Sunday, December 9, 2007

Do not drink and take drugs

Just the other day I was thinking about something that happened way back when I was in junior high, in the very early 70's. We had moved from a large city to a small town. This was not a good move. It was a difficult adjustment in numerous ways, especially socially. But the move is not what I was thinking about.

Part of the curriculum in this small town school system was, naturally, to warn us of the evils of alcohol and drugs. The teachers told us, "Do not drink and take drugs." Seems simple enough, huh? The only problem was that these teachers assumed that you knew the "drink" they were speaking of was alcoholic and the "drugs" they were referring too were illegal. That assumption in itself implies something highly interesting and very true about the community, but I digress. Coming from a comfortable large city suburban school system to the melting pot of an insular small town didn't exactly include an instruction manual on small town living. I was, perhaps, the only student in that middle school (another concept I had difficulties with at that time) who did not know that "drink" meant alcohol and "drugs" were of the illegal variety.

When I was told, "Don't drink and take drugs," I took it at face value since I had no other information to base it on. In my mind it meant you shouldn't take any drug (legal, prescribed variety) with any liquid other than water... and just enough water to wash the pill down. Sometime after hearing this anti drug and alcohol "lesson" my older brother was taking an asprin. He was going to take it with, gasp, orange juice. Having taken the lesson to heart, I had to tell him, just in case he had missed that class, "You aren't suppose to drink and take drugs!"


Memories of yesterday said...

huh. I would have expected the story to be reverse, where it happened in the larger city. Though, my experience with smaller towns was not that great either, but still. Stereotypes and all that! LOL

Lori L said...

The larger suburban/city school would very likely have been more specific, as in no alcohol, no illegal drugs rather than assuming the kids knew what they were talking about. The small town teachers apparently thought that all the kids, 8th grade, were drinking beer and smoking pot already.