Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Grounded For Life (Part 1 of 2)
It was early 1994 and I was beyond grounded…
I was in a program at my high school for “gifted” kids, but it wasn’t your usual thing. It was a math and science program funded by a major oil company. The whole idea was to train a bunch of kids from middle school onward to be the next generation of engineers.
And here I was taking advanced chemistry classes wearing a Ministry t-shirt and sparkly bracelets. I hated it. A lot of us hated it. Because our classes were scheduled so rigidly, the vast majority of us had the same English and history classes, as well. We were stuck with each other. So it was either get along or go crazy.
Some of us decided it was optimal to do both. We became a tight little group of kids who’d never associate for any other reason. And we made plans. Big plans.
We hated our history teacher. He was the kind of teacher who treated the “smart” kids like they were felons in the making. I used to love the stories the older kids told about meeting this guy outside of school. Apparently, he was the sort of guy who got pitchers of beer dumped on his head at restaurants.
History class was right after lunch, and a small group of us thought it would be a great idea to figure out a way to cancel the class. We started planning, and eventually we decided on a method: We would take pencils and jam them in the classroom’s locks until they broke off inside. If the locks were jammed too tight, no key would fit inside.
One lunch period, the four of us snuck away from the larger group and headed towards the dreaded history classroom, pencils in hand. We demolished those locks. And we got caught. It was pretty easy to shake the four of us down. One of us was a devout Christian. He absolutely crumbled under the pressure.
So, we were sent to the principal’s office and interrogated. I think the principal loved the idea of treating this batch of “smart” kids like the criminals we were. He tried to blame us for other instances of vandalism around the school. He threatened to send us to Vista (The “Bad Kids” school). I found the whole thing hilarious.
We were each fined $300 and suspended for school for a week. I was grounded. My bedroom door was removed because I “couldn’t be trusted.” I spent a week playing video games and listening to my sister’s tapes. It wound up being the most important week of my life…
To be continued…