As members of our Pinewood family, we all share a familiarity with the campus. This comes with a fondness for the small classrooms, the heated bathroom floors, and luscious grass fields (okay, maybe not the grass fields). However, this also introduces a large amount of awkward scenarios that only we at Pinewood can fully relate to.

   I’ll start with a problem all Pinewoodians are very familiar with. You’re slumped at your designated classroom chair, working through a knot of fear in your stomach. You’ve cleared everything off your desk but a number 2 pencil and have aimed yourself away from others so no one can accuse you of cheating. At last, the teacher deals out the ominous stack of exam papers.

   You take one and place it on your desk, careful that your eyes don’t appear to be wandering and, hey! This test doesn’t seem as bad as you thought! You’re marking your way through answers easily, and now you’re halfway through the exam. You never had to risk glancing at your neighbor’s paper for a little reassurance or breaking academic integrity at all. Things are going great.

   And then you feel it— the prohibited rectangular lump in your pocket, so familiar that you forgot it was there. Your phone is on you: a direct violation! A scandal! Now you are forced to consider your options.

   Do you dramatically stand up and heroically set your phone away from your person, sacrificing grade and reputation for integrity? Or do you leave it in your pocket, wondering if the teacher will see it? If the no-phones-during-tests rule even be enforced? And if a malevolent classmate, probably Chloe Eackles, will shout, “IS THAT A PHONE I SEE?” Then the teacher will storm over and rip your test into pieces for all eyes to see! Oh the bitter conflict. An inevitable consequence of the Pinewood legislature.

   This next typical Pinewood scenario is definitely something I, myself, am guilty of it. But come on, I’m not the only one who this has happened to. You know who you are. The teacher looks out at the students, and offers the admonishing reminder, drawn from all the knowledge of the adult world, that jamming your locker is a bad idea. It renders the locker an unsafe place for your valuables! It’s a sign of irresponsibility, laziness, and childish disregard for possessions.

   You hear the teacher and think of your own locker, which has been jammed for so long you don’t even remember the combo. But how are you to get the combo now? You can’t possibly go to the office now, tail between your legs, and ask for it! It’s much too late into the semester.

   But don’t worry, you tell yourself. There’s nothing worth stealing in your locker. Everything of value is safely stored in a backpack on the ground in a big pile in front of your locker.That’s irony, friends.

   This last one is complicated, but I know we’ve all been here too, so listen up. You’re taking a bathroom break, or really just a breather, escaping class to trek up and down the halls, grabbing an unnecessary swig of water from the fountain or peering into the snack shack wishing you had money in your account. You walk by the Spanish classroom and the door is open, and right there is a familiar face – one of your classmates. The classmate locks eyes with you.

   Quick! In a second you will have walked by the door. You have to make some sort of motion of recognition. You can’t be a mean, familiar-face-ignoring person. You swing your arm up and give an enthusiastic little wave. But before the classmate can react with a smile or any sort of returned greeting, you’ve passed the door and your interaction is cut off, half finished. Brutally half finished. Now both of you have been put in a weird place.

   Are you close enough with this person to be expected to goofily double back for a snarky head-nod acknowledgement of the encounter? Was the classmate even going to wave back at all?

   It’s one of those things that happens every now and then, just when you’re due for a little awkwardness. The good news is, you’ve usually forgotten about it by the time you’ve returned to class.

   In the end, we love our campus and fellow students, and will embrace these occurrences as the quirks of our community. Stay tuned for Awkward Pinewood Situations Part 2 in our next issue. No phones were confiscated in the writing of this rant.