Tuesday, July 28, 2009

every little thing is gonna be alright

i can't tell if this entry is going to embarrass me or make me laugh. probably both.

so let me tell you a little story. not surprisingly i was kind of a rebellious teenager. rebellious and passionate, though still really loving and all that though. i mean it has never crossed my mind to intentionally hurt someone in some epic way, so all of the acting out i felt was rather victimless. (though of course it naturally hurt my parents, but who thinks of that when they are an immature teen?) for whatever reason a particular english teacher and i did not get along. to the point that i feel there was some evidence of him actively trying to prevent me from getting an A in the class. one day this english teacher was out and we had a sub. said english teacher left a note on his desk for the sub saying that his notes for the class were on the lectern. apparently this sub didn't know what a lectern was and thus, we didn't have class that day. when english teacher man comes back the next day and asks what we discussed and that no class had commenced because of the "missing notes". he was furious and said something to the effect that the man was an idiot and unworthy to teach because he didn't know what a simple lectern was. i remember it really bothering me that he was talking so viciously about someone so i raised my hand and asked why, if he left a note on his desk in the first place, didn't he just include the curriculum notes and skip the potential drama of the lectern? THE MAN WENT OFF ON ME. i can only speculate about his motivations but im putting my money on our past history of tension (though honestly i don't remember any other incident that pre-dated this one, just feelings of unease) coupled with his strong distaste for people challenging authority. which, hi you were bound to get from me. what i remember of the fight was that i knocked over all of my books in anger, he told me i was "raised wrong" for being so abrasive to authority, at which point my vocal pitch and intensity rose quite a bit higher and i ran out in tears to talk to the principal. well, in reality i wanted to talk to the vice principal, who was one of the most amazing teacher figures i ever had.

the result was a heated parent-teacher conference (did he really think a person like me would have parents who would roll over and die in the face of a very public scathing criticism of their parenting? oh dear man you are he-larious). the other thing that happened was i sat down and angrily typed up a "manifesto" or sorts criticizing the way schools conduct business - or at least how my teenage brain perceived it. i then broke into the copy room and made 100 copies, which i put around the school including one in every teachers mailbox - um i also had to navigate a way into the teachers lounge which i can't remember how i did that. broke in? i felt wholly justified in these actions, as only a passionate teenager could.

i found a copy of this (hilarious!) manifesto when i was at my parents house last week. this is almost embarassing. just know i was 16, angry, and was reading a lot of chomsky and was involved in a few political groups. oh how i just want to pat my 16 yr old self on the head and reassure her that everything is going to be okay.

manifesto i wrote at 16

that little snafu directly contributed to being elected "teacher torment" of my senior class. (see top right corner) brandon was my best friend and the person we are supposedly tormenting was the nicest teacher ever - the one i consulted with in tears after the english class incident



JVH said...

wow. you were a great writer even at 16.
Even through your ager over your english teacher, this was your backlash...wow.. impressive. no way could i have written something that could of sounded like this. what were your parents reaction to this manifesto? haha

jenny mae. said...

i dont think they even knew i wrote it until i found it a few days ago! even if they had read it back then - they knew me well enough that it wouldnt have been a big surprise to hear those things coming from me.

Anonymous said...

The teacher and I went around and around-he even denied having any knowledge as to why I was there to speak to him about what happened...it's a very, very defining memory as to how demeaning people can be and our family has never forgotten it, or been the same since. Mom

Momma Bear said...

Jenny you crack me up. We would have been friends in high school.

Carly said...

That manifesto wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting! But then you said "pipe bomb" and I lol'ed.

Anonymous said...

oh my GAWD I wish I had been more like you in high school!!! That is a great story. Makes me excited to have rebellious teenagers in a few years or so. :)

Natalie Nichols said...

Why didn't I see this around school?

Bravo, 16 yr. old, Jenny. Bravo. ;)

Alia said...

OMG--I would have so totally been your lackey, following you like a puppy and hoping you really liked me or at least had a moderate respect for my intelligence.