I had never gotten a detention before. I didn’t even know where the detention room was or what teacher was in charge. Walking into the senior science lab afterschool was like discovering some kind of alternate dimension. With the blinds pulled half way down, the gray winter light shinning off black-top tables gave the familiar classroom a sudden, sinister air – the perfect meeting place for high school’s secret delinquent population.
I say ‘secret’ because I had no idea who I would find in detention. I couldn’t recall seeing anyone ‘get’ detention and if I had, I certainly hadn’t wondered what happened to them after the fact. For me, detention had always been some abstract concept. Yet there I was.
My crime? Talking too much and passing notes in French class- believe it or not. I was only a couple months into my freshman year and I think the teacher wanted to make an example out of me- let the other freshman know that high school is much more serious than middle school so we better watch our step. Little did I know, ten years later I’d be able to speak French better than that professor with my tongue duct-taped to my chin. (for those of you just following- I live in France)
I was a freshman at the time so I didn’t recognize half the students around me- most of them sophomores, juniors, or seniors. To my disappointment, there was no consequential bad boy in a leather jacket waiting to sweep me off my fourteen-year-old feet. Nobody talked - although a few students sat there with their arms crossed, looking appropriately surely and difficult. I asked if we were allowed to do homework. The teacher said ‘yes’ so I cracked open a book and got to work. Forty minutes later, it was over and I went back to my life as a non-delinquent with no regrets.
Did you ever get a detention in school? And of course -what got you there? J