As an alum of Brooklyn Technical HS in NYC (one of the top high schools in the city, as well as the country), it's really a no-brainer to say that my hatred for everything Stuyvesant HS-related (another top high school in the city as well as the country) runs DEEP. I mean like, "Say you graduated from Stuy and I lose complete respect for you," deep. For those of ya'll who really don't know what the hell I'm talking about, basically, back when I was in high school, there were three big public schools that everyone wanted to get into because of their reputation: Brooklyn Tech, Bronx Science, and Stuyvesant. Every single year, 50,000 city students took an aptitude test to get into these schools, which, between the three of them, only had enough space for 3,000. Stuyvesant was the school that almost every student aimed for: it had been recently renovated at the time, and freaking had an escalator inside of it, which, apparently, drove everyone into a frenzy to want to get into it. (Because, you know, escalators are soooo cool [note the sarcasm]) So, because everyone wanted to get into Stuy, you had to score really high to get into it. Then a little lower on the scale was Bronx Science, which came in with a good reputation, so people put it second. Finally, Tech was third. For so many people, you went to Tech only because you were a Stuy or Bronx Science reject. (The exception came if you lived in either Brooklyn or Queens, where there were actually people who selected the school based on proximity) I mean, there was really nothing wrong with Tech, but when you have a choice between three schools, and one of them has an escalator and completely modern technology (by 1997 standards), which one are you going to pick? There was also the whole "Brooklyn" factor, as in, "yeah, it's in Brooklyn, so it's wack," feeling that many of us living in Manhattan and the Bronx had.
So, I was a Stuy reject (or so I thought, until I found out I got into the school, only to have it rebuffed because I made an error on which school I was going to choose first...if you got accepted into any school you chose as number 1, you are automatically enrolled with no further input from you...I never told my mom that...ahh, the things that come out at a later age, eh?). But, I really didn't care. I wasn't really too gung-ho about Stuy, anyways. My heart had already been set on Regis High School, this elite Jesuit institution that beat the pants off any school in the Northeast, hands down. But, I had bombed on their admissions test, so, I was heartbroken when I got rejected by them. So, I was indifferent, really. It really didn't matter that I was going to Tech, especially since a bunch of my family members had attended the school.
Now, when I first started attending, I really didn't have any kind of hatred for Stuy. I mean, whatever, they were just another school (with a really nice escalator). See, most freshman at Tech suffer from the "I hate everything because I couldn't get into anything else but Tech," syndrome, and although so many people around me were going through that stage, I was chillin. For them, jealousy for kids who went to Stuy came naturally. I really didn't understand what the big deal was. At least, when I WASN'T climbing up 10 flights of stairs to get to class. (Fuck, no escalator).
And then I began to get into clubs at Tech. I joined the fencing team, where I encountered seniors who would DIE before they would be seen with a student from Stuy. When asked, "what's the big deal," I remember Keith Smart, the then-captain of the fencing team and recent US Olympian, foamed at the mouth at the mere mention of the school. When he calmed down, he finally whispered, "Just wait till we have a match."
The match came. And from then on, I hated Stuyvesant forever.
The Stuyvesant fencing team came into our school for a "friendly" match against us, and from the get-go, they were shitting on our school. "Why is there no escalator?" and then the response, "Because they're too stupid to build one!" (Never mind that their recently renovated school was designed by, guess who, a Tech alum...fucking traitor) I mean, every chance they got, they were slamming us. When the match began, a lot of us got extremely angry and lost our cool, so we lost out on easy points. Eventually, Stuy beat us in own home, and made sure that we would never forget it by constantly trash-talking. I mean, it wasn't so much the fact they trash-talked, but instead, it was the WAY they did it. The entire time, all their talking centered on our actual school, not the team they were facing. And a lot of their talk was almost class-ist, as in, "you are beneath us to play at the local country club" type talk. And, face it. When you have a racially mixed team going up against an all-white class-ist team in a sport like fencing, you tend to take things a bit more personally. (FYI: Tech breakdown
- 33% Asian, 33% Black, 20% White, 10% Latino, vs. Stuy
- 40% Asian, 42% White, 10% Black, 5% Latino)
And I've never liked elitist wanna-bes.
(Before I go on, our team went into their school and beat the living daylights out of them in an official match the next week. )
The same kind of rivalry existed in other sports between our schools, which were only 1 mile apart from one another. (Except for football, because we rarely matched up with them) It was usually their elitist bastards against our people. Our rivalry was pretty even, too. And it didn't just stop in sports. Science competitions always came down to a choice between a project between Stuy and B-Tech. Chess championships. Regents test scores. Hell, even in city student leadership organizations like ASPIRA, it would always be down to a match-up between Stuy and Tech kids. And even though Tech made a lot of headway against Stuy during my time there (when we were actually academically ranked #1 in the city), we felt bitter because we weren't respected. Stuy always got all the attention and all the money from the city, all because of that fucking escalator.
Bronx Science, in comparison, wasn't even a blip on the radar as far as a rivalry was concerned. We really didn't care about Science. Tech students, from my experience, actually got along really well with Science students. I mean, we'd have our little nudging from time to time, but for the most part we weren't in each other's way. Hell, Science didn't even have sports teams, so it was rare for us to be involved in any kind of direct competition.
But Stuy was our rival. We were so close to one another, too. To hear a Stuy student talk about it, you would think that there was no rivalry. But when you have everything and an escalator to boot, you tend to think that way. But, deep down inside, they KNOW they would be upset to find out that they just lost out on yet another competition to Tech. (Like how they get upset when we cite that we have 9 Nobel Prize winners compared to their 4, or something like that) It's kinda like the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, where Stuy was the Yankees, and Tech was the Red-Sox, in terms of funding and respect. And they knew it. No matter what we pulled off, they knew that at the end of the day, we were still a school with less funding and no escalator. (I keep repeating the escalator thing because, honestly, that's what much of their assumed air of greatness focused in on. That, and central air conditioning) I always viewed it as a battle between the upper and lower class. Now, to be fair, not all Stuy kids are snobby, but still, the vast majority are, unfortunately. After 9/11, a new chapter was written in the history of our rivalry when Stuy kids were forced to attend school at Brooklyn Tech while their building was being repaired in the aftermath of the WTC collapse. The Board of Education knew all too well about our rivalry and made sure that there was NO chance that Brooklyn Tech students and Stuy students would ever go to school together at the same time. Man, I would've given anything to be back in Tech at that time, but I had graduated the year before, so I was in Syracuse hearing about it. And, BOY, did I hear about it, especially after Stuy students had begun to straight up diss our school. Among the complaints:
"It's too ghetto." (code word for 'too many minorities')
"Class arrangements don't make sense" (It's arranged North, South, East, and West, you fucking twits.)
"There are hardly any computers" (Yeah, because you fucking took all the funding for them)
"There's no escalator" (Work out, you fucking lazy bitches)
"Tech students are mean."
Now that last one...let me elaborate. I'll be the first one to say that Tech is not perfect, by any means. I certainly had a love-hate relationship with that school, as most students did. But, when another school comes in and uses your facilities, while shitting all up on it, you got another thing coming. A lot of the stuff that we had wasn't easy to come by, and for this fucking spoilt student-body to come on in and mess up our shit, oh, hell no...
So Stuy kids were getting the shit kicked out of them every day. And their students complained so much about the "horrible conditions" that the city rushed them back into their school, post-haste, without fully removing the debris from their school. To add insult to injury, all kinds of national news articles were written about their plight. "Oh, poor Stuyvesant, they were at the epicenter of 9/11, and were forced to move. Boo hoo hoo. They couldn't use their escalator for a week. Boo hoo."
So yeah...I HATE Stuy.
And this article, published in the New York Post is a nice little blow against them, heh heh heh...:-)
Stuy gets "High"
At least our dealers are smart enough to not get caught...