High School Confidential: Secrets of an Undercover Student

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Even though he was living on the west coast at the time and I grew up on the east coast, I think it shows that every teenager that believes that their experiences alone are unique is quite mistaken. Oct 28, Leah rated it it was amazing Shelves: High School Confidential is an interesting autobiography about how it's author, Jeremy Iversen, went undercover for one semester at Mirador High School to find out just what it is that makes teens the way they are in society today.

The footnotes in the back also offer explanations High School Confidential is an interesting autobiography about how it's author, Jeremy Iversen, went undercover for one semester at Mirador High School to find out just what it is that makes teens the way they are in society today.

The footnotes in the back also offer explanations of statistics and words that older readers may not pick up on easily. All in all, I found I enjoyed this book a lot and I'm certainly glad I bought it! Apr 15, Dalton Jackson rated it really liked it. Iversen was brave enough to do what all of us ought to be doing but what few of us actually are. He listened long and hard to the most important and most neglected voices in our school system; those of the students.

Through his ambitious, well-researched, and meticulously end-noted work, every parent, teacher, school board member, and administrator can now do as Jeremy did and take a moment to listen to the students. For that, High School Confidential deserves at least four stars. Apr 01, Hank rated it really liked it. I thought that both the quality of the writing and the quality of the journalism here was quite good. Iversen did have to use composite characters, obviously, so that he could protect the identities of the juveniles he observed while undercover at a southern California high school.

What he saw, and what he describes in this book, will shock you.

High School Confidential

And, no, it's not the drugs, drinking, and sex that is the most most surprising aspect of modern high school life. Jan 31, Roxanne Nichols rated it it was amazing. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. They had no foundation of rational thought because they have been spoonfed from the school system and consumer-fed from their community and media. Mar 25, Summer rated it liked it Shelves: Interesting expose of contemporary high school culture. This book would have been better if not for the extensive literary license taken the experiences of many students compressed into a few archetypes, the use of statistics in building character portraits instead of actual experience.

Reading the inevitable drama fallout on Amazon is pretty entertaining. Jul 31, David rated it really liked it. Very fast, easy read. It gives a good idea of what life is like in High Schools. Iversen goes back to high school undercover after graduating college. He is accepted as a student and writes about it firsthand. If you are involved with high school age kids, I highly recommend it. Oct 21, Chris rated it it was amazing.


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I really liked this book, because the author really got into the heads of his so called classmates, and I was fascinated by the way he pulled his ruse off, but if this book is all true, and high schools around America are all like this, I weep for the future! Nov 08, Hillary rated it it was amazing. Jan 27, Kelley rated it it was amazing Shelves: Really understand perspective about how the author begins to feel loyal to his subjects.

Reminds me not of my hs but the district where I teach. Aug 08, Andra rated it liked it. An interesting look at modern high school, a repeat of Cameron Crowe and "Fast Times.. Scary how corrupt the world is. I must have been a serious geek in HS to miss out. Jun 28, Renz Homer Cerillo rated it really liked it Shelves: I remember the time I saw this book under a rack from booksale S. I read the back and was astounded that it is a journal of a true undercover student. Since the premise is good, I bought it without hesitation. I like how it started, it excites me and made me curious. I want to know what will happen to him as undercover student.

It turns out the story revolves to six different kids, who are diverse from each other. Theodora Margarid Danielian- The eccentric but artistic wealthy sophomore who is anonymous to the eye of the school. It happened in a harsh way- it turned her world upside-down.

Undercover High: Meet Daniel, Age 23

The one she thought as euphoria actually doomed her. Charity Warner- Although superficial, she was a victim of excessive bullying-like gossiping. She had an initiative like a bull fighter, a compulsive attitude, and has honest loyalty. She do what it takes to get herself clean for she know the truth from what everybody thought is true. Victor Maria Reyes-Has potential but buoyed in a world of barbiturates, nicotine, and marijuana. A trouble maker in nature, he was struggling to graduate with three strike contract. Cody Adam Reisling-A steroid raging athlete whose bestfriend died in a car accident- who defines his life.

He has ascetism towards his good natured parents that force him to live under the roof of his sexed-up brother who do nothing but to compare their differences. With a pessimistic perspective of life, in which he thought that made him go living, made him miserable. Living behind the shadow of fear. Everything associated to her is thought to be perfect in or out the school, which in reality — she was a withering symbol of perfection. She was in a state of confusion whether to follow the domestic mandatory submission or to go with the flow of life. She has to control destiny to search for her true happiness.

Derrick Ian Littlefield- An administration puppet, a perfect image but living in a viracious state. He has no voice, just doing what others told him, using him for their own welfare. He need to get out of his illusions and face his manic depression to express what he feels about anything that is wrong-as in between he is omniscient, as a leader, a friend and as an individual.

And the administration that will stop at nothing to make their failing school to look good. When it comes to the middle of the book, my interest dwindle a bit. The flat parts are mostly character building devices that takes almost two hundred pages. In that part, nothing really happened, scenarios that can be put aside.

It is even out of the plot, just an index of the characters that are affected by the story. The chapter Two Weeks Go Deep can be removed from the book without affecting the whole story. I wish that it is not written because readers got bored at that part. Although, I still continue reading. He was observing and narrating what happened without his involvement. The plot is not a unified story, but a patch work of different story-the struggles of the different characters, how they face it and the results of their actions.

So why two stars? The characters are very distinct which is like they are having an extremist personality than a deviant one. Superflawed heroins, no likeable one. The author lacks plan on the book. Flat part is almost half the book. Concept, theme and message is not actually delivered to the reader.

This is a real story conveyed in a composite world. What is also written in the book is true to this time. The ages which is High school in America and college in the Philippines face the same problem. I am second year college and to be honest what are we always do is drink, party and the like. During the time I read this book, I find myself believing in the credibility of the author. I like the writing style of the author. He was an erudite. He has a lot of potentials, and he was an intelligent writer. I hope he write something else than his usual books about beer boon and beer pongs.

People in secondary education. But, that aside, this book is not a work of fiction at least not a work of complete fiction , so we must pause and reflect on what its contents mean for teens of today and the state of education in our schools! As far as the book itself goes, I was torn on how to rate it. I was intrigued at the beginning, but after the first 30 pages or so, I found the book complete soporific. I actually used a section of about pages to help myself fall asleep for several nights when sleep was eluding me.

But then, suddenly, I found myself completely invested in these students and their stories. So that says something, right. Another aspect of the book that left me torn was the language. There were sections of the book that my high school students would LOVE — real teen dialogue and real topics of interest to them using the language they would actually use.

But other sections of the book… well… the language could be described as nothing other than grandiloquent. It seemed as if Mr. Iverson has challenged himself to use as many multi-syllabic SAT words in one sentence as he could. Reflecting on this book, I did come to one relatively easy conclusion: I will not be recommending this to any of my students. But this IS a book that I will recommend to other high school teachers. I think it has some universal lessons in it that are important for us to hear.

We have to keep that in mind. And sometimes, just sometimes, the things going on in their lives are really heavy and require patience and respect from us. And this learning needs to be provided by teachers; we are not their friends, we are not military drill instructors, and we are most certainly not their romantic interests!


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Finally, we need to practice what we preach. If we say that school time is valuable, then we need to MAKE it valuable, not fill it with loosely-related movies, silly assemblies, or games and parties. I seriously considered dropping it on more than one occasion. Maybe that means the book actually deserves 4 stars?!? While there are boring parts, challenging parts, and parts that just seem absolutely too absurd to be true, there are LOTS of valuable nuggets of truth to be taken away. And, I think that makes everything else insignificant!

Oct 29, Michelle rated it it was ok. Hmm, not so sure how I felt about this one. So Jeremy Iverson goes undercover as a senior in an Orange County high school to expose what high school is like these days. Well, actually not really. He really wanted to go because he didn't want to get a normal job after college, but hey, I don't really blame him. And he wanted to experience high school as part of the "me generation" instead of his generation, which was apparently anti-teenager right in between the John Hughes 80's movies and the m Hmm, not so sure how I felt about this one.

And he wanted to experience high school as part of the "me generation" instead of his generation, which was apparently anti-teenager right in between the John Hughes 80's movies and the me generation, I think. He joins the popular crowd, which I wasn't sure if it was to get a better story drinking! Some parts were really amusing. Some parts were so dead on, omg, this was my high school.

I spent most of the time wondering if this was actually the truth, or if he wrote a piece of fiction and framed it as the truth to make it a more interesting story. That probably doesn't make sense, but I'm thinking of The Princess Bride by William Goldman, how Goldman was acting as if he was abridging a tale by S. I love Goldman, though, I'm unsure of my feelings for Iverson.

Also, could we have a better conclusion to the story? What happened to Thea? Did any of these people go to college and graduate?

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Do any of them have a brain? And also, I really must know if any of the teachers were fired after this book came out, no matter how much he tried to conceal their identities. This book is why we need to pay our teachers more. So quality people step forth and lead our youngsters, instead of subpar idiots. Dec 08, Emmy rated it did not like it. This book was condescending, egotistical, and mostly a fictionalized caricature of the students he meets.

Iversen writes that his book is a "guiding star" to the "world of high school" and you can "explore at your own pace" or something like that I gladly returned the book the library, so I can't quote word for word , and then basically indicates that all of the characters and situations are just representations of what actually happened. And while I don't doubt that the situations are real, This book was condescending, egotistical, and mostly a fictionalized caricature of the students he meets. And while I don't doubt that the situations are real, I DO doubt that all of them happened to each of the given characters.

Additionally, there is a big chunk of the book written about events that took place before he even "infiltrated" the school. Word for word, right? I'm also annoyed that he provides such a negative view. Sure, sex, drugs, and rock and roll or emo, in this case sell, but I'm positive those weren't the only situations encountered in this high school. That shouts "sheltered life" to me. And I've lead a pretty sheltered life myself. Anyway, I could go on, but I really need to go to bed. Feb 17, Tanya rated it liked it Shelves: I was browsing education books in the library when this one caught my eye.

I am a high school teacher and I have worked in two different school districts. I wanted to see what this guy found and if it was similar to my experience with high school life. I still was surprised at some of the things he encountered. I grew up in Orange County so I kept trying to figure out which school this was. Yeah-I know he makes up composite characters so that nobody can figure out who is who. I'm still not sure how much is fact and how much is fiction. I can see the different types of students and there will always be the "cool" kids and the "artsy" ones.

Still there is a lot of drinking and drugging and sexing going on. The teachers barely teach and as a teacher, that makes me sad. My favorite part is the WASC accreditation process. Her long black hair was elaborately done up, the silver flower ring in her nose glinted. I'm about to like hop the fence and go smoke a cigarette. Heather and I continued on. A few dozen paces later, smiling broadly, I said through my teeth, "You've gotta talk to them more. We've gotta get them to like you so we can get invited to the afterparty. I don't even know what to say to these people.

We beamed at each other, exchanged loving gazes. Other couples passed us, leaving the dancing for the seclusion of the empty archways at the far end of the central courtyard. Derrick Littlefield stood by a mostly abandoned table. His golden tan and curly blond hair glowed like Renaissance art over a white tuxedo and pink shirt. Then he sneezed again. Derrick laughed, displaying brilliant teeth. See, I knew they wouldn't have the dogs and Breathalyzers. They can't afford to bring an officer down. He scratched his head. His date Olivia sat alone at the table, adjusting a strap on her tulle dress.

Amid the flowering boughs and gentle laughter, my eyes met hers in the rapture of young love. Do we like Nick? We've known him since junior high. Then we both laughed, part real, part fake, and part from nerves. A small stage with speakers rose on the grass. The entire special ed group crowded nearby around their chaperone, a middle-aged woman with a corsage and a worn look on her face. One guy hummed along into a karaoke microphone, holding his wheeled oxygen tank with the other hand.

High School Confidential: Secrets of an Undercover Student

I recognized a senior named Aram who came to the circle sometimes. He danced to the karaoke song, kicking up his legs, whirling around, executing high-energy punches. Brian Olvera and some baseball players laughed at him as they waited for their turn at the mike.

The team had largely gone for striped zoot suits and broad-shouldered pimp outfits, complete with wide-brim hats. Heather and I clasped hands again, and I looked up at the stars. Passersby saw her in her shining silver gown snapping away among the weeping trails of flowers. I smiled weakly and looked around when other couples crossed our path, doing my best to seem a little bored, indulgent but embarrassed. We set off again, nearing the freestanding portico that towered at the far end of the stone courtyard. Its coarse brick and mortar abruptly broke off where the primeval wall had collapsed.

A silver and gold banner hung from the arch: Lights flashed behind the gateway. Chubby Evelyn Strout worked at a laptop set up on a slender metal table beside the path. She wore a bright red dress and red plastic glasses.

High School Confidential: Secrets of an Undercover Student - Jeremy Iversen - Google Книги

She had creatively styled her frizzy red hair by sticking in a pair of what looked like chopsticks. Travis Newton, short and slick, passed her with a smirk and a junior date.

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He was probably one of five underclass males who had been invited to prom. Her red face flushed darker. Sorry we spent so long on a yearbook and you're just tearing it apart. All we hear are negative things. That's really rude, I'm serious. I tossed back the lazy gesture. We passed the row of steaming buffet trays, strolling the flagstones toward the growing music and lights. All the spidering pathways converged into one as they prepared to feed through the archway. Here the whitewashed walls of the San Juan Capistrano Chapel itself erupted up from the side of the courtyard to glow in the moonlight.

This luminescent ghost was the oldest building in California, one of the string of missions that Father Serra and his disciple had called forth from the wilderness unimaginable ages ago, christening them Santa Barbara, San Diego, San Francisco. Someone grabbed my shoulders, landed with a thud next to me. It was Vic Reyes, wearing a Split T-shirt under his tuxedo jacket, Element wristbands, and a headband around his spiky hair. We did a handclasp. Vic punched me in the arm. Hah, hah, just kidding, fool.

No, but seriously, watch out for this guy. I can't fucking believe this shit. It means your childhood is over. She shuddered and put her arm through Vic's. I'm not even ready for being a sophomore. Her sea blue eyes gleamed as she whispered delicate words. But it's had so many ups and downs, and college is going to make it really tough. I think we're gonna break up next fall if I'm still talking to people then. The strobes before us electrified the sky like lightning. She tilted her head. Irma Chao, trotting through the courtyard in a powder blue dress.

Behind oval glasses, her eyes flicked across every face. They may have hesitated on us for a split second. We quickened the pace. Oh, God, she must think I'm such a skank. I'm going to have to e-mail her tomorrow and try and explain. There a thousand people dance to hip-hop on flooring laid across the dusty ground, their forms dwarfed beside the massive crumbling vaults.

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