Eraser shavings are stuck to my sleeves and my pencil is poised, ready to scribble notes on a scrap of newsprint. I can barely hear my friends calling in the distance as they munch away at their lunches. As usual, I am much too immersed in filling in the empty squares of the grid at the back of the Style section to notice.
A sphere of blood spurts from the needle prick on freshman Jonas Shaffer's finger tip as he squeezes the skin between his fingers in the health room before 5A lunch. The glassy pool of red oozes from his finger onto a plastic slip, filling a rectangular indentation. Sliding the slip into his glucose meter, Shaffer focuses his attention on the small screen. The numbers rise rapidly from 50 to 100 to 150 and then slowly creep up to 190, blinking at his final blood sugar count: 197. Shaffer's normal blood sugar count ranges from 90 to 150 - today, it is too high.
It was during a particularly long, boring history class last year when juniors Jessi Douglas and Nick Warmington decided to produce a rap album together. The hour and a new block flew by as the two wrote their lyrics, matching them to beats and rapping them aloud.
Tom, a senior, has to take urine tests twice a week. He has to call his officer when he arrives at school, leaves for work and goes to sleep at night. He must attend countless drug education classes and be home by 9:30 p.m. every evening. He is in constant contact with an officer because he is on probation"but at least he's not in jail.
The Blair Peer Education program has added a "Global HIV/AIDs" portion to the sexual education curriculum in health classes this school year, according to Program Sponsor Susan Soulé.
Thanksgiving is as much about food as it is about giving thanks: A typical family dinner unfolds with a steaming, stuffed turkey; smooth, fluffy mashed potatoes; thick, creamy gravy; juicy cranberry sauce; and an orange pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream. But on some Blazers' tables, there may also be a platter of Ethiopian flatbread called injera, a Chinese honey turkey or a bowl of crispy enchiladas.
It is 6:00 a.m. The alarm wakes her, and she rolls over in bed, dreading the coming school day. Her head begins to throb as she climbs out of her covers and walks straight to the kitchen to pour herself a mug of Maxwell House. Gradually, her headache vanishes and she relaxes: the caffeine fix will get her through the day.