Tuesday, May 24, 2016

After School Detention

Take a good look at this photo of me back in eighth grade.  I'm pretty sure it was my first Facebook profile pic, and I had to have my mom take it of me because selfies weren't a thing yet.

Does that look like the face of a trouble maker?  A trickster?  A punk?  No!  It looks like a half Japanese Mormon girl who didn't even drink caffeine.  She wasn't a total kiss-up (she talked too much for that), but the teachers (I assume) liked her well enough.

Wait, when did I start referring to myself in third person?

So like I said, I was a pretty good kid and didn't get detentions.  I mean, sometimes I had lunch detentions when you stay an extra five minutes in class before going to lunch because of forgotten homework or something like that, but not because I was BAD.

That is, until eighth grade.  I just read Eugene O'Neill's The Hairy Ape today for an English class, so I thought I'd tell you through the "theatre" lens.  #theatrebecauseartsy



Mrs. Jansen
Orchestra kids


Cafeteria stage

Scene One
You enter in the middle of the eighth grade orchestra class.  The students are seated in formation on the cafeteria stage hacking away at their stringed instruments.  Mrs. Jansen, the director, is obviously frazzled because the majority of her students cannot keep a beat and/or are tone deaf.  She is working with the cello section and although they are not as hopeless as the violas and bases, she doesn't hold much hope for them.  That is, except for Kristen: She was the one cellist who actually had a musical background and although Mrs. Jansen wouldn't admit to it, she often gave Kristen preferable treatment.  The horrible screeching continues.

Mrs. Jansen: Ok let's try that section one more time at measure 23...Yes, 23...Where we started last time...After your ten measure rest!...Will someone please show Mike where measure 23 is??! (The cello section plays from measure 23 and Mrs. Jansen gives a defeated sigh and moves on to the second violin section; she typically has to work with them more than the talented first violin section.)

Nolan: (Turns around with a mischievous grin and whispers to the cello section) Hey guys--you want gum?  (Wanting to prove their rebellious natures, despite the fact that they are upper middle class students living in the suburbs of the midwest, a few of the students eagerly take the gum.  Kristen does as well.)

Mrs. Jansen: (Already thinking about the Starbucks she will be getting in the next hour, she calls the whole orchestra back together.) Alright everyone, let's all play from measure 23...Yes the same 23 we've been playing from this entire time. (The students play and start chewing their gum conspicuously after getting absorbed in the music.) Are you all chewing gum?? Go spit it out right now.  If I catch any of you chewing gum from now on that's an automatic after-school detention! (Many students make the walk of shame to the trash can to spit out their gum, but Nolan and Kristen don't budge.  They exchange impish grins.) Nolan! Are you chewing gum?!

Nolan: Yes.

Mrs. Jansen: (A bit worked up, but satisfied because she doesn't really like Nolan) That's an after-school detention for you!!  I was serious! If I catch any one else with gum, you're getting detention!

Minutes pass and the orchestra still sounds pretty lousy.  Kristen gets bored and starts chewing her gum mindlessly.

Mrs. Jansen: (Speaking in an almost unbelieving, regretful tone) Kristen, are you chewing gum??

Kristen: (Softly, yet somewhat defiantly) Yes.

Mrs. Jansen: (Her eyes glistening with unshed tears of disappointment) Well, I'm gonna have to give you a detention...

Kristen:  Ok.

The End

Ok, so that was really fun.  Maybe I should become a playwright when I grow up.  I'd be just as poor as being a teacher, so what's to lose? Anyway, that was the first time I got an after-school detention.  Nolan and I had to stack chairs in the choir room while Mrs. Jansen stood in the doorway eating popcorn.  And that's about it.

How's that for edgy and rebellious??  The funny thing is, I got another after-school detention in high school for being late to Honors Chemistry.  The principals (we had like five--don't ask) had this thing called Hall Sweeps where they'd pick a section of the school and have all the teachers close and lock their doors right when the tardy bell rang.  That day we were having a lab, so I had to go to my locker to grab my goggles.  And then I was late and got a detention.  I was obviously really acting up with those goggles of mine.

So there ya go.  Judge me if you will.  I am not ashamed!!

1 comment:

  1. Kristen,
    This was hilarious! What a rebel you were. From one writer to another, keep working on the playwright business!