Popularity is as confusing as an Excel spread sheet these days. No longer is it about just the students, it’s about logistics too. My ten-year-old daughter, who goes to an all girls school, explained to me for more than twenty minutes what “popular” means at her school. I had so many questions, and I was stunned at how “popular” now works in these modern times. I asked her if the teachers were aware of this, and she said, “No. You can’t tell them!” I promised I wouldn’t. But I told her I was writing about it.
I will tell you that being popular these days, or wanting to be popular, is as confusing and difficult as figuring out, let’s say, how a car engine works. (At least for me.) It starts at the beginning of the school year.
On the first week of school, there is something called, “acceptance week.” The teachers know nothing about this. During that week, the children decide what group they want to be in. There are four groups: “The Populars,” “The Cools,” “The Losers,” and “The Outcasts.”
You can choose what group you want to be in. But once you’re in that group, you are pretty much stuck there for the entire year. But what really shocked me was how, in pretty much every class or room in their school, “The Populars,” have their special hang out. Even down to the locker rooms! (When I went to school, the “Populars” only hung out in ONE place.) They didn’t mark their spots, like dogs, all over the school.
After their weekly swim lessons, “The Populars” hang out on the Marble floor area to shower. “The Cools” shower on the wood floor area, but I don’t know about “The Losers” or “The Outcasts.”
As my daughter explained, the MOST popular of “The Populars” take the private shower stalls. “But how do people know who is popular and who isn’t?” I asked my daughter. “You just know,” was her answer.
Even sitting in rows, at assemblies for example or watching a sports team, there is a pecking order. “The Populars” sit in the top row, “The Cools” sit in the middle row, and “The Losers” sit in the bottom row. (Again, as for “The Outcasts,” I really don’t think they care, because they live in their own dream world, one that I would live in!)