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I haven’t yet written about the insane people who made up my International Studies class. Now that I’ve received my study score for the subject, I figure it’s a good time. My classmates are a hilariously mad bunch, and probably worth an entry. From their strange love of guns to their seemingly pointless arguments, they are endlessly entertaining. So, why not write about them?

We will start with the perfect citizen. I call her this because of how closely she adheres to my History teacher’s vision of “good citizenship”. She’s a skateboarding champion, and coaches other aspiring champions of this sport. She took a year off school to deliver humanitarian aid in Africa. She took another year off to go on exchange to Brazil, and now she’s returned, she uses her Portuguese to help Brazilian immigrants integrate into the community.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s really her attitude that sets her apart as a “perfect citizen”. At the start of the year, she said she wanted to study international relations at university. By the end of the year, she’d changed her mind. She wanted to join the military.

“Didn’t you want to go to Uni before?” someone asked her.

“Yep. And I still do. It’s just… I don’t think I’m ready for Uni yet. I mean, I thought about it, and I really did want to go, but I haven’t earned it yet. I didn’t feel right, asking the government to pay for my education when I hadn’t done anything for them. You know?”

To be honest, we didn’t. We didn’t push the point, but we were all quite happy to go to Uni without serving in the military. I mentioned, though, that the attitude was very similar to my History teacher’s bizarre ideology. This necessitated explaining the ideology, and having explained that much, it only made sense to explain my objections. Most of my classmates thought this was a fantastic story, and approved of my actions. However, the perfect citizen was horrified.

“Wait, what? You argued with a teacher?” When I confirmed I had, she stared at me like I was out of my mind. “My God! I could never do something like that! That is so disrespectful!”

However, the perfect citizen cannot quite compare to the fanatical anti-communist. This classmate carries on like it’s 1949, which is pretty funny, except that he’s serious, which is not. He hates everything that reminds him of communism — which is, seemingly, everything in the entire world. Once he interrupted class to blurt out, “What’s up with Medicare? I can’t believe we have such a communist program when we’re supposed to be capitalists!”

Our bewildered teacher did not rebuke him for the interruption, but instead actually tried to answer the question. He explained how important it was to look after people less fortunate than ourselves. The fanatical anti-communist cried, “Why should I have to pay for some lazy hobo’s healthcare? He should get up and earn some money to pay for it himself!”

“But… the hobo also pays for your healthcare.”

“I don’t want a hobo paying for my healthcare! I’m not lazy, and I can pay it for myself, thank you very much!”

Another time, my class was asked who we wanted to win the US election. Surprise surprise, this classmate (and him alone) supported McCain. Our teacher asked him why.

“Because I think he knows how to keep America safe. After all, he was captured by communists in the Vietnam War, and he was tortured for years! I mean, if anyone can be trusted to be the leader of the free world, it’d have to be him, right?”

And then later in the year, we were asked what we thought of the Beijing Olympics. My classmate growled, “I hated it.” When asked why, he replied, “All that communist propaganda! It made me sick!

“Really?” asked our teacher. “I don’t think I saw communism mentioned at all. I could be wrong, but…”

“Did you actually watch the opening ceremony?” my classmate demanded. “It was disgusting! Everyone was wearing red!”


“Well, you know red’s the colour of communism, right? They were, like, subliminally propagandising us to be communist, and I won’t stand for it!”

I thought I’d misheard him, but he continued to rant about the “subliminal messages” contained in the colour red for the entire day. When our teacher left the room, he whinged about what a “dirty commie” he was. “Have you seen how much red he wears? Why would you wear that much red if you’re not a communist?!”

“Maybe he’s a Republican,” answered the perfect citizen.

Those two are the craziest of my classmates, but there are more. Another classmate hails from Bairnsdale, and is absolutely obsessed with his gun. He talks guns with the fanatical anti-communist, who also hails from the country and also loves his guns. They compare all sorts of random things, none of which I remember because my knowledge of guns is non-existent. The Bairnsdale classmate also enjoys taking simulated driving tests. He fails them deliberately, because he wants to see how white his instructor’s face will turn. How many simulated people can he hit? (I guess there’s not much entertainment in the country.)

Then there are two more classmates, who attend the same — totalitarian — school. I mean, at my school, there are many websites which are blocked. At theirs, every website is blocked by default and has to be whitelisted. Even better, their IT technician refuses to whitelist many large, useful websites. Like Google. The students may not use Google, even if all the search results are blocked, because the page descriptions might contain dangerous information. Naturally, my two classmates think this is ridiculous.

Now it’s all over, all I can do is reflect on how hilarious my classmates were. We only met up four times, but they were memorable times. Hence the entry. I hope I entertained you all to some extent with it.


One Comment

  1. Hahaha oh man. I think I’d love to be in your class… Even though people with really strong opinions (who can’t always support them sufficiently) can tick me off at times, it’s always fun to hear from them.
    The communist propaganda (red!) guy really cracked me up. Really? Oh man now I feel like a communist because I have red sheets and a red comforter and my pajamas have red on them!

    Many of the people in my high school sound like the exact opposite of the people in your class. Many of them get worked up at the mere mention of the medicaid/medicare system which they think is flawed. We took a couple of tests to help us figure out where we were on the political spectrum and, not surprisingly, many of them were bordering on being communists. They’re also all anti-war, anti-Bush, etc. Hippies are gone everywhere… but many still live in Seattle.

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