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Grace Garlinghouse ’21
Ninth Grade



My Teen Maze Learning Experience

11/2/2017 10:16:00 AM, 1,036 views

Last Thursday, my freshman class took a trip to the Rome Floyd County Teen Maze. The Teen Maze is a game/maze full of real-life events. The events that happen to the teens in the maze are not considered “ideal” for any high school student. 

When we arrived at the Coosa Valley Fair Grounds, we all got off the bus and received a colored wristband. Each color would decide our fate for after the opening presentation. 

The day started off with a demonstration showing us the dangers of texting and driving. There were two cars that had crashed into each other with real people in them. The people in the cars had fake blood dripping down their faces and they were honestly extremely disturbing. We watched a video that showed what the crash could’ve been. Right after the video was over, I was alerted by the loud sounds of firetruck, police car, and ambulance sirens. The emergency workers drove their vehicles up to the crash scene and showed us what they would do at a typical crash scene. Then we were all taken to the place designated by our wristbands. I was led to an demonstrative emergency room.

Emergency rooms aren’t a fun place to be no matter what the situation is. In this specific situation, the emergency room was where the car crash victims were taken. The room was full of blood, screaming and crying parents, and shouts between the doctors and nurses making sure it was “clear” to shock the patient’s heart. Then, the patient died. After seeing this demonstration, I saw and had a real picture in my head of the possible consequences of texting and driving. 

After this demonstration was over, I was taken directly to the courthouse line. I had to wait in line to talk to the judge. As soon as I got up to the judge’s stand, he told me I was there for texting and driving. He could’ve sent me to the jail, but luckily I got probation instead. I had to go talk to the probation officer and do what she told me to do. The conversation I had with her about what happens to teens on probation and teens in detention centers, changed how I will think and act in situations that could get me into trouble. 

Once I left the probation officer, I had to go to the “Date #1” table. At this table, each person had to draw their fate and see how the rest of their day, or their example life, would begin. If the player drew a paper that said “Yes” it meant they said yes to having sex on a first date. I was one of the lucky people who drew a card that said “No.” This meant that I said no to having sex on the first date but this didn’t guarantee that I didn’t have rough times ahead. 

I proceeded to the next stop in the maze, “Peer Pressure.” At this station, I was tested in a party and drug usage situation. The card I drew stated that I had overused synthetic marijuana while I was partying with some friends. I had then passed out and started having a seizure. I was taken to the emergency room where I talked to a real doctor about the consequences of smoking. Not only would my trip to the emergency room have started at a price of $1,200, but I could’ve suffered from many other health issues or gotten into legal trouble. Because of my “usage” of the marijuana, I was required to go to rehab where a group of us talked more about the problems of drug and alcohol usage. From there, my day got better. 

At “Date #2,” I drew a card that said I said no to sex a second time. I was given a second chance and was on my way to the career station to learn about how to finish high school, go on to college and get a job. Before I was actually able to “graduate” or finish the maze, our bus had to leave but I probably would’ve graduated relatively soon. 

While I was lucky and didn’t have to worry about being pregnant or having children while in high school, some of my friends did. One friend of mine had an experience where she was in the second trimester of her pregnancy when her boyfriend decided to beat her. She was rushed into an emergency C-Section and had to decide what to do with her baby. She had to decide whether to keep it or give it up for adoption. I would never want to have to make decisions like this in my life, so Teen Maze opened up my eyes and has, in a way, scared me enough to keep me out of the situations I saw. 

Thanks to the Teen Maze, I was shown some things I never would’ve been exposed to or had to “deal with” had I not gone. The Teen Maze gave me “an experience” with a probation officer, in a courtroom, and in an emergency room. I was shown the consequences of different actions and I was given something to relate to before having to deal with some of these situations in real life. I believe that Teen Maze changed the way that my classmates and I will act in certain situations that we may encounter throughout our time in high school and college. 
 


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Dana Peek
11/3/2017
8:07 AM
Great article, Grace! Thanks for sharing this.

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