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How bad were you at school?

Sent to the Office

Posted by R.J. on 2018-03-11 18:23:12

Was overall the well behaved boy at school, but twice made the trip to the school office that resulted in a chewing out followed by the instruction to empty back pockets of my jeans and assume the bent position over the desk. Discovered darn quick that his paddle could penetrate denim and undershorts.

Posted by flash gordon on 2018-03-23 01:58:45

Over my 4 years of high school, I had to serve detention about 30 times. In the first 2 years, I got in trouble infrequently and sporadically, about 3-4x each year.

In the last 2 years, I got into a lot more trouble, but it came in clumps rather than being evenly spread. For some reason, the period after the middle of the year was the worst. Both years, I had periods of a month or so in the middle of the year when I practically lived in detention. It was usually after school, but I had to report on Saturday a couple of times.

My first detention in 9th grade was for shooting water around in a science lab. Another time, I got kicked out of chemistry class because I couldn't stop laughing when the teacher was yelling at the class, and the dean caught me in the hallway. I got some other detentions for similar reasons - laughing or talking in class. I also got into trouble a couple of times for dress code violations.

In 11th grade, just after midterms, my history teacher started drilling me and others with detentions for goofing around in class. We apparently really $%!@ed him off over a period of time. I also got another teacher as a mid year replacement who gave me a few detentions for similar reasons. After a little over s month when I was in detention after school frequently, it fizzled out and I only got 1 or 2 more detentions for the rest of the year.

In 12th grade, I started out on the wrong foot. I got detention on the first day for lateness, and at the end of the first week, I picked up 3 more for cutting out of an assembly. After that, things were pretty quiet until after the middle of the year, when I decided to start skipping classes here and there, which resulted in a blizzard of detentions. I also got into trouble a couple of times for getting rowdy in the library.

Usually we just sat there in detention after school, but a few times I got work details, which included scrubbing desktops, moving around a lot of furniture or cleaning the cafeteria.

Good times...:)

Posted by R.J. on 2018-03-27 17:06:41

I think after the holidays and mid-school year was a rougher time for many boys to behave. By then, the boys who were the more risk takers had sized up the faculty and knew who were the push-overs and who more strict. It was winter still but spring-fever thoughts were setting in on minds.

Flash...I recall you previously saying that entering HS you started off more fearful of getting into trouble. You obviously knew that shooting water around the lab would get you into trouble. Do you recall if that stunt was your idea or other guys had dared you to take that risk or maybe you saw them previously do & not maybe caught? Were you expecting the detention or maybe figure you'd get off with a mere warning?

Listening to the reasoning of detention and how it didn't phase you or other guys that much and if given the opportunity to work on homework, it may not have been as bad an experience as I had of it during HS years. If you had around 30 detentions over all 4 years & pulled it off with excuses your parents accepted & never realized it was a detention you were serving, you probably were a better guy at deception than I could've pulled off that many times. Had I not gotten my butt thoroughly tanned in 8th for forging a note, I might've tried forging a detention slip & merely served a detention. If folks had found out, at least it would've been one butt busting rather than two...school & dad. Looking back however, those two school paddlings did me no real harm & probably did me some good. From 8th I learned well & the hard way that to cut school wasn't worth it nor try to forge a note. I discovered my jeans could take a busting & I'd survive OK & friends and other guys saw it as me now being one of them rather than the always good boy. Never was afraid of my dad...sure afraid of the belt or paddle he used...and his talks helped me understand why he had me drop my drawers and bend over for a butt whipping and he was fair & never abusive. Later in college dorm years, we had rap sessions sometimes & though I really knew it already, it confirmed almost every guy had a butt busting experience at school & a dad who tanned butt at home too and they were not sad memories being recounted.

The HS years should be good times...mine were in numerous ways. I might not fully agree with your behavior approach nor the repetitive detentions school used, but I do respect your opinion and outlook and the important thing probably is, we both came out of boyhood successfully into productive men.

Posted by flash gordon on 2018-03-30 15:09:13


Yes, the tempo definitely picked up at school after mid-year. I think part of it was as you said, students had sized up the teachers and knew which ones would allow shenanigans and which ones wouldn't. I think that there was also a bit of cabin fever, being cooped up in school for several months, and cooped up for the winter. Misbehavior was a way of dealing with all that.

I'll give you a bit of background on the water shooting incident in 9th grade. It took place in an English class that happened to be held in a science lab in a remote part of the building. Because of the location, and the fact that the teacher came from the opposite end of the building, he usually arrive a minute or two late, so the class was unsupervised for a couple of minutes after we arrived. For a while, guys in the class had been shooting water around during that time. A rubber hose hung from the faucet in one of the sinks, and they squeezed it shut, turned on the water, and then released it out into the room. The teacher was starting to catch on, and asking questions like "why is this counter all wet?" Up until the day I got into trouble, I had not participated in this mischief.

But on that day, I was peripherally involved, definitely not as the ringleader. I was brought into it by one of my friends. On the day, the teacher surprised us and came a minute or so earlier, probably due to his suspicions about our behavior. He caught us red-handed. I don't think I gave much thought to what the penalty would be if I got caught, since I didn't expect to get caught, but I think I would have assumed I would get detention, not a simple warning for something that far over the line. Back then, I had a knack for getting caught the first time I did anything, while others could do thing numerous times and not get caught. And I lacked the ability really to plead my case; I just sat back and accepted my punishment.

In 9th grade, we had a different dean of discipline than the dean we had when I was in grades 10-12. He was more taciturn, and he didn't let us do homework or nap in detention. I was a bit intimidated when I got that detention because it was the first time I had ever really been in trouble in school. I didn't know what would happen when I had to show up and face the dean after school. It was a bit scary to have to check in with him when I arrived in detention that day. He looked at my detention slip, made a disgusted face and just spat out, "OK, take a seat." When he started the detention, he denounced our bad behavior and said we would pay a high price for it. Because it was the last day before Christmas break, the building was deserted, and with it being one of the shortest days of the year, it was around twilight by the time we got out. Walking down the deserted hallway to my locker after I was released, at twilight, I really felt the weight of the punishment that had been inflicted on me. Then I had to walk home as it was getting dark. When I got home, I told my mom the truth about where I had been, since I wasn't yet savvy enough to think up a better story. She yelled a little bit but nothing more. I didn't get another detention for a long time.

Later on, as my confidence built, I was much less bothered and intimidated by the whole thing. In 11th and 12th grade, when I got most of my detentions, I drove to school and hung out with friends after school, rarely going directly home anyway. So at that point, it wouldn't be noticeable that I was detained after school since I didn't necessarily get home any later after detention than I did on any other day. Under the circumstances, my deception skills didn't have to be that good.

Part of the reason I enjoyed breaking rules later in my school career was that I didn't like having been that scared freshman, and I didn't want to think I was ruled by fear. I went in the other direction, deliberately breaking rules and getting into trouble, to expunge that fearful person that I had been and didn't like, looking back. I had to prove primarily to myself that I could tough it out through the punishments and come back for more.

All in all, those were good years, especially my last 2 years when driving gave me freedom and I was starting to feel the fun of being an adult, going where I wanted when I wanted, and having plenty of free time to do all that. Of course, I never considered anything that could have gotten me into serious trouble. I was and still am a pretty straight-laced guy.

Posted by R.J. on 2018-04-07 17:15:46

Hi Flash,

Obviously the winter months and being cooped-up was a factor. If memory is correct, the month of January always seemed more so maybe because we were back in school after 2 weeks or so off and the let down after all the Christmas break activities. The mischief geared up again in April as Spring weather began & we wanted to be out in it & the fact that we knew school would be out for the summer in 4-6 weeks.

I'm sure for most guys, we thought we wouldn't be caught. Teachers & parents back then had a knack of surprising you & it seemed an inner sense of knowing what you were likely up to. I was the poor innocent boy in 2nd when two of my classmates had a water-spitting fight at the drinking fountain on a bathroom break. Since I was laughing at their prank, the teacher assumed I too was involved/guilty. All 3 of us got to stand in our own corner of the classroom when we returned to the room. The fact I pleaded my innocence didn't spare me corner time, a more common punishment in 2nd grade nor having mom told when she picked me up after school. Well, mom told dad when he got home & he kept the promise to further punish me if I got school punished.

You had 'good cover' then in 11th & 12th already having a car at school & the usual fact you hung out with friends after school. Do you think if your mom would've reacted more sternly than just yelling that would've dented some the confidence build-up? I don't think being a little scared of consequences is a bad deal. Healthy fear goes a long way converting behavior. Maybe you & peers saw being scared as childish or unmanly, but I never saw it that way and even saw fear in the eyes & behavior of many of my teenage & young adult clients when they realized they lost their freedom for awhile when incarcerated. Punishment should never be directed at embarrassing or humiliation but a little fear is what punishment should be to reform & not want to repeat that behavior.

Never thought back then & don't feel now that any 14-18 year old HS student is a full adult with rights for 100% freedom. In HS you are in training to become an adult & if training soaks in, then if you leave home at 18 for college, military, a job, etc you are prepared for adulthood decisions/responsibilities. No teenager should have nor needs total hovering nor extensive limits, but should realize as a teen, life at home or school is not a democracy where you have the final vote or say. Freedom & privileges are something you earn, over time, when you prove yourself. I'm sure you didn't get into serious trouble. I didn't either. I appreciated when I saw my parents or my teacher's confidence shown in me. I worked hard & earned it. They had the right & responsibility to set the rules & the right to expect me to comply. I never felt restricted in any great sense & it felt good to have a 'safety net' with parents & teachers. Even after 18 I had & wanted the opportunity to still get advice from them & if I went home from college, I wanted them to know I still respected the fact it was their home still & their home rules still valid and having that good home to come home to, even as an adult, was a privilege & not a right.