I was a joy as a student in 8th grade. I'm sure of this. I'm sure Mr. Carrol (Carroll? Caroll? Carol? Whatever.) thought I was his best students ever! Of course, he was a coach, so I wasn't too concerned with what he thought. That's how I rolled in grade 8, peeps.
It was in his Social Studies class, however that I had to take a geography test in which you identified (and spelled correctly) major U.S. cities. I can't remember how many there were. I just knew if I needed one, I could find one on a map (or, as it turns out, go to mapquest), so I did not feel this was information that needed to be taking up space in my head.
Everyone who did poorly had to write the cities they missed twenty-five times each.
This, of course, meant war.
So I wrote them out, and then cut the cities up so that I had a lot of little slips of paper with a city name written on it once. I'm pretty sure there were close to 1000 little strips of paper.
Mr. C. took me to the office to see Mr. Ray. In a wonderful Malaprop moment, Mr. Ray responded to my claims that I did the assignment as instructed (I just went above and beyond the call, right?) by saying, "The assignment was to write the cities twenty-five times each, not make graffiti."
After a pause, Mr. C. quietly said, "Confetti."
What 8th grade kid wouldn't love that moment, right? However, I had the sense not to crack up laughing. I have no idea who I borrowed it from and if I returned it promptly.
I was put into the conference room with the slips of paper and some tape, and told I would have it all taped back together by the next day, or I'd get a paddling. It was toward the end of the day anyway, so I taped some up, then took the paper bag containing my "graffiti" on the bus with me at the end of the day.
This kid who was two years older than me grabbed the bag and said, "What would you do if I threw this out the window?"
I shrugged and said, "Nothing."
Out the window it went.
Turns out, being bullied by an older kid who--despite my pleas to not throw my precious project out the window--threw my beloved project out the window anyway does not equate to any sort of sympathy in this situation (actually, I didn't even play it off that way... I just said, "This older kid threw it out the window.").
And so I got the paddle.
I remember it hurt right then, but by the time I got back to class, it was fine.
The important part was: I didn't have to tape up those stupid little slips!