Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Bad Seeds!

When I was in Junior High School in the mid-80's something happened to my class. We turned bad.

I don't know how or when exactly it happened but we were just an unruly crowd. It might have had something to do with all the shaker-knit sweaters and leather ties we were wearing. Maybe there were some subliminal messages in the Wham songs we were listening to that was compelling us to fight the power. Either way we turned rotten in a big way.

The first instance that stands out in my mind was a field trip our class took in the eighth grade.

It was a standard trip to Winnipeg that got out of hand. As far as I can remember everything was going just fine for the majority of the day. Things didn't start to go bad until the trip back to Brandon.

I can remember people shouting profanities out the windows of the bus at anyone within ear shot, I also remember people throwing things out of the windows, and the piece de resistance was when we'd pull up to a truck at a stop light and all of the guys on that side of the bus pretended to be masturbating. One guy actually did it back to us. We almost died from the hilarity!

By the time we left the Winnipeg city limits we were in a frenzy of pubescent idiocy. Randomly yelling "FUCK". Throwing stuff. Fighting. I saw this one girl let two guys feel her up (and it wasn't her chest they were feeling)! AT THE SAME TIME!! I thought I was going to a play in Winnipeg and I ended up watching a live sex act. This was the greatest field trip the world had ever known. My 13 year old mind was reeling. Boy was I going to have a story to tell to my best friend when I got home!

Then just east of Portage-la-Prairie the bus driver pulled over at an Esso station and declared that he was quitting his job and that nothing was going to convince him to drive us the rest of the way home. He went in to the gas station to phone in his resignation and all of us students jumped off the bus. The next thing I new everyone was smoking cigarettes. That must have been a real site for people driving by on the highway. 50 kids and a handful of adults standing around a school bus smoking darts.

Somehow the bus driver's supervisor convinced him to get back on the bus and drive us back to Brandon. If he thought his little episode was going to calm us down he was way off base. Knowing how close this guy was to going over the edge only added fuel to our fire. We were animals the rest of the way back.

We eventually did arrive safe and sound with many memorable experiences behind us. We were a good two hours later than expected but we did arrive. Strangely, the parent didn't even seem upset about this unexpected delay, even though nobody informed them that we were running late.

That was the last time our class ever went anywhere. In fact there were no field trips for any of the classes for a few years after that.

The next year our class became even crazier.

We had a new teacher in Grade 9. Mr. Roy. He was a first year teacher so he didn't really know what he was getting into. At first he tried to be 'fun' and 'cool'. That was great for us because we loved fun. However at some point he realized that he had lost all control over us and tried to change into a hard ass. Well for us there is no going back. We had absolutely no respect for this guy and didn't have any plan to gain any.

We pulled stunts on Mr. Roy constantly. Here is a list of some of the things we did:
  • One day we stapled everything he had on his desk to his desk
  • We closed the outside window on the handle of his briefcase. This was great because he could plainly see his briefcase outside but as soon as he tried to opened the window it would fall one storey to the ground below.
  • We put things on his chair all the time. Hot dogs were a particular favorite.
  • We locked the gym doors and barricaded the gymnasium doors that didn't have locks with all the gymnastics equipment so he couldn't get in. We heard him knocking and yelling but we all ignored it. When he looked in the window it must have looked like Lord of the Flies in there. We had all the equipment out! People were playing basketball and volleyball and floor hockey all at the same time. Meanwhile others were swinging on a 3o foot arc by the stage curtains. Eventually he had to get the principal had to come and unlock the doors.
  • Spontaneous games of cross-room catch with textbooks in the middle of a class.
  • Random seizures.
  • Once when the back window to the hallway was broken all of the class snuck out except for one fat kid who couldn't fit through the hole.
  • Class skips were very popular. It was like a game of hide-and-seek. We hide. Teacher seeks.
  • In-class ball tag.
  • Rounds of humming.
  • Once we picked up his car and turned it sideways so it was boxed in by the cars on either side.
  • I remember taking a math test one day. I got my test, put my name on it, traced an outline of my hand on the first page and handed it back for marking.
If nothing else we were a creative bunch.

Eventually the school administration decided that something had to be done. They instituted a system where they recorded each time you were bad. If you got marked down a certain number of times you would get a 3 day suspension.

This probably seemed like a good idea at the time, however 2 weeks later 6 or 7 kids had been suspended (including the student council President and Vice-President) and more than a dozen kids were headed for a suspension in the very near future.

Finally the parents had had enough of the situation. They weren't happy that none of us were learning anything at school. I spent a month of Math classes doing my work in the library rather than in the classroom with Mr. Roy, at my Mom's insistence. They basically told the administration that Mr. Roy had to go.

Poor Mr. Roy spent the rest of the year marking tests and stuff in the library. We all managed to pass the ninth grade. I did it with straight D's. What we all missed in education we made up for in good times.

The next year we all moved on to our respective high schools and I assume we all got back on track with our learning.

That was the best year I ever had at school.

1 comment:

Kris said...

That briefcase trick is fucking classic. That made me laugh really hard because it was just the type of asshole stunt I would have pulled in High School. Great Post!