Airplanes and School

Jack - Atlanta, Georgia
Entered on March 11, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Airplanes are the closest things to school. I used to think that once we reached a certain age, we would no longer have to experience anything like school again. No more of those stringent disciplinarians, no more of those harsh rules, and certainly no more of that painful yearning for school to end. However, I have come to realize that no matter how much we age, we can never escape that infamous feeling of school. That feeling will visit us at a certain place in our lives. That place, I believe, is an airplane.

I remember once in fifth grade, my teacher screamed at this boy for talking during class. “How many times do I have to tell you?! No talking, while I’m teaching!” The teacher said this in a callous tone and wore a firm face. The boy was scared out of his mind and looked as if he were going to cry. A few months ago, I witnessed this same scene on an airplane. As the plane was getting ready to take off, I noticed a stewardess yelling at this man seated in front of me. “Sir, what did I just say?! Turn off your cell phone! All electronics must be off!” The stewardess said this in a tone that resembled my fifth grade teacher’s. As I looked at the man’s reaction, I did not see an adult, but a frightened boy scared of his fifth grade teacher.

It was after this moment, I realized how similar an airplane environment is to that of a school. Every other flight I went on, I felt like I was in grammar school all over again. A stewardess asking me to buckle my seatbelt was like a teacher asking me to open my textbook for class. Seeing a stewardess walk by and take up money for headphones and other plane accessories reminded me of those days in the school cafeteria when the lunch lady would take up money for the daily lunch. Whenever I watched the airline safety video before take off, I felt like I was in math class watching an old teacher explain how to do a tedious word problem. It is funny how life works. Right when we think we have surpassed the antics of school, they come back and bite us when we least expect it. I have a feeling that is how most other events in our life will work out too.