Thursday, September 10, 2009

Looking Back

There are a lot of memories that I don't have written down that I think my kids might be interested in one day. I have almost my entire college experience recorded, but I wrote only a few things in a journal during my teenage years. I believe I'll start putting some of those unrecorded memories here so that I have them somewhere. I love hearing stories about when my parents or grandparents were young and wish I could get them written down somewhere(hint, hint). So, assuming my kids will care one day, here it goes...
With school back in and the nostalgia September brings, the principal's office came to mind and the two times I had to go there:
1. Seventh grade. Kennedy Jr. High. What an awkward age.
Anyway, I was in Ms. Simmons pre-algebra class. (I always thought that Ms. Simmons looked exactly the way she did when she stepped off the Mayflower. Same haircut and everything. She was very serious, but a good math teacher.) My good friend Krista was in the class with me. We had to put up with a boy in the class named Kastor. I'm sure he's a lovely person now, but he was as foul as a 7th grade male could manage. His language was atrocious. I don't know if he just let the profanities stream forth when the teacher left the room or if Ms. Simmons pretended to be deaf so she didn't lose her mind teaching 7th grade.
Krista and I did what we could to thwart Kastor's efforts to get under our skin and frustrate him back. We would write notes that really said rude things to the effect of, "Good job stealing this note, dummy," because he would steal our notes if he saw us passing them or one on our desk. (Notes were abundant in the 7th and 8th grade and were passed all over the place. Ms. Simmons may have pretended to be blind at times as well.) Kastor mostly called us nasty names. I'm sure he thought he was funny, but he could have made a sailor blush. So, Krista and I decided to give him some names of our own. Logical, right? His hair was done in some kind of wads all over his head which looked like those puffy Cheetohs to us, so we called him "Cheetoh head". Some weeks later he had a new hairdo with colored rubber bands throughout, so we switched to calling him "Fruity Pebbles". Creative, I know.
Around this time, I was sitting in my desk on the back row learning some math principle from Ms. Simmons as she demonstrated on the board. My book was open and I was intently writing down what she was teaching. Suddenly, wet drops pelted me and landed on my book. Pink wet. I immediately looked to my left where it had come from.
Kastor's mouth. He had some hard candy he was sucking on.
I couldn't help it. I screamed out in mixed disgust and surprise, "He spit on me!"
It was all a blur as Ms. Simmons yelled, "That's it! To the principal's office -both of you!!!" I stammered and tried to explain, but all I got was, "OUT!!!" I thought I was going to puke. The principal's office? I'd never been there before. I was the good kid. I thought teachers liked me. This was all wrong.
Kastor got called in first, and then it was my turn in the counselor's office (turns out the principal had far more dramatic matters to take care of and let the counselor take this one). Mr. Vaughan, my counselor, was clearly a man of the 70's --those sideburns were amazing. Mr. Vaughan had me explain the entire situation regarding Kastor, not just the spit, but the whole background. When I talked about how he would call me names, Mr. Vaughan stopped me and asked, "What kind of names does he call you?"
No way was I going to repeat that. No way. So I said, "I don't want to say them."
"Well, then, can you describe them, or tell me what they start with?"
So I proceeded to scan the alphabet and let him know what Kastor's preferred words started with. Then Mr. Vaughan continued, "Kastor said that you and your friend have been calling him names too. What names have you been calling him?"
Oh no. I was so embarrassed. Confession time.
"We called him 'Cheetoh Head' and 'Fruity Pebbles'."
I could then see Mr. Vaughan fighting a smile. I didn't see what was so funny, but I sure do now. He then gave me a few options on what I thought we should do. I chose to let the situation slide after a talking to from the counselor. I thought calling his mom would be too severe and I didn't want to make a bigger deal out of it.
Kastor was still rude to me after that, but he mainly left me alone. I remember thinking he was ungrateful because I could have had the counselor call his mom. I'm sure Kastor's mom had enough to worry about.
Those pink water spots on my book grossed me out the entire year.

2. Senior year of highschool. Fall 1996. I was called to Principal Frazier's office. I had no idea what it was about. He looked like he was trying too hard to be serious. He started talking about how there had been thefts in the drill team locker room. I immediately started thinking about whether I had seen anything suspicious or not when Mr. Frazier followed up with, "And your name has come up." Now, I was quite timid with most adults clear up until I was in college, but when I heard this, I immediately put up my guard.
"No it hasn't," I responded. "Who said it?" I don't remember if I had any kind of explanation after, but I KNEW my name wouldn't be connected with something like that. My stealing experiences included a 5 cent whistle that I took from Piece Goods when I was in the first grade, (my sister called me on it later and I never could rid myself of the guilt) and occasionally popping a grape in my mouth at the grocery store in grade school. It ended there.
Mr. Frazier tried for a few more moments to scare me, but he saw it wasn't going anywhere and gave in. He let me know that someone had put him up to it and then asked if I would go to the Homecoming dance with a certain young man. I'm sure I ruined the fun of everyone involved by not buying into the accusation, but I was also glad I had no reason to be afraid.


Wendy Peay said...

I was called into the principal's officewhen i was a senior too. however, i didn't get asked to any dance =(. it had something to do with all my tardies and absences, i told her i had a good case of senioritis...she laughed, but it was written in my permanent record. LAME!!

Lori said...

I remember those events! Funny, thanks for sharing the memory. I got some good lol's from them. I remember how shocked and disgusted you still were from being spit on by the vile Kastor when you came home that day. Hey, didn't somebody actually break into your locker and steal your make-up, making Mr. Frazier's story a little more plausable?