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Oct 02

I’m So Bored

I have a few spare minutes, so let me recount a fairly mundane memory for a fairly mundane day, which came back to me after I discovered an old namecard, a remnant from highschool.

In Year 9, we had this crazy teacher (who I’ll refer to as Dougie) for commerce who employed somewhat peculiar means to maintain discipline within the class. He created this system of responsibilities. If we failed to comply with any of these responsibilities, he’d apply some sort of remedial action. This “remedial action” escalated in severity each time a responsibility was broken by a person. The list of responsibilities numbered five, and we had them all written down on this name card we had to display on our desk.

1. Do not speak while the teacher or someone else is speaking.
2. Do not get out of your seat without teacher’s permission.
3. Do not distract others.
4. Raise your hand. Do not call out.
5. Do your work.

So you’d be enjoying a nice little chat with the friend next to you and suddenly a voice would sound out from across the room.

“Yes sir?”
“Please tell me responsibility number 1.”
“(Groan) Do not speak while the teacher or someone else is speaking.”
“And what is my responsibility to you?”

This final question refered to the list of remedial actions which were, in order of severity:

1. One warning.
2. You will be moved.
3. You will see me after class.
4. You will see me at lunch.
5. You will be excluded from the class.

I quote the above verbatim, as I wrote on my namecard seven years ago. Anyway this system operated throughout the entire year and as a result, sparked some retaliatory antics from us in response to the bizarrity of the “responsibility system”. Ways would be found to bend the responsibilities – such as number 2, which had everyone sliding their chairs around the room in order to move about. It was even better because we had commerce classes in a biology lab, so there were a lot of props we made use of, like sitting the model skeleton in the teacher’s chair before Dougie arrived, whipping the gas taps on and loudly exclaiming, “Aww who farted?!” and so on. Anyway one day, near the end of the year, we were lining up at the teacher’s desk to collect exams back or something like that. Someone had nicked one of the whiteboard markers and wrote a large word onto the metal front of the teacher’s desk saying, “IDIOT”, or something similar, and an arrow pointing to Dougie. Anyway, as we all took our tests back and sat down, we started cracking up one by one. By the time everyone had sat down, we were all sniggering. It took him the rest of class to figure out what was going on. When he eventually managed to suss out the source of his public humiliation, he was not a happy chappy. The Routine began again, but it was a little different this time:

“Yes sir?”
“What is responsibility number six?”
“Uh… six? There is no six?”
“Yes there is.”
“Uh… umm…”
“It is: Do not be a moron. Now get out.”
“But your responsibility to me is a warning…”

Meanwhile, the rest of the class is in an uproar of laughter and Dougie is vainly handing out warnings and moving people left, right and centre in an effort to get us to shut up… And that was the end of that unproductive class for the day. Ok that was just a memory from a while ago. I didn’t say it was interesting.