Writing Prompts:1.) A bad habit you’d like to break.
2.) “Currently”. A simple list of things you’re currently feeling as seen at Sometimes Sweet.
3.) Write about an argument you once had with a parent when you were a child.
4.) List 10 things you are afraid of.
5.) Write a limerick!
I'm so excited to write about number 3! I had a logical argument, where I served up the grown-ups behinds on silver platters with my infallible logic. I'm pretty sure they all hated me after that.
When I was in sixth grade, which was still elementary school, we had "Quiet Time" during lunch. If you aren't familiar, it is the last 5 minutes or so at the end of lunch where students are required to sit with their heads down to make the transition back into the classroom easier. As an adult, I am opposed to this. Kids are required to sit quietly for 7 hours of the day, let them at least have their whole 35 minute lunch.
In the corner of the lunch room, they had the rules and consequences listed. The consequences were as follows: 1st time you break a rule, you get a warning, the 2nd time you get a pink slip and after 3 pink slips, you go to the Principal's office.
One particularly rowdy day, everyone was carrying on and the lunch monitors were having trouble getting everyone to stop talking. Then the cafeteria lady came out to yell. She always annoyed me, because she tried to take over crowd control when she should have been in the kitchen making us a sandwich or maybe some peanut butter bon-bons. Know your role, hag.
Fed up with the chaos, one of the monitors stood up and said, "Fine! Everyone can write 500 times, "I will not talk during quiet time!" Apparently, she smoked crack, because ummm... no I'm not.
Well, my 12 year old self was LIVID when I got back to class and I informed the other girls that we did not get our warning, or our pink slips or our visit to the Principal's office. The consequences said nothing about writing a sentence 500 times. Which is totally pointless, make me write my spelling words 500 times or a chapter out of my history book. 2 birds, 1 stone. My teacher was lit when he heard me telling the other girls this and he tried to squash my mini-revolution. He did this by telling me that I was a spoiled brat. Which I'm pretty sure is a no-no, but I didn't see the principal making him write 500 times that "I will not call my students a spoiled brat." Apparently word traveled of my refusal and the punishment imposing cafeteria monitor came and got me out of class and I told her that, no, I would not be writing them, because I did not receive a warning or a pink slip and those were the pre-established punishments (I probably didn't say pre-established at the time, but it sounds better than, "That's not what the sign says!") They said I was doing it, I said I wasn't.
I went home. I told my mom. My mom told the school and backed my argument. She called my friends' moms. A few of them called the school. A few of them didn't bother and let their kids do it anyways. The principal agreed that we didn't need to do it and we were all issued a warning.
My husband argues with me that this was wrong and it was wrong of my mom to support me. We were acting up and a warning or pink slip probably wouldn't have done anything and making us write was an appropriate impromptu punishment and my mom should have just made me write and maybe he's right. Except, think about the negative consequences of that. I felt so strongly that we had been wronged. Maybe it was a flaw in their punishment system or with the whole quiet time thing in general, BUT I still felt strongly about it. What happens if I feel that strongly about being mistreated and my mom just dismisses it and tells me to do it anyways. What do I learn from that? What I did learn was that if I have a valid argument, with supporting facts, it doesn't matter who you're going against, you have a shot for a change!