Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kindergarten Lock Up

NOTE: For this week's RemembeRED prompt, we are supposed to remember kindergarten. Knowing what I know now, I can say that kindergarten behavior is really not that different from teenager behavior on most days.

Sitting in a corner of the Kindergarten classroom, I looked out at my peers.

They were having their morning snack at their desks, talking quietly with each other.

I was not. I was in trouble. Children who were in trouble did NOT get snacks while they sat in the corner.

Mentally I was stomping my feet. I remember standing with my fists clenched. I was angry at my peers because they got to have their snack, a delicious handful of animal crackers. How dare they? They all KNEW that I loved animal crackers/m&ms/cookies/etc.! I wanted to run screaming to each group of desks throughout the room and fling my arms over them, sweeping all of the animal crackers onto the floor and then trompling them into the merest crumbs so that no one got to enjoy them. I sniffled a bit at that thought.

I was even more angry at my teacher. After all, it was HER fault I ended up in the corner, not having snack. She gave me the instrument of my destruction, although she did not force me to act.

The human brain installs the "Scan for Reasonableness" device necessary for proper decision making. This "Scan for Reasonableness" button, when applied, tells the person asking if what they are doing is 'reasonable' or not, and allows the person to make better decisions.

We were supposed to cut out pictures or something; the actual assignment may never be known. I did not have the "Scan for Reasonableness" part of me available at this time, so when I was given a pair of kid scissors that morning, I did what any normal five year old would do. I cut a lock of my hair. Just a lock that was about an inch wide. Just enough to get my teacher's attention, apparently.

Mrs. Pasternaki yelled like there was a rat or two in her hair. Then I was unceremoniously grabbed by the arm and pulled toward the inevitable: The corner.

I can still remember the anger at being punished. I was white with indignation. Why was I being punished, I thought? I was the one who made the decision. I did not hurt anyone, not even my self, when I cut my hair. What was the big deal? I could certainly understand if someone had cut off a lock of someone's hair and had botched it up. But that wasn't what had happened. So why was I being punished? I couldn't get any sort of an answer from my teacher, except that I should GO SIT Down."

My teacher had informed me when she sat me in the chair that I could stay until I had a better attitude, and I was determined. So that is where I stayed. I showed them! I never did apologize. I think that I even took a short nap.


  1. What a funny memory, sounds like you were a handful. Great job with the prompt. My only concrit would be that you have a few areas where the tenses do not agree. Really good though!

  2. Oh dear, what a memory! Not sure that really deserved a "sit in the corner" punishment though. Oh well, you showed her by taking a nap. Cute write.

  3. We have recently had our first haircutting incident. I knew it would be that one of my daughters. So glad she cut it on the side where her damage blended in. We talk a lot about better attitudes around here....ahhhh!

  4. This was such a strong memory!

    I was especially drawn into your reflection at the end. So authentic and transparent. And the stubborn ending? I can so, so relate to that!

    I loved this part: "Mrs. Pasternaki yelled like there was a rat or two in her hair. Then I was unceremoniously grabbed by the arm and pulled toward the inevitable: The corner." The dry humor shines through and its perfect!


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