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Weekly Alibi High School in the WWW

By Devin D. O'Leary

MARCH 30, 1998:  I studiously avoided my 10-year high school reunion a couple years back. It still amazes me that there are people out there with a burning desire to go back to an age when their clothes sucked, their hormones raged and they were forced to perform meaningless busy work in a concerted effort to keep their rambunctious teenage bodies off the daytime streets. The other night, though, my mother got this urge to find her old high school on the Internet (she wondered if it was still there and what it looked like now). I didn't exactly find the school, but I did hunt down some bizarre reminders of days gone by.

ClassMates (www.classmates.com)--This site is pretty simple. With a little work, though, it could be something special. As it is, ClassMates allows you to track down and contact members of your graduating class. First thing you need to do is register (give your name, e-mail address, the school you graduated from and come up with a password). Once you've done that, you're allowed access to ClassMates' database. The database pops up your school and lists registered ClassMates members from each graduating year. Of course, you're limited to only those members of your graduating class who know about ClassMates and have registered at this site. Surprisingly, there seem to be quite a few. There were two other names from my mother's immediate graduating class at Hasbrouk Heights High School in New Jersey. Unfortunately, since ClassMates gathers no more information than name and e-mail address, it's up to you to contact these people yourself and talk to them. It would be cool if you could pull up a little profile of everyone, telling where they live, what they do for a living, if they're married, how much time they've spent in jail. I'd much rather do that than actually talk to anyone I went to high school with.

High School Cyberpals (studentcenter.infomall.org/school-pals.html)--This place is a little creepy if you ask me. It's supposed to be "the best way to meet high school students with similar interests." Of course, since there's no way to prove that anyone connected with this digital pen pal site is actually in high school, it seems like a pretty prime spot for pedophiles to hang out. On the other hand, teenagers today aren't exactly the most upstanding citizens either. About a quarter of the personals ad-type bios posted here are kids looking for "hot boys" or "sexy ladies." A warning from the site's administrators tells kids to "keep the public stuff clean." Some of the ads are clearly from teenagers, and most don't seem that interested in sex (one kid even takes time in his bio to shout out, "YAY for virginity b4 marriage!!!") Basically, you can submit your own bio and e-mail address in hopes of snagging a computerized pen pal, or you can browse the current crop of high schoolers yourself (a search engine allows you to weed out people who share similar interests). There are about 10,000 "teenagers" registered at Cyberpals. There's even a chat room where you high school kids (and you grown-up perverts) can engage in "Totally Phat Student Chat."

Yearbook (www.sexhigh.com)--Whoops. Sometimes that Yahoo search engine can pop up some interesting links. This one is ostensibly a "high school yearbook" from some place called "Sex High." Seems like everyone at Sex High is female and exhibits a marked propensity for taking off their shirt. There's Brandi (who's a cheerleader). There's Lexi (who's in detention hall, the bad girl). There's Danny and Connie (who are doing something in the girl's locker room which should surely get them expelled). The kind folks at Sex High allow you to gaze at a few sample pictures, but you've got to send in a credit card to look at the complete yearbook. Hey, anything to help fund higher education!

E! Online Celebrity Yearbook (www.eonline.com/Hot/Features/Yearbook/)--E! the Entertainment Network maintains a pretty massive presence in cyberspace. On this page, they've got their 1997 celebrity yearbook posted. There isn't nearly as much nudity going as in Sex High, but this site does have some funny observations. Among the class of '97, Will Smith is voted "Most Cool," Courtney Love is voted "Most Ambitious" and Arnelle Simpson is voted "Most Likely To Pose For Playboy" (her dad needs the money). My personal fave: Chris O'Donnell as "Class Nerd." Take that, boy wonder!

Kevin Costner's Senior High School Yearbook Picture (members.aol.com/richhead/costner.htm)--Speaking of class nerds. ... Yeesh! Check it out. Geek City.

devin@alibi.com


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