Lorrie Lynn: Foothill’s quirky, nerdy nature

Lorrie Lynn

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If you go to Foothill Tech, you’re probably accustomed to the “home of the nerds” stereotype. It’s a pretty common notion that the name is at least somewhat accurate: we don’t have our own sports programs (putting more stress on academics), we’re small, we get grants to put iPads in nearly every classroom (okay, just that once, but still), we have an overall high college acceptance rate, and the rumor is that the only fight between students on campus was over a floppy disk. Heck, our mascot is even a medieval dragon.

You may have read Zach Plahn’s article a couple weeks ago, “Foothill Tech: Who we are,” that talked about how Foothill is really not so different from the other public schools in town. I disagree. Our Buena and Ventura friends lovingly dub us their geek friends, and while some of us sometimes pretend to take umbrage, I think it’s safe to say we all have at least some level of fondness for it, as it reminds us of the unique “home” we do really have.

A majority of us love our school and all of its idiosyncrasies, from the Halloween costumes worn on an average Tuesday in February to the Star Trek-inspired teacher salutation we view as perfectly normal (Melanie “Captain” Lindsay, for outside readers).

We rejoice in our diversity and even have a hash tag trending on Twitter, “#onlyatfoothill.” Foothill’s quirks are what make us feel at home, and most would probably agree that if a foreigner came onto campus on any day and called us normal, something would be horribly wrong.

One of the best things I see in Foothill is the universal acceptance. Maybe it’s because we have to be accepting — it’s almost impossible not to have a class with everyone in your grade throughout your for years here, much less accidentally elbow them in the face in the ever-crowded hallways — maybe it’s just because there are so many groups that there has to be some overlap. Or maybe it’s just the heavy course load and stereotype about us dragons that binds us together. Whatever it may be, I have to say the atmosphere is pretty unique.

It’s funny, because a lot of people would say at first glance that we are like other public schools in the sense that we’re cliquey. But, this is not entirely true. Sure, I have my group and you have your group, but the word “clique” holds a pretty heavy connotation of a bitter and rigid social structure, and I just don’t see that here. Our haphazard separateness hardly means we don’t like each other. Different groups may have “set” locations, but most people in each group are friends with people who quite possibly hang out across campus, or in upperclassmen’s case, not on campus at all.

Even within these groups, there is so much variety. While most of the people in a group share some commonality, there’s always so much more than just the hipster, the debater, the poet, the water polo player, the singer, the future politician or the journalist. Our hobbies, obsessions, pet-peeves and passions aren’t squashed and hidden for the sake of maintaining any kind of social standing, but rather, they’re celebrated. As teens, of course we’re all searching for our place in this world, but I see us Foothillians as a bit more in touch with our individual identities.

I love Foothill. I love that we’re tiny and weird and chaotic and nerdy and so, so versatile. I love that we don’t understand each other, but we try to, and we adore each other all the more. And that is the biggest and greatest thing that sets us apart.

What do you think?