Monthly Archives: March 2010

Detention : the rest of the story

Ben’s detention was for lying to a teacher, but he claims he was innocent of the offense. After all, the teacher insisted he had a lizard in his jacket pocket, but according to Ben, it was in his backpack. This is not a child who plays with semantics but rather one who sees the world in black and white, and there was not a lizard in his jacket pocket.

An example of his black and white world? “It’s not fair! They said I can’t have any animals at school, but Alannie has a hamster!” The fact that Alannie’s hamster is safely ensconced in a cage is irrelevant in his mind.

Ben had to leave the classroom to go to speech and he figured his newfound friend would be safer inside the small pocket of his backpack. When he went to leave, however, he feared it would not have enough air so he unzipped the pocket. “Just a little bit” he signed to me, but then gestured a few inches between his thumb and forefinger. Needless to say, a few inches was more than adequate for the lizard to make his escape.

When he returned from speech and found the lizard gone, in his mind he wasn’t lying. He had no lizard. The classroom did. Too bad this didn’t happen during science. I think a lizard in the science classroom would have been a nice contribution.

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Detention can be funny…sometimes

Ben got detention today…again. Last week it was for not staying on task and completing his classroom work during Language Arts, but school was canceled the day he was supposed to “serve his time” due to a gunman holed up in an apartment near his school. Ben was pretty happy that the school seemed to have forgotten that he had not yet paid penance, so when Jeff called to inform me that the school had called about detention, I figured they had caught up with him. I was puzzled, however, why Jeff was laughing.

You have to understand that this school secretary takes her job quite seriously. She called me about the first detention, and the tone relayed through the interpreter resembled Nurse Ratched. Jeff said that the message today was relayed “without mirth”. I do hope the interpreter did his job well and relayed back Jeff’s chuckles as he was informed that Ben was receiving detention for “repeatedly denying that he had a live lizard in his jacket pocket until it was no longer deniable.” Excuse me for cracking up as well, but hey, that is just plain funny. “Until it was no longer deniable?” Is that governmentspeak for “the lizard stuck his head out to say hello “?

She next informed Jeff that “students are not allowed to bring live animals onto the campus.” Now just where does she think he obtained the lizard? At the pet store at 6:30 a.m. before he got on the bus for school? Did the thought cross her mind that he probably caught the lizard there? Or are only deaf and/or blind lizards allowed to habitate their campus? You’ve heard of CODA’s? Children of Deaf Adults? Perhaps this lizard was a LODP: Lizard of Deaf Parents, who was trying to gain some experience in Deaf culture only to be denied the enlightenment of following the action in a classroom for the Deaf. Sounds like discrimination to me.

Regardless, Ben has to serve an hour tomorrow after school. Odds of another gunman showing up on that end of town at 3 a.m. are slim…unless this lizard’s parents are upset and are packing heat. Film at 11.
photograph courtesy Philip Greenspun

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