Monday, June 27, 2011

journal day

Danielle over at Sometimes Sweet is such a great writer and a major inspiration. I love reading her blog. She started something called Journal Day where she provides a prompt, and you write. I'm game! Here we go!

Describe a "first" (first date, first lie, the first time you experienced something, first time in a particular setting, etc). Include as many details as possible to paint a picture.

The first time I ever skipped a class, I was 12 years old, a seventh-grader at the secondary school I would attend from grades 7-12.

I had heard about skipping classes. A lot of kids talked about it like it was no big deal, and a lot of fun. I had an older sister in the 10th grade, and while I'm pretty sure she never skipped class, her friends talked about it too.

One day, after a lot of thinking about it but minimal planning for it, I decided that I was going to skip gym class. I'm pretty sure I had gym 3rd period - it was before lunch, but barely.

When it came time to head down to the locker room to get ready for gym, I just...didn't go. I just kept walking. Our school was HUGE, and it was easy to hide yourself if you wanted to. About 10 minutes after the bell rang, I was just walking around the school. The late stragglers had cleared out and I was starting to feel conspicuous. I decided I needed to find a place to enjoy my free period.

Now, I was 12. I didn't know anyone with a car except my parents, and I didn't live close enough to the school to walk home. My sister was somewhere in the school, but I didn't know her schedule. So, I did what anyone would do. I went to the girls bathroom.

I went to the girls bathroom in the 7th grade subschool and I stayed there for what felt like hours but was really only 30 minutes or so. It was actually rather terrifying. I felt like I had to be quiet and absolutely still, and I didn't have anything to read, and it was so boring. I would've rather been in gym class.

When the bell rang, I went off to my next class and finished up my day. I went home that night, terrified that parents had somehow found out that I had skipped class. I could barely sleep.

The next day, at school, I was sitting in my english class when my guidance counselor came in and asked to speak to me. I broke. Right there in the middle of class, I started crying, saying, "I did it, I skipped gym, I'm so sorry I'll never do it again". My guidance counselor looked taken aback. "Oh, okay", she said. "Why don't you come with me and we'll talk about it".

Turns out noone knew I had skipped gym. I had gone and outed myself for no reason. But it felt so much better to have it off my chest. My punishment was detention, and I was completely fine with that. It was kind of cool, actually.

Some years later, I became a grand master champion of skipping classes. I skipped entire days. When my friends got cars, we went to breakfast, to lunch, off for an afternoon jaunt. I wasn't worried about the consequences anymore, we didn't get caught, and everyone did it. Noone seemed to demand explanation for why absences in 7th period were 15 days higher than absences in 1st. From what I understand, my class may have been one of the last to enjoy such freedoms. After Columbine, schools had no choice but to crack down on comings and goings from the school.

I still won't forget that feeling, sitting in the bathroom of subschool 1, just wishing I had gone to gym, because skipping class? Wasn't very fun.

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