Saturday, March 27, 2010

Teenage Pressure Cooker

By Jacob Gutnicki

Janice did not like school. That damned Mr. Lotta made her miserable. Always taunting her for drifting off into space. Didn’t he understand that he was boring her? Of course she understood that this was no game. After all, you don’t pass math and your stuck in this hellhole.

Her parents did not make matters easier. Dad would always say, “No daughter of mine is going to fail math. Young lady if you ever plan of having a future you better crack open those books!” Mom was a bit more sympathetic. She would try to give me encouragement. However, she found ways to make me crazy as well. Years ago, the school labeled me “hyperactive” and suggested that my parents get me medicated. At the time, I did not understand what all of this meant. However, in time the repercussions became very clear. My friends would jokingly call me a druggy.

Well… enough was enough. I wasn’t going to let anyone control my life. I stopped taking those pills over 2 years ago. For once, it is nice to know that I am control of my life. Naturally, my parents have no idea that I am off the meds and have been flushing the pills. As far as they are concerned the medicine seems to really be working. After all, I always seem happy.

Unbeknownst to them I found the ultimate aphrodisiac in the form of a technology internship program. Two days a week I work in a different school as a High School Intern fixing and upgrading computers. The principal at the Clara Barton School is really nice. She is always so appreciative for my technical assistance. The tech coordinator is pretty cool too. She has shown me a number of trouble shooting techniques and has taught me about the finer intricacies of job etiquette.

I suppose things are not so bad. The district representative was telling me about an early college program that sounds really interesting. Anyhow… the math tutor is coming over so I need to stop yapping.


  1. As a special education teacher trained in emotional disturbance and learning disability issues, I am offended as a professional by the suggestion that a child can acceptably abandon a prescribed medical regimen without first consulting their pediatrician or at the very least, their school psychologist. Mr. Gutnicki, I would suggest in the future advancing your cause to promote technology usage by not including dangerous and irresponsible suggestions about children and medications. I wonder if you are aware that such practices can lead to suicidal impulses, for example.

    This lack of foreknowledge supports my contention that every K-12 teacher in the United States should have special education training as part of their pre-service certification programs and subsequent re-certification requirements.

  2. Its always interesting to see what different people read into a fictional story. Having said that, the idea behind this story was not to advocate for a point of view other than to give an inside look at the psyche of one teenager. Sometimes teenagers do take matters into their own hands as they feel its the world against them. Unfortunately, educators are often not aware of the emotional baggage students carry on their shoulders. This in turn leads to undesirable consequences.

    Hopefully, this helps us to become more aware of the struggles students face as a pediatrician and/or school psychologist is not always a part of the social equation.

  3. I commend you for the attempt, Jacob, but when it comes to disabilities, I think we should endeavor to be more precise in how they're depicted. There are aspects of your fictional account that are incomplete, which makes them seem unrealistic.

  4. You raise an interesting point. Having said that, the omission of the complete backstory is used as a vehicle to raise questions. In essence, it allows the reader to reflect on the story being told and draw their own conclusions.

  5. The English teacher is here! Jake, don't change your point-of-view from third to first person! Otherwise, engaging stuff.

  6. Nora that is so funny; yet so true. The consequences of rapid writing.