There’s Even A Drain for the Tears
Hall monitors at Ithaca High School discovered why a suspicious number of students were lingering past the bell after gym class – they were crying in the showers.
The showers were originally installed for students to use after gym class and sports practices. However, student athletes choose to go home to shower. Students believe that a little deodorant and body spray will suffice after the “vigorous” activity of walking at a brisk pace after a ball for 40 minutes. So, the showers are not commonly used for their original purpose.
“Since we’ve run out of toilet paper, the corner of the shower curtain not covered in mold acts a great tissue,” said junior Sam Parke.
Initially, administration assumed the students were vaping, or using e-cigarettes, a common trend among the nation’s youth. But upon peeling back the shower curtain, they were shocked to find not just students, but even some teachers utilizing the stall as a private space. The administration was reportedly called to the men’s locker room first. Tensions were high as they had expected enough drug use to constitute a federal crime; instead, they found three students sitting in one stall together ? holding hands and crying. In the adjacent stall was a lone crier in a fetal position, and next to him was an unnamed art teacher who was using his tears for a watercolor painting. Surprise quickly turned into disgust as the administration noticed the painful proximity of student faces to the grimy, unwashed shower floors.
I visited Ithaca High last Friday to get an in-depth look at this epidemic. Apparently, the busiest times of day for the showers are at 7:30 a.m. right before class begins, and then from noon to 1 p.m.. Teachers tend to utilize the showers around 10 a.m., particularly on Wednesdays, before their weekly staff meetings. At these busy times there is normally a line. Students try to enforce a three-minute rule during peak use.
“It helps me focus during the day,” said freshman Nick Baron. “I heard about the showers through a senior in my study hall and I thought it was just a joke, but then I saw them. The showers, I mean. They’re magnificent. There’s something about watching my tears moving through the cracks in the linoleum that just gets me. I just need a good cry to start my day.”
“It’s cheaper than therapy,” said calculus teacher Aaron Jackkson. “There’s something calming about the mildew smell. It reminds me of my grandma’s wardrobe where I used to hide as a kid.”
When asked about this issue, the principal of Ithaca High School declined to comment further than, “Gym class? Did you mean physical education?”
The hall monitors have their own plans to stop the shower usage. They have been posting signs inside the showers claiming the presence of various strains of flesh-eating bacteria and attempting to Duct Tape the shower curtains shut. After the first day of this, however, the hall monitors found that their tactics had the opposite of their desired effect. They found the tape had been cut through and even more students occupied the stalls. They found one stall in the women’s locker room with five girls crammed inside holding a prayer circle for “the flesh-eating bacteria to claim them” so they didn’t have to go to class. The signs were removed the following day.
It seems the administration is unequipped to handle such an issue at this time. It is unclear if the showers themselves will need to be removed, and if doing so will push the students to find new places to inhabit.
Sarah Moon is a second year writing major who whispers secrets to the clown in her shower drain instead of seeking therapy. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.