I’ll admit I’ve never been great with time management. For six consecutive years my dad gave me a watch for my birthday, hoping I would learn to better manage my time.
What he kept forgetting is that I’m also incredibly disorganized, so I was not only still consistently late, but also consistently losing watches.
It wasn’t until high school that my untimeliness finally caught up with me, first period tardies. After three tardies, a student is forced to endure the terrors that await in detention. My late-ness has produced two detentions; however, there should really have been more. Spending quality time with the cockroaches in the basement of WGHS has really showed me the wrong of my ways. I emerged from detention a new woman, not really.
John Hughes’ movies made me think detention would be this great rebellious act that would produce new relationships that tested societal norms. I, a cross country runner, despite our differences, could befriend a crazed pyromaniac. Detention could potentially change the whole dynamic of the high school social system. I was curious and needed to experience detention for myself.
If I was going to get a detention, I wanted to do something that would be the talk of the town. I could have lured a horse into the principal’s office or organized for a mariachi band to play during lunch; however, my detention story is anything but the talk of the town. The one thing that I’m exceptionally good at, being late, earned me my first detention.
April 4, 2018 at 11:30, I checked in with my assistant principal’s secretary to make sure we were still on for after school. She said, “yes” and that normally students don’t check on their “reservation” or refer to detention as their “reservation.”
The day drags on, but finally 2:35 p.m. approaches and I’m scurrying from Martin Milstead’s, classroom to my basement appointment. When I arrive at 2:37 p.m., the room is empty, and I wonder, how I am supposed to begin to reform in an empty room? Can my reforming begin without someone telling me I “don’t know their story” and having spitballs spat on the back of my head? At 2:46 p.m., my thoughts are dismissed when I’m joined by more students and the designated adult.
No one says a word to one another. There is no list of rules that are announced. To my left a boy is watching a movie on his phone and directly in front of me a girl is typing away on a computer. I waited to see if the adult would address the obvious mistakes of my peers, but he did not. That is when I realized that detention is just an hour of free time, that just happens to be spent at school. I was disappointed, but still hopeful.
Looking around, I pulled out my copy of “The Great Gatsby” and began reading about Jay Gatsby’s infatuation with the incredibly dull and superficial Daisy Buchanan. Occasionally I’d look around, waiting for someone to say, “Wow, look at this nerd actually doing her reading homework.” When that didn’t happen, I realized that there are vast misconceptions about detention.
Detention, at least at WGHS, is merely confinement to a room for an hour (40 minutes) with computers and free range to do anything. Okay, not anything, but I’m pretty if I left the room to go the bathroom and not return, no one would notice or care. After serving my time, I didn’t feel one bit more reformed. I still consistently show up late to school (I promise I am trying to become better with my time management,) and I’m sorry to all of my first hour teachers, but detention isn’t that bad.
This will be Evelyn Trampe’s second year on ECHO staff, but she made several contributions while taking journalism class her sophomore year. She is also a member of Quill and Scroll.