Tuesday, September 11, 2012

getting sent to the principal

Norman Rockwell, from The Saturday Evening Post

I was a really naughty kid in elementary school.  I was sent to the Principal's office often.  Me and good old Mr. Gerrain should have been on a first name basis by the time I left that place.

None of my elementary teachers liked me after like, first grade.  Except maybe my second grade teacher, who invited me to her house to pick strawberries.  I'm not sure why my mother didn't find that somewhat alarming.  I'd absolutely find it alarming if Brooke's teacher invited her over to do anything.  Maybe it's me but I just think it's kind of crossing some odd, invisible Mary Kay Letourneau-ish line.  It was all good though, I don't remember anything weird going on - just more of a love for that nice teacher with frizzy hair and huge glasses.  She had a bathtub in her classroom.  It was called the reading tub, and I absolutely loved that thing.  It wasn't hooked up or anything of course, it was just an old cast iron foot tub thing, and it had pillows in it.  If you finished your work, you could climb in there and read, two kids at a time.

One day, this girl climbed in to read with me.  I was saving the extra spot for my best pal Val,  who hadn't completed her work at that point, so I was pissed.  But that annoying girl refused to get out!  So I did what any self respecting second grader would do.  I climbed out of the tub and hid that brat's shoes.  And then refused to confess.  At some point, the shoes were found, but not because I told.  I was a stubborn little thing. That may have actually been my first trip to the Principal's office.

My third grade teacher Mr. Kipp hated me.  He was super short and had a red beard.  He definitely had a short man's complex. His wife was really short too, and incidentally, so was his son.  Their family happened to live on my street growing up.  Man, we tormented that poor, short, nerdy kid... I wonder how he turned out.  Maybe I should look him up on facebook and apologize for ding-dong ditching him like, every freaking day til they moved.  You'd think that the kid would catch on after a while.  But anyway, yep, Mr. Kipp hated me.  Within the first few weeks of third grade, I got sent to the Principal's office for making frog noises in the hallway.  Really?  That's so offensive?  Clearly that short meanie had no sense of humor.

Also, he would dump your desk if it was messy.  He totally took pleasure in doing it too.  With no notice, he'd just come up, peer into your desk, and if it was messy, he'd overturn it, and dump every last thing on the floor.  Then of course we had to pick up the mess and reorganize everything.  I think that may border on highly inappropriate behavior from a teacher.  Once he dumped my desk and broke a jewelry box that I brought in to show one of my friends. 

I also got sent to the Principal's office in his class because I was selling stuff out of my desk.  Nothing bad, just like, loose leaf paper and pencils.  And I also sold looks at the smallest pencil in the world for 10 cents a pop.  I was making all kinds of candy money.

Apparently that was frowned upon, being an 8 year-old entrepreneur.  I mean, is it my fault if the dumbass kids in my class forked over 10 cents to see a stubby pencil in an old Sucrets's tin?  I should have been awarded a medal for my savvy money-making skills. 

My fifth grade teacher Mrs. Halley absolutely had to have hated her life the school year that I had her.  She had this super short, fire-engine red hair.  She was a little overweight and she dressed like, really out there.  There were a bunch of kids in my class that were equally as naughty as I was that year.  She called us "dishgushting individuals" every single day.  One time she brought us out to play kickball, and she went to kick the ball and missed, and fell down and ripped her panty hose.  We all laughed and she cried.  That's so mean!  I still feel a little guilty about that...  do people still wear panty hose anyway?

I told my sixth grade teacher Mr. Potts that I hated him when he wouldn't let me wear a hat in class, and he told me the feeling was mutual.  Those were his exact words.  I was upset because I had just gotten a bad perm and let me tell you, I was horrified.  My mom sent me to the lady across the street who was practicing to be a beautician to do the perm.  Thanks MOM.  What the hell were you thinking?  Let's just say I looked a little like Orphan Annie.  Anyway, the guy couldn't have just let me wear a hat?  Sheesh.  Let me just tell you, when my daughter Kara had him as a science teacher in middle school, I did not visit that class during open house or communicate with him once the entire school year.  I didn't want him to dislike her through association.  Thankfully she was a good kid who had no trouble in science.  I would have most definitely had an anxiety attack if I had to go see him.  I was definitely scarred.

The summer between sixth and seventh grade was seriously dramatic as far as my behavior was concerned.  We moved from elementary school to junior high, and it was like someone hit me over the head with a wand, because I was completely different from that point on.  I absolutely preferred fading into the background over having anyone look at me, and never once visited the 
Principal after sixth grade.

Want to know something funny?  The Principal that I visited so often in elementary school is my son's friend's grandfather.  I see him a lot at soccer games and things and he is really nice and friendly.  Not the least bit scary, like I remembered him as a kid.  It's never been discussed, but I'm sure he remembers me as that naughty kid.  That's so embarrassing.

Any getting sent to the principal's office stories you wanna share?


  1. What inspired this trip down elementary school memory lane? I had a pretty discipline free go at it other than the year about five of us got daily detention over recess and lunch for playing tackle soccer. Each of us were sequestered to different rooms that were downstairs from the principals office. I somehow got stuck in a sorta large supply closet while my buddies were in a conference room, band room and some other meeting room. We all just snuck in to visit each other. I actually remember it being fun.

  2. My husband is a principal so i actually "enjoy" going to his office