Update: Very good news! Soon after posting this, I was contacted to run this article. I’ve moved the whole of it there, but here’s a bit of it with the rest now on their site.

Here’s the link to the full article, as published on Common Ties. Enjoy!

I submitted the following essay to an unnamed media outlet but it never made it to print. So I thought I’d give it exposure in the place it really belongs: Mental Mayhem. Comments are welcome.

If you scratch the glass

My husband and I moved to the Unites States from Amman, Jordan a year and a half ago. During this period I had to adjust to a myriad of lifestyle changes. Whether it was learning how to use the garbage disposal, handle a furnace, or even attempt to catch a glimpse of the American dream, my life in the past 18 months has been overwhelming and hectic at most times.

But of all the pieces of Americana that I try to acquaint myself with on a daily basis, there is one that never ceases to dazzle me to this day. It is the American high school. We currently live in the suburbs of Washington DC, right next to a buzzing high school. This location has its perks, one being the serenity of the suburbs and affordable rent. But living next to a school can be tiresome, as it brings into our quaint neighborhood at some instances a good share of noise. From weekend concerts to high school football games, the serenity of our suburbs gets shattered as a result of this constant teenage activity.

Putting the inconvenience aside, I have to admit that our location near an educational edifice has introduced me to a new realm: the world of American high school kids. It is a world that I had previously watched in awe from my parent’s house in Amman via American movies. Of course, being so close to a high school doesn’t really give me a full access to the mysterious life inside this building. I am merely a voyeur. I observe from afar as kids march half asleep to school in the mornings and drag themselves back home in the afternoons.

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