Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Column: The b-word

Kaitlyn Hughes
“I entered high school with excitement about new possibilities, yet within the first two hours I was reduced to the b-word by someone who had never even seen my face.”

I wandered through beige hallways that never seemed to end, checking my watch and seeing the time run out. I was desperate and lost, entering a random classroom for help. Faceless strangers stared at me, waiting for me to speak. Then the late bell rang. I looked down at my outfit, except I didn’t have one. I was naked.

This nightmare haunted me every night during the summer before my freshman year. Thankfully, I never walked naked into a classroom full of people with no faces, but I could have never anticipated what really happened that first fateful day of school.

Aug. 25, 2016 was the first day of my freshman year. I had been in band camp, so I knew my way around, but navigating the hallways with 3,000 other students would be more difficult. I began the day on the freshman campus, which was my safe space. The boys wore outfits picked out by their moms and the girls had perfectly-done hair. Then, the bell rang for students to be released to second period. I had to go to band on the main campus. I had walked there before, but that was like learning to drive in an empty Wal-Mart parking lot. With all of the other students, it was like merging on the freeway.

The main campus was crowded, loud and scary like the DMV. I was the beginner driver, freshly 16 with a new dress and sandals and my required documents in a color-coded folder. Everyone else was middle-aged in worn out sweatpants, getting their license renewed for the 15th time with messy hair and lazily sprayed axe to make up for a missed shower.

I was speeding through the hall when my forehead bumped into the chest of a 6-foot-something upperclassman boy. I swerved out of his way and quietly said “So sorry.” For the sake of being appropriate, I will replace the word he said with a phrase that has a similar meaning.

“Female dog.”

Then, he walked around and past me. I hadn’t even seen his face. The first person that had spoken to me all day except for my first period English teacher had just called me the b-word.

My mouth was hanging open as I texted my mom and asked her to pull me out of public school. I wanted to be homeschooled.

She said no.

At first I wanted to excuse his behavior for some reason I didn’t know. Maybe he mistook me for an ex-girlfriend or a girl who refused to let him cheat off of her in Algebra 1.

However, there is no excuse for his actions. That one word has left a huge impression on me over the past four years because it was hurtful. I entered high school with excitement about new possibilities, yet within the first two hours I was reduced to the b-word by someone who had never even seen my face.

One day some teenage boy might call his daughter the b-word in her school’s hallway. He will unleash his hormonal rage on her, and she will be upset. My advice to the boy I bumped into four years ago would be as follows: let your wife handle this one.

I have learned from this experience that words have unexpected impact, so I will let my words be positive. If a sweating, apologizing, 14-year-old girl bumps into me in the hallway, I will respond with a simple “It’s OK.”

Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, but while kindness goes a long way, unkind words last even longer.

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About the Contributors
McKenna Cowley, Opinion Editor
McKenna Cowley is a senior and although this will be her first year on staff, she has a long-lived passion for journalism. She spends most of her time practicing with the band during the fall but still manages to make time for her other four loves: reading, writing, and her two dogs. She plans to study journalism and writing in college and she takes inspiration from Queen Elizabeth, Fran Drescher and Audrey Hepburn. Finally, she is beyond excited to spend her senior year with an incredible staff where she hopes to leave a lasting impact on the community while learning about journalism and expanding her skill set as a writer. Check out her playlist here:
Kaitlyn Hughes, Social Media Manager
Kaitlyn Hughes is a senior and this is her first year on staff. Ever since she was a kid photography has always been a strong passion of hers and she hopes to pursue it through college. When she’s not taking pictures, you’ll find her singing! Kaitlyn has been involved in the choir program since her freshman year as well as Marcus’ all-female acapella group, Fusion. Kaitlyn is so excited to see how this next year unfolds! Check out her playlist here:

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