CVHS: Then and Now


My Brother, Alex and a Friend

Christian Coleman

Centreville has definitely seen a lot of change since 2009.  Back then my brother Alex entered his freshman year of high school.  I sat down with Alex, now 25, and hit him with hard questions to see how school life has changed at CVHS–or in some cases, stayed the same.

Our school has had many teachers that have been here through the years. During my time here, I have acquired a few that I consider favorites, and when asking Alex who his favorite teachers were, he said “Mr. Burke and Mr. Buser. They were good teachers who taught the material and explained it well.”  Mr. Buser was the web page development teacher, and Mr. Burke is our school’s guitar teacher, who has taught all of my siblings since 2004. Unfortunately, Mr. Buser doesn’t work at Centreville anymore, so I never got to meet him. Mr. Burke is a consistent favorite with my other siblings (my oldest brother, class of 2008, my sister, class of 2011). 

One thing that instantly came to mind was lunch. I wanted to know how different it was all those years ago. When asked about the food, Alex said “lunch was really bad, it started fine freshman year, but it slowly degraded.”  I then asked if he had anything that he liked from our school lunch.  “I remember my favorite was the spicy chicken sandwich, and the ramen. There were muffins in the vending machines, too, but they slowly got rid of everything, and the quality decreased.” The chicken sandwich is still a favorite among my friends this year, but the ramen came as a surprise. They had ramen? Alex commented that there was a very nice lunch lady, hailed as “fry lady” by him, who would give him a tray full of fries when he’d ask for “just an order of fries.”

Additionally, I was curious to see how our gym uniforms have changed. When I was in gym, we had grey t-shirts and light blue pants. I discovered that Alex had the same exact uniforms, but here’s what he had to add: “[Our] gym uniforms were exactly the same. They got stolen many times. I don’t know who steals a dirty gym uniform with my name on it. But they did. And I got in trouble many times because of it.” I can’t help but agree with him there. What pleasure is there in wearing some other kid’s sweaty clothes? It’s gross. 

Recently the starting times for school have changed. When I asked Alex what time class started for him, he responded, “class started at 7:20, but you would arrive at seven, and have twenty minutes to talk to friends. I’d start every day with a soda–the bad way.” Seeing now that class starts at 8:10, I’d say I lucked out. However, that did mean that Alex came home earlier in the day and had more downtime. 

Styles definitely come and go, and sometimes repeat. I wondered how different style was when my brother was in Centreville. Alex doesn’t really remember what he wore. As brothers, we both have that in common, as long as we’re clean and comfortable, we don’t really think too much about our style. What Alex does remember, however, is that “hoodies, North Face was big, I think it still is. I remember girls would do the ‘Han Solo’ and wear white sweaters, black vests, black pants, and tall leather boots.” Hoodies and North Face are definitely still prominent…Han Solo, on the other hand, I can’t say I’ve seen. 

With all of this, the music we listen to has changed. I know a lot of the bands I listen to know have actually been introduced to me by Alex, but others  I’ve discovered by myself. I wanted to know what the music scene was like when he was around his peers. He had this to say: “I didn’t really keep up with anything popular, I still listened to the same stuff I did, like Alkaline Trio, and As I Lay Dying. There was a LOT of dubstep–a LOT of dubstep. That’s why I hated everything.” I honestly can’t get into dubstep myself, and I must say I’m glad it’s died down. Alkaline Trio is a great band that Alex got me into a few years back. 

As with fashion, the catch phrases we use come and go. There have been a lot of common phrases that are said throughout the halls, and to friends. “Yeet” was always a popular one among my peers. I recently forgot about this one until my brother reminded me of it,  and a few other as well. “There was ‘that’s a neck!’ and that was used anytime someone said something stupid–they’d get slapped on the back of the neck.” I’m really glad this one disappeared!

The hallways of Centreville tend to be hectic. I wanted to know if the crowd was any better, and if there was any less build up in the atrium and main staircase. “[It’s] probably the same as it is now. You’d always have to use the back staircases.” This is without a doubt, exactly the same situation–the back staircases are still the tried and true way to get to class on time.

The pep rally is one continued even that both my brother and I hate. Not being a fan of big crowds, this has never been my favorite.  He said that it was because of the crowd as well, but the fact that “…all the freshmen were high-pitched. I skipped most of them”. Sorry, freshman–to be fair, we were all high-pitched at one point.

The Office, a show that has stayed popular since its release, is one thing that still holds a place in today’s pop and school culture as well. When asking my brother about The Office and its popularity he simply said “everyone watched it.”  Truer words have never been said. I know a lot of my friends still watch and reference The Office.  

With the recent release of the PS3, my brother and his friends are passing the time playing games on weekends. When I asked him about popular games at the time, he remarked that “it was the golden age of Call of Duty.” After all these years later Call of Duty is still a favorite. Another series that he liked to play was Resident Evil. He got me into the series, and he and I play it together now– some things still stay the same.

I had a lot of fun comparing my high school experience with Alex, and we shared a lot of laughs throughout his interview. I wasn’t sure how different, or how similar our time here would be. High school still manages to be a relatable experience for everybody, even though the details may differ.