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Detention Retention

, | Learning | September 13, 2017

(I am in seventh grade. I really like reading books, and I read whenever possible. One day my math class has a substitute teacher.)

Substitute: “I am going to hand out a worksheet. You must finish it before the end of class.”

(The worksheets do not take long and the substitute has no other tasks for us. When I finish, I read my book, but my classmates talk and eventually became very noisy and out of control.)

Substitute: “Everyone be quiet! Go back to your seats! This is unacceptable. I will be telling [Math Teacher] about this!”

(A lot of students complain as they sit down. I really do not expect to be heard among so many voices.)

Me: “But I wasn’t talking.”

Substitute: “What’s your name?”

(I am embarrassed, but I tell her and she writes it down. She has obviously seen me reading. The next day, our usual math teacher is back.)

Math Teacher: “I was very disappointed with what I heard from [Substitute]. You will all have lunch detention for the rest of the week! Except [My Name].”

(Lunch detention means sitting in a classroom during lunch and not being allowed to talk. It does not affect our record. Since all of my friends are in my math class, I sit alone at lunch for the next few days. From my perspective, not being “punished” with detention means that I read silently in a noisy cafeteria instead of in a quiet, peaceful classroom. I am very uncomfortable with being the only one spared from my math teacher’s anger. A few weeks later, my English class gets out of control.)

English Teacher: “This is the third time I have had to tell you to lower your voices! You will all get lunch detention except [My Name]. [My Name], thank you for listening to instructions.”

(I am horrified. I have, of course, been reading my book quietly, but most of my friends are also in my English class, and I do not want a repeat of the previous experience.)

Me: “Wait, no. I was talking too. I should get lunch detention.”

English Teacher: “…are you sure?”

Me: “Yes!”

(It was the only detention I ever had and, although I knew I shouldn’t, I enjoyed it.)

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