What thing that you learned in high school are you most grateful for?
How not to be an asshole.
I was called an asshole once, by a teacher. Why? Because jean-jacket Ron and I were kids who thought in a vacuum and stole a box of fundraiser candy left behind by someone in the previous class. We decided it was a gift to us, from the universe.
We ate the candy, split the money, and who knows what. More because we could, not because we needed to. Never thought we’d get caught, but duh, all the girl had to do was come back to class and say “I forgot my candy” and it was already gone. It didn’t take long for old Mr. Preston to finger us. He pulled us out into the hallway and told us that we were assholes. I don’t remember much more about that incident. The significant memory that persists as my biggest learning experience is that I let down Mr. Preston: not the punishment of paying back, or detention if I got it, or if my mom was disappointed in me.
I hated all teachers, but he made Ancient Civ pretty interesting. If I could’ve admitted to liking anything at school, I would have liked his class. I didn’t want to prevent some girl from going on a band trip because I stole her candy either, but I really didn’t want Mr. Preston thinking I was an asshole.
I’m sure by today’s standards, a teacher would get reprimanded for calling a student any name. A teacher would probably be coached into not judging us, and just getting us to apologize and do the right thing. I think this is unfortunate. Being a huge disappointment and told exactly what I was acting like turned out to be the most impressionable moment I had high school.
Thank you, Mr. Preston.