The Dropout Report: A new path 2

Street School student Matt Noyes describes why this unique high school alternative program made the difference for his academic success.



“Sometimes you eat the bar, and other times the bar’ll eat you.” — the Stranger from “The Big Lebowski”

The differences between Street School and regular school are near innumerable, with the most obvious being this: Regular schools suck, and Street School doesn’t. If I had gone to a different high school than Street School, I probably would’ve dropped out.

At Street School, there are only two classes per day, which allows for exponentially better focus on just one subject at a time. I really don’t think most kids can handle seven 50-minute classes five days a week for nine months out of the year, plus an extra hour or two to spend with Mr. Homework every night. I know I couldn’t handle it. I almost had a chance to attend TSAS (Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences), but I don’t think I would’ve liked it. I don’t think I liked school anymore at all, period.

In my school days prior to Street School, I felt like Elijah Wood in that movie “The Faculty.” It felt like an impossibly small group of people and I, a complete misfit, were facing tremendous adversaries, except for the fact that it was me alone Toward the end of my hellish three-year stint at my former school, which included two trips through the eighth grade, I knew something different had to come my way or my academic career was headed for the Twilight Zone.

At my former school, they gave you enough homework to crush a grizzly bear, the teachers seemed about as friendly as a raging bull and every other kid appeared to fit right in. Most had no reservations about letting me know that, either. My brother was attending Street School, and he did pretty well there; he made A’s despite his dwindling attendance record, and there were only two classes a day! Compared to the seven-period nightmare at every other school in America, this sounded like easy street (school, that is).

The first time I set foot inside Street School, I saw a giant mural of the Millennium Falcon being pursued by Imperial interceptors and, further back in the picture, Darth Vader himself in his custom Tie fighter. In other schools, nothing but dull green paint was on the walls. So, off the bat, I could tell this school was different. The administrator addressed me as “Matt,” and not in that condescending tone I’d grown so used to. Before I knew it, I was discussing Iron Butterfly with my future counselor. What a dramatic twist of fate! I decided I liked it at Street School the first time I was ever there. That was, if I remember correctly, on one of my last days at my previous school, the closing of an era that would leave me with but one tool in life: my passion for music.

I played cello at my former school and made fifth chair one year in the All-City orchestra. I suppose that made me happy for a time, but my musical tastes were changing and were headed for a direction high school orchestra was not. I was getting to be pretty decent at guitar and at listening to classic rock. The need to rock overtook the need to be respectable, I guess. Street School understood that. I honed my craft further on my own time. My skill at guitar improved exponentially and I got faster and faster. I learned “Phantom of the Opera” in two days this summer. Once I was comfortable with my new environment, the person I am today emerged.

See, nine years of regular school couldn’t even teach me what I liked to do for fun. But with just under four years at Street School, I know now what I want to do with my life, and what I want wasn’t on a single one of those career outlook papers they handed me in the past. Back then, I had literally no ambition other than getting home so I could sleep off depression. Now, I have a myriad of ideas for books, movies, video games; I’ve written enough songs for a double album; and my musical tastes have expanded from Iron Maiden to Iron and Wine, from Wolf Parade to Wolfmother, from Montrose to Modest Mouse and from Pavement to Pantera. None of that would have happened if I’d continued at my last school.

Teachers at Street School work at getting to know you on a personal basis seen more commonly in a family environment. We call them by their first names and vice-versa. This coupled with our ever-flexible schedule lets us learn at the necessary pace. If I’d continued somewhere else, I’d be just another depressed wreck. There is no doubt in my mind. What made the difference, for me, was not being pushed for seven hours a day for four more years, and not having to do homework ever again. I could never finish a single assignment when I was 14. Most everything I hated in life was at school, and when everything you hate in life comes home with you, a problem is afoot. Home is reserved for joy, not the Pythagorean Theorem.

It’s true that the little things in life count, and Street School gave me proof of that. They sweat the small stuff to make sure everyone’s happy.

If I were to put it as simply as possible, I would say this: At my last school, I was a scribbled blob, but at Street School, I’m a Rembrandt masterpiece.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »You Might Like

The Dropout Report: Dropout statistics

Hit the road

Food lover's guide: Drinking in Tulsa

Randa Warren’s choices for the best libations in Tulsa.
Edit Module

Add your comment:

 

Get the best in arts, entertainment and more straight to your inbox.

Join our email list

Edit ModuleShow Tags

September 2019

ATTENTION ELEPHANT LOVERS! Have you ever wanted to spend the day with an elephant? Now you can! Due to a great deal of public interest, the Oklahoma Awesome Adventures is partnering with the...

Cost: $400

Where:
Oklahoma Awesome Adventures
2657 E 2070 Rd
Hugo, OK  74743
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Awesome Adventures
Telephone: 580-743-5849
Contact Name: Emily
Website »

More information

Join us on September 22nd at 10:00 a.m. for Uptown 23rd’s fun run through the tree-lined streets of historic Mesta Park and Heritage Hills Historic Neighborhood Oklahoma City. The official...

Cost: $30-40

Where:
Uptown 23rd District
Uptown 23rd District
Oklahoma city, OK  73103
View map »


Telephone: 405-200-5848
Contact Name: Riley Cole
Website »

More information

Woodland Hills Mall is excited to host Beauty Week, which is a unique way for the people in Tulsa to experience all the beauty that Woodland Hills Mall has to offer.  Participating retailers...

Cost: Free and open to the community

Where:
Woodland Hills Mall
7021 S Memorial Dr.
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Telephone: 713-224-9115
Contact Name: Woodland Hills Mall

More information

The Home Remodeling Showcase is the premier showcase of newly remodeled homes in Tulsa and the surrounding areas.  Presented by the Remodelers Council of the Home Builders Association of Greater...

Cost: 10

Where:
Spread throughout Metro Tulsa
, OK


Sponsor: Pella Windows of Oklahoma
Telephone: 918-663-5820
Website »

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Experience the sites, sounds and smells of Greece!  The best lil stop in OPA!homa - just off route 66. Live music, dancing, kids zone, Greek food and drink, delectable baked goods, Greek...

Cost: Adults $5/Kids Free

Where:
13th & Guthrie Ave
1222 S. Guthrie Ave

Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Greek Festival
Telephone: 918-583-2082
Contact Name: Tonya Boone
Website »

More information

The Down Syndrome Association of Tulsa invites the public to come celebrate its annual Buddy Walk on Sunday September 22nd, 2019. The Buddy Walk Event will be 1:30-4:00 PM at Holland Hall...

Cost: Free

Where:
Holland Hall School
5666 E. 81st St.
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Sponsor: Down Syndrome Association of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-804-3728
Website »

More information

Get moved with Tulsa Ballet! Experience incredible works from the most in-demand choreographers in the world at Creations in Studio K. Tickets start at $25. Read all about the exciting pieces...

Cost: $25 - above

Where:
Tulsa Ballet - Studio K
1212 E 45th Place
Tulsa, OK  74105
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Contact Name: Dan Meagher
Website »

More information

In our 4-week Beginning Fencing class, you'll learn about the history of Olympic fencing, the three fencing weapons – foil, saber and epee – and the general rules for each of the specific...

Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Think you can’t do something? Think again! Step outside your comfort zone and try something new at the I Can’t workshops. The fall lineup includes crowd favorites as well as some new...

Cost: free & open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Armstrong
Website »

More information

In our 4-week Beginning Fencing class, you'll learn about the history of Olympic fencing, the three fencing weapons – foil, saber and epee – and the general rules for each of the specific...

Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

NSUBA RiverHawk Run 5K Tuesday, Sept. 24 – 6 p.m. $25 early signup, $35 after Aug 16, kids 12 & under free. 3100 E. New Orleans St., Broken Arrow, OK 74014 Invite your...

Cost: $25/$35 after Aug. 16

Where:
NSUBA Campus
3100 E New Orleans Ave
Broken Arrow, OK  74014
View map »


Website »

More information

In our 4-week Beginning Fencing class, you'll learn about the history of Olympic fencing, the three fencing weapons – foil, saber and epee – and the general rules for each of the specific...

Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

DivorceCare is a faith based, 13-week support program to help you through the after-effects of divorce. The DVD teaching includes topics such as understanding the hurt, dealing with anger,...

Cost: $15

Where:
Asbury United Methodist Church
6767 S Mingo Rd
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Sponsor: Asbury LifeCare Ministry
Telephone: 918-392-1146
Contact Name: Ruth Winn
Website »

More information

Whether you are remarried or planning to remarry, discover the key steps to building a healthy stepfamily with expert Ron Deal, using his Smart Stepfamily book and participant guide. Through eight...

Cost: 0

Where:
Asbury United Methodist Church
6767 S Mingo Rd
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Sponsor: Asbury United Methodist Church
Telephone: 918-392-1146
Contact Name: Ruth Winn
Website »

More information

Why walk through grief alone when you can participate in GriefShare’s highly acclaimed 13-week video-based support group with others experiencing the same? This group offers a comfortable...

Cost: $15

Where:
Asbury United Methodist Church
6767 S Mingo Rd
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Sponsor: Asbury LifeCare Ministry
Telephone: 918-392-1146
Contact Name: Ruth Winn
Website »

More information

Where:
ONEOK Field
201 N Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Started by husband-and-wife team Matthew and Kelsey McAfee _ graduates of ORU and TU, respectively, _ the bookstore, named Eleanor's Bookshop, will carry books with unique perspectives that...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mother Road Market
1124 S. Lewis Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »

More information

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

The Champions of Health Gala celebrates people and organizations that are making a positive impact on the health of our state through innovative programs. The proceeds from the evening benefit The...

Cost: $100/ticket

Where:
Cox Business Center
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: The Oklahoma Caring Foundation
Telephone: 918-551-2164
Contact Name: Ellen Devereux
Website »

More information

Organizations making a positive impact on the health of Oklahomans will be honored at the 2019 Champions of Health Gala at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26 at Cox Business Center in Tulsa. To make a...

Cost: 100

Where:
Cox Business Center
100 Civic Center
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma
Contact Name: Ellen Devereux

More information

Pop-acoustic worship group I AM THEY is announcing plans to headline The Trial & Triumph Tour this fall during the month of September with special guests Dan Bremnes and Elle Limebear....

Cost: (prices vary)

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 South Lewis Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918-495-6000
Contact Name: Mabee Center Marketing
Website »

More information

Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party is Coming to Tulsa, OK, September 26 - 29 Bringing the Magic Closer to Fans than Ever Before TULSA, OK — Create unforgettable...

Cost: $15, $20, $30, $35, $40, $45

Where:
Expo Square Pavilion
4145 East 21st
Tulsa State Fair
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Sponsor: Feld Entertainment
Telephone: 918-798-3655
Contact Name: Kasey Littlefield

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

Get your wheels in motion and join us for our 6th Annual CF Cycle for Life NIGHT RIDE! Participants will start the evening at our Get Lit tent, getting their glow on, and gearing up to ride along...

Cost: $150 Fundraising Minimum

Where:
River Spirit Casino
, OK


Sponsor: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Telephone: 918-744-6354
Contact Name: April Mitchell

More information

Originally from West Africa, Kizomba is a partner dance that is a sexy addition to any Latin dance party. It is the fastest Latin growing dance in the U.S. Come and learn the basics plus a few more...

Cost: 109

Where:
THE DANCE PLACE
3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
View map »


Telephone: 918-813-6514
Website »

More information

The Tasting at Woodward Park is an elegant fundraising gala that matches upscale wines with delectable hors d’oeuvres to provide a stimulating culinary experience, all while enjoying leisurely...

Cost: $150 for members, $175 for non-members

Where:
Woodwark Park
2435 S Peoria Ave
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Garden Center
Telephone: 918-576-5155
Contact Name: Laura Chalus
Website »

More information

Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party is Coming to Tulsa, OK, September 26 - 29 Bringing the Magic Closer to Fans than Ever Before TULSA, OK — Create unforgettable...

Cost: $15, $20, $30, $35, $40, $45

Where:
Expo Square Pavilion
4145 East 21st
Tulsa State Fair
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Sponsor: Feld Entertainment
Telephone: 918-798-3655
Contact Name: Kasey Littlefield

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

A half-marathon, 5k, and one-mile fun run along Tulsa's scenic River Trails to raise funds and awareness to both celebrate cancer  survivors and help eradicate breast cancer.

Cost: Half: $70; 5k: $35

Where:
River Spirit Casino Resort
8330 Riverside Parkway
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Sponsor: River Spirit Casino Resort
Telephone: 918-914-9039
Contact Name: Pamela Ballard
Website »

More information

A half-marathon, 5k, and one-mile fun run along Tulsa's scenic River Trails to raise funds and awareness to both celebrate cancer  survivors and help eradicate breast cancer.

Cost: Half: $70; 5k: $35

Where:
River Spirit Casino Resort
8330 Riverside Parkway
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Sponsor: River Spirit Casino Resort
Telephone: 918-914-9039
Contact Name: Pamela Ballard
Website »

More information

It's a 5k run or 1 mile walk with a twist. See all the historic churches in downtown Tulsa while participating in the Rosary! Children can listen to the Fatima story as parents participate in...

Cost: 30

Where:
Holy Family Cathedral
122 W 8th St
Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: St. Michael Catholic Radio
Telephone: 918-260-3617
Contact Name: Tricia Schittler
Website »

More information

We’re excited to announce that New York Times best-selling author Amy Stewart will be our guest speaker for our fourth annual literary brunch on Saturday, September 28, starting at...

Cost: Cost is $65 for Garden members; $75 for non-members.

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Website »

More information

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
View map »


Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
Website »

More information

The Drunken Botanist at OK Distilling Company. Amy Stewart’s New York Times best-seller, The Drunken Botanist: The Plants that Create the World's Great Drinks, is a favorite of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Oklahoma Distilling Company
1724 E 7th St.
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Website »

More information

Originally from West Africa, Kizomba is a partner dance that is a sexy addition to any Latin dance party. It is the fastest Latin growing dance in the U.S. Come and learn the basics plus a few more...

Cost: 109

Where:
THE DANCE PLACE
3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
View map »


Telephone: 918-813-6514
Website »

More information

As the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally,   Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is one of the romantic era’s finest composers. Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony...

Cost: $20-$42

Where:
VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education
10300 E 81st St
Tulsa, OK  74133-4513
View map »


Sponsor: Signature Symphony at TCC
Telephone: 918-595-7768
Contact Name: Tabitha Littlefield
Website »

More information

Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party is Coming to Tulsa, OK, September 26 - 29 Bringing the Magic Closer to Fans than Ever Before TULSA, OK — Create unforgettable...

Cost: $15, $20, $30, $35, $40, $45

Where:
Expo Square Pavilion
4145 East 21st
Tulsa State Fair
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Sponsor: Feld Entertainment
Telephone: 918-798-3655
Contact Name: Kasey Littlefield

More information

Back by popular demand, we've found some more wild and crazy stories told by the funniest people in Tulsa! Blue Whale Comedy Fest and Story Club of Tulsa present "Offbeat: Crazy and...

Cost: 12.50

Where:
Duet Jazz Club
108 N. DETROIT AVENUE
Tulsa, OK  74105
View map »


Sponsor: Story Club of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-596-2008
Contact Name: Ryan Howell
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags