Friday, May 29, 2015

Sent to the Principal’s Office

I suppose I was supposed to do this yesterday, at least according to Mama Kat’s directions. I’m a day late. Sue me.

Mama Kat comes up with prompts every week on Wednesday, and invites her readers (e.g. me) to choose a prompt, write about it, post it their blog, and add the link to her Linky. Anyway, this week she has six prompts, including this one…

Tell us about a time you were sent to the Principal’s office.

I was a good kid, and never got sent to the Principal’s office (believe it or not). Kept after school, yes. Grabbed by the cheek by the Principal and made to bleed because I was horsing around during Confirmation rehearsal, yes. But never actually sent to the Principal’s ofice.

Instead, I was summoned to the Principal’s office.

We were in class one afternoon, and the intercom switched on.

“Mother Juanita?” the Principal said.

“Yes, Reverend Mother?”

“Would you please send John Holton to the office, please?”

Immediately every eye in the third grade was on me. “Yes, Reverend Mother,” my teacher answered, caught my eye, and thumbed me toward the door. I sat in the back, so I had to pass every kid in the room on my way out.

Our school had two buildings, an older and a newer one. We were in the newer one, the office was in the older one. They were connected by a bridge, so I had a short hike to the office. There was a statue of Our Lady of Fatima standing in the middle of the bridge, and I stopped to say a prayer. The look on Mary’s face told me, oh, you poor bastard, you’re in for it now.

Anyway, I get to the office, and Reverend Mother was standing there. “Oh, there you are,” she said. She handed me an envelope. “This is for your mother.”

She had called me to the office to give me something to give Mom.

Understand, she could have bought the envelope herself; she toured the school twice a day, in the morning and the afternoon, she could have stopped by our classroom and given it to Mother Juanita to give to me. Or, for that matter, she and the other nuns went back to the convent for lunch, she could have given it to her then. Or she could have brought it the next day; it wasn’t as though it was anything critical, like a new heart or anything. Just something she thought Mom would like to read, as it turned out.

So, I go back to my classroom and tuck the envelope into my folder to bring home. Everyone is looking at me again, until Mother Juanita told everyone to face forward.

When I left school that day, everyone wanted to know why Reverend Mother called me to the office. And I mean everyone. Seems her request for my presence was broadcast to the entire school, as she was relatively new and didn’t know how to use the intercom to call to just one room. So everyone heard me being called to the office, and I had to tell everyone that it was just to get an envelope for my mother. Who, I prayed, would send me to Kilmer, the public school in the neighborhood, from then on…




from The Sound of One Hand Typing

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