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Showing posts from June, 2012

We Cool?

How old are we when we first begin separating into cliques? High School seems to be the apex of this particular paradigm--jock, prep, goth, punk, nerd... the whole Breakfast Club thing--but it must start sooner than that. I can remember junior high being pretty clique-oriented, too. In seventh and eighth grade recess, most of the boys would usually gather to play touch football. I tried to join them once, but after making what I presume was a terrible mistake on the field, I was told by a kid fully a foot shorter than me that "if you can't play with the big dogs, stay on the porch!" I assume he read that off of a t-shirt at some point and it really stuck with him. Anyway, after that I went back to my usual recess activity: "hanging out." I was obviously not a jock.

As an adult, it's hard to look at little kids of eight or nine and think of them in terms of social status within their peer group, but I can remember that even then, there's a kind of hierar…