Are you an innie or an outie? The question has nothing to do with navels.
Recently, as the cashier rang up my groceries in the checkout line, I overheard the chatter between the young man bagging my groceries and a younger grocery bagger for the next line. “First, you have to admit if you’re an innie or an outie,” he said to her.
The cashier and I exchanged looks of surprise.
As it turned out, the young man, home from college and working over the weekend, was describing a psychology course that compared high school perceptions with future expectations and achievements. The course included Ralph Keyes’ 1979 book, IS THERE LIFE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL? “Innies” in high school were basically popular insiders: “outies” were outsiders who had less popular or well known friends and less public activities. Briefly, the young man assured the high school girl that ongoing studies revealed that many outies often did better in the long run than innies, but students in the middle of the two were most likely to rise up and achieve multiple successes. He concluded by winking at the girl and saying, “Be proud if you’re an outie. Think of all the really successful people who didn’t bloom until after high school.”
For 30 years I taught high school students, and while the bagger’s summary was incomplete, he did capture some of the main points. Ralph Keyes’ closing for his book is called “101 Ways To Get High School Off Your Back,” and the examples are a mix of funny, exaggerated, and thought-provoking suggestions. For both students and teachers, high school is, at best, a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly for “innies” and “outies” and everyone in the middle.
But here’s some good news: the most embarrassing, off-the-wall, funny experiences you had in high school might become winning entries in The Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest. There is NO entry fee, but $2,500 in prizes, and First Place receives $1,000. It’s an open contest, the deadline is April 1, and if you don’t want to write about high school humor, write about any topic that makes you smile, blush, or laugh out loud.
Your poem can be long, short, rhyming or not. Even if you don’t write poetry, use the link below to click on previous winners. You can have a lot of fun and might be inspired to jump in and give it a try! https://winningwriters.com/our-contests/wergle-flomp-humor-poetry-contest-free