Stories for My Grandchildren
"F in Conduct"
It was 1957 and towards the end of my second grade at Main Street School in South Boston, Virginia. Our teacher, Mrs. Smith, had to leave the room for some reason and everyone started talking and somehow the subject of Report Cards came up. I can't remember if I was "dared" or not but I took it upon myself to go open her upper right hand desk drawer where we new the final report cards were. I was probably 1/2 way through reading the report cards aloud to all of the students - who passed, who failed, when the door opened and Mrs. Smith returned. I was literally pinched on the cheek and drug out into the hallway.
Our school was ancient to say the least. My father had went there when he was a boy. The school was a rectangular building, two stories high, with only one hallway on each floor. The ceilings must have been 20 feet tall. The only lighting in the hallways were bare light bulbs probably spaced 30 feet apart. It was very dimly lit. Mrs. Smith drug a desk out into the hall and told me this is where I would sit until school was completely over in a few days.
All was lost, I was lower than low. Nothing else could be worse than this............until I heard the front door of the school open and I heard the repetitive clicking of high heels coming down the hallway. I couldn't see who it was because the hallway was so dimly lit and the bright sunlight coming through the door completely made the person just a blur. I didn't have to see to know who it was as every boy knows the walk of his mother.
It seemed that in my haste to catch the school bus that morning I had forgotten my lunch. I had a book in front of me and as the footsteps drew closer I raised the book in front of me hoping she wouldn't see who it was. The footsteps stopped and she said, "What in the heck are you doing out here?" I tried to answer but between crying and the lump in my throat no words would come out. My mother opened the door and went into the classroom. After a dew minutes I calmed down and was getting my act together as Mom opened the door and breezed right by me without looking at me or saying a word. It was three days before she even spoke to me.
Mrs. Smith awarded me with an "F" in conduct.