And thanks for understanding the feeling. People usually think I'm hyping it up when I say that.
They probably went to a different kind of school. From one school in California to another in Texas I had a very very different experience.
At one I was in the middle of several drive-bys, had a friend killed in front of me on the way home from school by another 14-year old who didn't even know him (gang initiation) and got a kid sent to jail for selling a gun in school (at the back of the classroom) and was threatened by his cousin's gang for it repeatedly. The school even had full-time police officers and a school crime "hotline" (that stupidly rang to an answering machine in the principals office, which is how my report of the gun transaction was found out, the cousin was in the office when I called).
It was horrible. My grades always went from straight As to no-attendance as some days I just wanted to play sports all day and would just repeat PE over and over. At least there was no fake civilization there and you knew what world you were in in the boy's locker room while the PE "teachers" read their sports pages which is what they'd also do when the kids were out beating each other senseless in "flag" (while any adult is looking) football.
I found it easier to just spend the day there without any pretense of trying to have a normal routine and confront the thugs without trying to balance my desire for education (and not getting expelled) from my desire to defend myself.
I learned things about defending myself. I learned that I needed
to stand up for myself and sometimes I had to be an animal when others are acting like animals. I saw that putting up a fight (what I was always taught not to do) was sometimes the only thing that would stop people when you are in a dog-eat-dog world.
Now my experience in Texas was very very different, and I was the cool bad ass from California but I completely understand the horrible feelings about school, I just think they are character building experiences and wouldn't trade them for the world.