He saw her right after the seventh-period bell rang. She seemed dressed for the sole purpose of blending in with the lockers, but she stood out, anyway. It didn’t matter that her wide blue eyes were narrowed or that her pretty mouth was twisted into a near snarl — she was blatantly beautiful. It was kind of sick the way Ed was preoccupied with beautiful girls these days.
He felt a little sorry for her. (He was also preoccupied with finding ways of feeling sorry for people.) She was new and trying hard not to look it. She was confused and trying to look tough. It was endearing is what it was.
Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: 'You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.