Archive for April 2009

So… who smokes?

with 3 comments

My school is known for its large percentage of stoners. There’s no way of knowing exactly how much more drug use happens at my school than at others, but it’s a reputation we proudly uphold. And thinking about the last post I made, I’ve been curious to test whether the number of my classmates who have smoked is truly as low as 1 in 5, the popular figure cited on anti-drug websites.

Enter my somewhat unscientific study of how many of my classmates have ever smoked. My school is close-knit and everyone knows everyone’s business; however, there are still some kids whose smoking habits I know nothing about. Below, green is for non-smokers (signifying inexperience), pink is for smokers (because pink and green is my favorite color combo), and murky brown is for the unknowns. All of the students in my classes are seniors, with the exception of orchestra, which is about 1/4 underclassmen.

AP Economics: Generally regarded as the hardest class in the school. On the flip side, this year it attracted so few students that nearly all the applicants got in.


15 smoke, 13 don’t, and I’m not sure about 3. So far smokers have a plurality, but as browns could go either way, the race is close.

AP English: A medium level class with a famously lenient teacher. Lots of people applied, so the selection process was a little rushed/random (e.g. the genius kid somehow didn’t get in, but the kid with a 3.2 and 1800 SATs– not that they’re an accurate measure of intelligence, but still– did), and the class is on the large side.


21 smoke, 9 don’t, and I’m not sure about 7. But even if every brown were green, smokers would remain in the majority… showing that more smokers choose to take the less serious class? That teens like to read literature while lit?

Art, the notorious class of 12th-grade stoners. About half the students attend the class on any given day, and we spend most of the time listening to music and eating junk food, courtesy of the teacher.

art111 smoke, 3 don’t, and I’m not sure about 2. Actually, four people left the class in January, at the start of the new semester– one took AP Psych, one took martial arts, one got a free period, and one got suspended and is doing an independent study. They all smoked; if I included them, the percentages would shift to 75% smokers, 15% non-smokers, and 10% not sure. Also, the students of Art smoke more regularly than do the students of AP Econ.

Orchestra: the dorkiest class in the school, hands down. The students are typically “good kids” and relatively quiet; most are virtually unknown. However, a handful of the orchestra kids are among the most well-known in the school.

orch12 smoke, 13 don’t, and I’m not sure about 4. Of the smokers, about six (including myself) are in the fairly-regular-but-still-casual range; two deal and get stoned every day, and four are the typical “Smoked twice in sophomore year” bunch. It’s common knowledge that only about one-fourth of orchestra students have ever been to a party; the ones who go out on weekends are the same eight who smoke. So, what are the others doing with their time? Only three other seniors (out of 12) are taking at least one AP class; most orch students earn between a 3.0 and 3.5 in non-honors classes. A B-average is by no means a bad thing, but I have to admit I’m a little surprised that the grades aren’t higher. I guess I always assumed that the stereotypical “good kids” were hard studiers, but perhaps they’re spending their at-home Friday nights playing video games.

Conclusion: Of course, relatively few of the smokers are true stoners, but far more than 20% of kids at my school have touched weed. And our academics are among the highest-ranked in the city (no pun intended), which goes to show you that casual drug use isn’t synonymous with deemed failure.


Written by jane

April 3, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Posted in teens

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