. Lucky for me because the cliques there included the nerds, the really stupid, the Black Spades and the Latin Homociders (told you there were dumb) and the only princesses were boys in lipstick. I was rescured by going to a specialized high school. I loved The Breakfast Club when it came out and was fascinated by the campus. The school was on a damned campus with friggin grounds. And I went to the largest high school in the city.
Hopefully, you were lucky enough to have a pretty white lady or inspiring no-nonsense tough guy come in and motivate your class with some tough love. At least...that's my understanding of how urban schools worked in the 80s.

But seriously though, the "campus" style high school is pretty common in suburban and rural communities simply because there is so much room. My HS consisted of the main building (a large sunken 2 story structure), parking lots, a football stadium / track (nothing like Texas though), soccer fields and a baseball field. It was fairly typical of schools in the state.

Athletics were certainly a thing, but again, not the spectacle you see out in Texas. Mostly it was just something to do on Friday nights. You drive up with a bunch of your friends. Meet with other groups of friends. Maybe if you're lucky someone has a six pack or there's a party afterwards.
  #37  
Old 09-23-2017, 02:15 PM
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The movie was a patronizing and insulting piece of crap.

That was obvious to me as a teenager, and it's obvious to me now. No need for "fresh adult eyes."
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Biggirl View Post
Wow, suburbia is different. Here in NYC you were lucky if you had an athletics department in your high school, much less people caring about it.
Chicago probably is "suburbia" compared to NYC in terms of population density, but high school athletics are reasonably big even in the city. Until maybe a couple decades ago, the world record crowd for a sporting event was a high school football game between the Chicago Pubilc Schools league champ and the Catholic League Champ. Granted, this was in 1937, but 120,000 people showed up to watch the game at Soldier Field. The same game even in the 60s had attendences of 90K+. Of the top 15 football programs in Illinois, two of them are Chicago schools (Mount Carmel and St. Rita.) If you go into high school basketball, then you have a bunch more. Five of the top ten teams in the state were from Chicago last year. So it really isn't a suburbs vs urban thing, in my opinion. Probably more a regional thing.

Last edited by pulykamell; 09-24-2017 at 12:08 AM.
  #39  
Old 09-24-2017, 12:39 AM
actualliberalnotoneofthose actualliberalnotoneofthose is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamia View Post
And it's not just a Texas thing, I'd say high school football is considered a pretty big deal through much of the American South and Midwest.
I went to HS in Delaware in the '90s. The whole town revolved around football. Things shutdown on friday nights. The school didn't even have a soccer, golf, or lacrosse team. Pretty sure they made and kept an antiquated faculty position just to prop up the pay of the football coach. That was my 2nd high school. The first 1 was in MD and I left due to constant bullying among other things. If your parent had to talk to the principal for some reason, he would ask "Who is your son? What sport does he play?"

I live in Ohio now and people are into it here, too. The other day when I picked up my son from school people were tailgating in the parking lot. At least 3 guys (that I know of) from my small town were picked in the NFL draft this year.
  #40  
Old 09-24-2017, 12:28 PM
jsgoddess jsgoddess is offline
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I went to a small, rural high school. I've never seen anything resembling my high school life on TV or film.
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