Age 17 12th Grade: In School Suspension
I’m also linking this up to Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop
2.) A rule I broke. Note that the other links embedded in my first paragraph are also of the same topic so you’ll want to check those out. I never realized how many rules I’d broken until I started writing about my childhood!
While sharing my “Piggy Tales” with you, I’ve repeatedly said what a good, compliant, obedient, child I was and how I never got in to any trouble. I’m not sure if you believe me now after reading about how I lied about my birthday, took my bra off at school, tricked my friends out of their money, wouldn’t stop talking in class, ditched my friend to go to a concert, and got grounded at age 19. As if that wasn’t enough evidence already that perhaps I wasn’t exactly the angel I claimed to be, I shamefully present to you I.S.S. …
In 12th Grade at the young innocent age of 17 I got sent to In School Suspension after showing up to school late several times the first semester. I was particularly upset about this because I was supposed to be teaching a lesson in our dance/choreography class that day while we had a substitute. My sister and I were put in a room with other students and all of the desks were butted up against the wall. In my anger, frustration, and boredom I wrote the following letter to the people in charge. I apologize in advance for the ridiculous excuses you will read herein including my opinion that extra curricular activities are more important than education. I read this letter now, and while I smile at myself for my all too familiar sarcasm and humor obvious in this letter that I seemed trademarked for at even such a young age, I also roll my eyes in disgust at my own blatant stupidity. Enjoy.
To Whom it May Concern, 11-15-96
Do you want to know where I am right now? I’m in I.S.S. Skipping, smoking, bad conduct…no, of course not! I was late for school. I’m a good kid. I get above average grades, I’m involved in plenty of afterschool activities, not to mention being Captain of the Dance Line and Vice-President of the Bible Club. I’ve gotten detention a few times but only because I was late. You can ask any of my teachers, I’m a good kid. So why am I in I.S.S.? It’s not like I was late because I was outside smoking, or flushing some kids head down the toilet. Sometimes the alarm clock doesn’t go off and my mom doesn’t wake me up. An alarm clock is not enough motivation to get me to get up early and come here every day. My mom has to get up before she should to make sure my sister and I get driven to school every day. Sometimes the car doesn’t start or it gets stuck in the snow. Sometimes you just can’t get out of bed because you were studying till 3:00am, who can get by with only 3 hours of sleep? I have to. There is always a test, homework, a report to do. And for me I have extra things to do, make up dance routines, studying lines for the play, go over music for District Chorus, practice my flute, occasionally make up a lesson for Bible Club. You think those things won’t keep you up till 3 in the morning? They do if you want to be good. If you want good grades, if you want to put on a good show. And I know that I’m not the only busy person in this school. There are other people that are at dance or play practice till 5:00. When you come home hot and exhausted and you hadn’t eaten since noon. And there are practices for other things that I’m not involved in. I’m sure that many athletes and the cheerleaders can relate to what I’m saying. There are people involved in very active clubs such as FBLA, SADD, Usher’s Club, and Student Council. School isn’t easy. Maybe for someone who is just a brainiac and isn’t involved in anything, maybe for someone who was just born with an I.Q. higher than what most people weigh, maybe for someone who is just a punk and doesn’t care. But what about those of us who are split down the middle by activities and schoolwork. If it came down to picking one over the other I would pick the activities. But it doesn’t work that way, you have to maintain a 2.5 or above or you can not participate in those activities. So what am I going to do? Blow off my school work and go to bed early? Blow off my activities and come home after school? Create a device to dump water over my head and toss me out of bed every morning? Keep the car running all night long so that it’s heated and ready for school every morning? Or the most sensible thing, pack my bags and go live in the L.G.I. High school kids lead busy lives and most of us don’t want to give up the things that make us busy. What I’m asking for is some understanding when we walk into the attendance office and use a cheap excuse like “my alarm clock didn’t go off”, just think they might be telling the truth. I think everyone should be happy that we come to school at all. We don’t get paid to come here. Our reward is a good report card, good performance, and for some it’s making it through and getting the heck outta here. But none of those things come easily, they all require long, late nights and early mornings, 6 hours cramped up in a desk (without bathroom privileges, but that’s another letter). Why do we get punished for making an effort? When I know I’m going to be late I could just stay home, but I don’t. But when I come to school, I miss class anyway. Instead of making the effort and coming to class I get locked up in here. I’m writing this while one kid’s unconscious, drooling down his arm, another one has been staring at the wall and not blinking for the past hour, one that I’m pretty sure had cat for breakfast, one that I’m pretty sure ate my notebook during the bathroom break, one that is going through a nicotine fit, and one I could’ve sworn went to school with my dad. But don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to stereotype I.S.S. students. After all, I’m one myself now. But not all kids in I.S.S. are wearing stolen license plates for earrings, even “A” students with active social lives deserve it sometimes. But not for being late. No one should get I.S.S. for being late, even the kid that ate my notebook (I forgive him.). Let’s face it, it’s a stupid rule. And I’m not upset because this is going on my permanent record or anything. It’s because I have things to do. I have to be in class. Now all I have is more work to keep me up late again. That’s okay because I wonder if I come back tomorrow…would that kid still be staring at the wall? I seriously think this rule should be changed. Not just for me but for the poor boy who was late because his cat wasn’t cooked in time, I’d rather be late than hungry too. Why do you think all these kids are late in the morning? How many possible “bad” things could someone do in the morning to make them one minute late. Are you worried because they might be late because they were smoking or something? Well then, take care of the problem before it comes into school, not afterward. I shouldn’t have I.S.S. because of someone else’s cigarette. I think I’ve made my point. This rule has been bugging me for awhile and I finally decided to do something about it. I’m going to try my hardest to abolish all rules that get good kids in trouble (or bad kids that really didn’t do anything wrong). Maybe it won’t work but I have to try. If there is anyone that agrees to changing or banishing the “late” rule, please see me to sign a petition. I may even get in more trouble because of this but too bad! If there are any other rules that you think should be changed, we can try! So please think long and hard about this and then see one of the following people to sign a petition. I appreciate the time you took out to read my novel. I’ll be autographing free copies in the Commons Area during…just kidding!
I never did show this letter to anyone as far as I know. The process of writing the letter, starting out upset and ending with humor, ended up being therapy enough for me. I never did get I.S.S. again, but I can’t say that I learned my lesson. I’m still late. A lot. And I tend to procrastinate too, which is probably why I posted 6 weeks worth of “Piggy Tales” in 3 days (just in time to link up before the series ended).
Oh well. Some people just never learn.
Thank you so much for joining me on my Piggy Tales journey. I’ve so enjoyed sharing (some of) my stories with you and I hope that you enjoyed reading them 🙂 If you’re interested in reading about the shenanigans I got into after high school, scroll down and check out the 6 links under “My Young Adult Years”.
To the other ladies participating in Session 2, I’ve loved reading your stories (up to 5th grade) and I have a lot of catching up to do…but I will get around to reading all of them. Thanks for sharing!
My Piggy Tales:
*My Birth Story: I’m always late!
*Ages 3-5: Dancing in a box
*Age 6 First Grade: There’s a bra in my lunchbox!
*Age 7 Second Grade: Bossy Wheels and Shady Deals
*Age 8 Third Grade: I will not talk in class
*Age 9 Fourth Grade: I didn’t really need those fingers anyway!
*Age 10 5th Grade: Nothing’s Scary in the Fifth Grade
*Age 11 6th Grade: Jenny Got Ran Over by her Grandma
*Age 12 7th Grade: Youth Camp Stinks
*Age 13 8th Grade: “Talent” Show
*Age 14 9th Grade: (N)O Christmas Tree
*Age 15 10th Grade: The Newsboys Wouldn’t Ditch Their Friends
*Age 16 11th Grade: Acrophobia Gets You the Good Seats
*Age 17 12th Grade: In School Suspension
My Young Adult Years
*Dreams and Aspirations: The Long Road There
*Friends and Fellowship: Friends Don’t Get Friends Grounded
*My First Job
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 1
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 2
*Colonel Mustard on a Rollercoaster with a Plastic Fork
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