Essay by wahsnitsujHigh School, 11th gradeA, May 2004

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We've all seen them before. Maybe at a bus stop, in our schools, or at the coffee shop. "They" look odd enough to frighten a circus clown, but for some reason, they always smile when you look their way. Perhaps it's that their hair is the color of the sunset or that their pants look like they could house a small family. It could be that their headphones seem permanently glued to their ears and that they're never afraid to groove on the sidewalk. Whatever the reason, you know that "they" are not quite normal. You may call them "freaks," or "punks," or simply "those crazy kids." But if you did, you'd be misled for "they" are not you're average young people, no, "they" are ravers.

Before we go any further, I think I should first dispel some rumors and ease your mind of the negative thoughts that must be sweeping through it.

What do you think of when you hear the word rave? Drugs? Hoodlum kids running amuck? Loud music that interferes with the whole community's sleeping habits? Violence? The dictionary defines the word "rave" as a numerous amount of things, such as "an act or instance" or the verb "to talk with extreme enthusiasm," but this is one case where Webster has got it all wrong. What is the true definition of a rave? In most cases, a rave is simply a dance party where guests experience a sense of camaraderie and elevated consciousness through the presence of music. This means there is an abundance of dance expression, interaction with other such ravers, and a positive mood change. And while there are sometimes drugs involved, there is absolutely no deliberate disturbance of the peace and zero tolerance for violence. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's divulge into...