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Allow Us To Explain
Many people out there have headed back to school this week, whether they are students, teachers, or loving parents. And if not this week, then they've probably been at it long enough to already long for the blissful freedom of summer vacation.
And so, as the fortunate or unfortunate majority who no longer return to those hallowed halls yearly, and instead must assign our own homework, we'd like to highlight some schools where it doesn't seem like any learning goes on at all, or where half the student body is dead by the end of the first semester.
Because it could always be worse. In fact, if you've got any examples we forgot, let us know in the comments.
originally appeared on Geekosystem, because it was Labor Day weekend, and we decided to give ourselves less homework!)
"Skool" reads the sign on the front of the building where the characters of
Invader Zim go every day to be lectured by the apparently phantasmal creature known as Ms. Bitters on the futility of dreams and the ultimate doom in store for all life in the universe.
The nurse thinks that more organs = more healthy. The classroom phones are powered by souls. At any moment a student may be sent to the "underground classroom" which appears to be full of flame and the teachers refuse to talk about.
There's also classroom over-crowding, a hamster in a cage, and parent teacher conferences. Makes us shudder just thinking about it.
Tokyo-3 Middle School
The school that the three main characters of
Neon Genesis Evangelion go to seems to be pretty normal, for a world that has been under regular, random attacks from massive alien belongs known as Angels for more than a decade and may well be staring down the barrel of the apocalypse.
That is, until you get deep into the series, and suddenly realize that all of the secondary student characters come from broken families. Specifically,
none of them have mothers.
This is significant beyond a certain macabre coincidence. The Eva units, skyscraper sized mechas that are the only human technology capable of defeating angels, can only be piloted by people who were conceived after the appearance of the first angel fifteen years ago. Each unit is powered by an anonymous human soul, which must be in synchrony with its pilot.
It is heavily implied that the souls at the heart of each Eva unit belonged to the mother of its pilot.
And so, it can be extrapolated that, rather than a regular school with three extraordinary students, their school is actually
just a place for students specifically selected for their suitability as Eva pilots. Should any of the three pilots be killed or deemed too unstable, one of the hapless kids from Tokyo-3 middle school will be chosen to replace them.
Well, except for Rei.
They'd just pull another one of her out of the basement.
The School From
It's bad enough that you're going to school with Elijah Wood, before
The Lord of the Rings. And that your teachers are the T-1000 or Agent John Dogget from post-shark-jumping- The-X-Files (pick whichever is worse), and Jon Stewart's evil twin.
But now the new kid has infested the school administration with alien parasites, and now they're doing their best to infest everyone else. They've already got the football team. You and five acquaintances should probably go do something about that, before they use that big game to spread the infection to another school.
One more thing: you're in a Robert Rodriguez movie. Good luck.
Angel Grove High School
The Power Rangers might have attitude, but they are clearly not teenagers. TV Tropes calls this
Dawson Casting, after the famous Creek, which asked us to accept a cast aged 17-20 as fifteen year olds.
Honestly, though, we understand how difficult it is to adapt your plots to the restrictions of high school life. That's a challenging writing trick, and maybe you just don't feel like working that hard for a kids show that's half Japanese stock footage anyway. Especially if you also think you can get away with having an Asian yellow ranger, an African American black ranger, a Caucasian white ranger, and a female pink ranger all on the same show. And if your characters' idea of protecting their secret identities was to dress in their assigned color all the time and make sure to hang out with each other to illustrate the parallel.
But this doesn't change the fact that those characters are supposed to be in high school. They certainly spent a lot of time in the Youth Center and the park, and they went to prom, but when did these kids freakin' go to class? Does Angel Grove even have a high school?
The School from
The Animorphs get a pass for adhering to the trope of teenage superheroes who almost never appear to go to class, because it's not just appearances. They almost don't ever go to class. The books frequently reference the fact that these kids don't have time to do normal stuff like go to class, get an education, or spend time with their families, because they are desperately trying to stave off a secret alien invasion, and they can't tell anyone because anyone might be an alien.
But hey, that's their problem. Their school is still a great place for other kids to go, right? Well, I guess so. If you forget about the fact that vice-principal Chapman is infested with an alien slug, and that the administration openly sponsors a terrifyingly named youth group called The Sharing (seriously, how ominous is that?) which is actually a front to manipulate teenagers into voluntarily submitting to alien control with cult-like tactics.
So, yeah. I heard alien brain slugs can really help with the SATs.
Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters
Look, I'm sure that Professor Xavier actually came by his honorifics honorably (from Harvard, Oxford, and Columbia, apparently), and I'm sure that he's made sure that Jean, Scott, and Ororo are certified. And there's no question of Hank McCoy's suitability as a teacher.
But how much teaching can actually go on at a school where the teachers are jetting off every other day to save the world? Sometimes taking students with them? Sometimes becoming possessed by the billion-year-old source of all life in the universe?
And once and for all, does Wolverine teach gym or art? Or "close quarters combat?" He's gotta teach something now that he's in charge of the whole dang place. Except now he's with the Avengers? Sort that stuff out, man. You've got kids to be responsible for.
The High School From
So you think your high school social drama is pretty tough? Well, what if your high school drama was film noir?
Unwanted pregnancy, drug dealing, rich kids, drama students, neglected nerds, stoners, and yeah, even the jocks itching for a reason to beat some poor kid to a pulp (and I don't mean magazines). What if it had all the gravitas, seriousness, and possibly earth shaking consequences of The Maltese Falcon?
Actually, that's pretty much how high school feels all the time while you're in it, so… touché.
I've talked about the metaphysical mash (and I mean that as a real fan of the series)
Revolutionary Girl Utena is before. Fundamentally, though, despite the show's thematic touches on world domination, societal revolution, jungian archetypes as real persons, meta-critical examinations of anime tropes themselves, and shaking gender roles around like an Etch A Sketch; the show is a classic shojo magical girl story that was directed by one of the guys behind Sailor Moon.
Which is to say that it takes place entirely on an enormous boarding school campus, and the characters are all students or the headmaster. Parents pretty much never appear. Teachers, barely. Every now and then someone will mention homework, and there's that one filler episode where the characters appear to be taking a home economics course, but for the most part, they go about their lives of fencing duels, dramatic looks, social manipulation, and bringing about the world revolution uninterrupted by the demands of learning anything in a classroom setting.
Allow me to explain Clone High as I always do, by quoting the theme song.
Way way back in the nineteen-eighties
Secret government employees
Dug up famous guys and ladies
And made amusing genetic copies
Now the clones are sexy teens now
They're gonna make it if they try
Loving, learning, sharing, judging
Time to laugh, shiver and cry
So… yeah. Your student body is made entirely of cloned historical figures, all of them either striving or cracked under the weight of living up to the legacies of their historical counterparts. The show's one season spent a lot of energy making fun of teen drama shows, and also creating some of the most quotable lines in MTV history.
Also, like many of the things on this list, the characters were in high school but were almost never shown in class. The dangers of slapstick comedy don't apply however, since the clones exhibit a very toon-like physical resiliency. The biggest academic challenge any of them faced was the PXJTs, an SAT equivalent.
However, aside from academics, there was the Secret Board of Shadowy Figures who caused them to be created in the first place, for god knows what purposes, who regularly butted heads with the school's Principal Scudworth. He wants to eventually harness all the clones to work in his theme park "Cloney Island." And that's with out mentioning Death Maze.
Do we really need to say anything about this one? Not only does the consistently empty library prove just how much stock this institution of learning puts into actual learning, Sunnydale High is quite possibly the most dangerous building in the world. It's probably that handy entrance to Hell thing that does it.
Seriously, while everyone has their problems in high school, this school is the only one where, through the power of metaphor, all those problems will turn into monsters and try to eat you. Worried about losing your virginity? Well, then your hot substitute teacher's gonna try to eat you. Want to have a night to remember at prom? Well, then a bunch of hellhounds are gonna try to eat you. Want to just graduate in peace? Well, then you just know the mayor is gonna transform into a giant demon snake during his speech and try to eat you. That's just the way it is here.
Parents, if you're trying to decide a good school district to raise your children in, here's a helpful tip. Don't move to the one that gives out a "Class Protector" award to the girl who helped the most kids not die.
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