Thursday, October 20, 2005

Only in Amherst

'Freshman' year eliminated
Thursday, October 20, 2005

AMHERST - There are no freshmen at Amherst Regional High School.

Ninth-grader is now the official term used for first-year students. Following in the steps of several area colleges, including Amherst, Smith in Northampton and Mount Holyoke in South Hadley, the school has dropped freshman from its vocabulary because of the male connotation of the word.

"I think it's kind of weird," ninth-grader Sam F. Hart of Shutesbury said yesterday. "There's a lot of other words that have man in it. I don't see it as sexist. Freshmen is what we've always been called."

Marta M. Guevara, assistant principal for student support, said yesterday the change to ninth-grader was initiated nearly two years ago during a week that highlighted issues surrounding violence against women. The week ended with the student production of the controversial play "The Vagina Monologues."

That town is messed. up.

I just don't get the need to force everything to be so incredibly PC. It's ridiculous. I worked there for a few years, and I was suffocating from all that pompous stuffiness.

And maybe I'm a big fat prude, but having ninth-grade students - fourteen year olds - performing the Vagina Monologues seems a little over the top to me. It's a great play, fine, but for the ninth grade? Besides the fact that most of the play is sexually related, I hardly think the average fourteen year old can appreciate the perspective of sex and all your body goes through as you get older. They're just starting puberty for cripes sakes.

And yet, a few years ago, Amherst voted that the students could not perform West Side Story, because of it's "racial stereotypes". They thought it promoted the idea that all Puerto Ricans (but not Polish people?) were gang members.

Guess I was missing something. I always thought the play was saying that you shouldn't judge people based on their racial background. That it was about people getting along.

But what would a town full of rich, white people know about that?


Sank said...

That is downright scary that highschool kids can preform something like that. That town is messed up. Scratch it off mu "visit" list if I ever get to MA.

Bad news is, the ninth grader thing is rampant here in MN as well.

Erin said...

The freshmen thing is just plain silly. And the Vagina Monolgues make me blush now. I would have died in ninth grade!

Weird town.