Today, in French class, my friend Ariel* and I were sent to the hall for trying to help the environment.
It was a boring Monday morning, and most of the class was sitting with their heads on books, or else texting on their cellphones under their desks. I myself, being done with my official class work, was alternating between writing a chapter for my novel and doodling. The teacher, seeing our idleness, immediately jumped in with a sharp "stop doodling Ava," pronouncing my name wrong as usual. As I was writing at the time, not doodling, I responded with "I'm not doodling right now, I'm writing a chapter for my novel, the one where Lion gets his eyes burned out." She glared slightly, but let it go.
"Alright, everyone, when I call your name, you come up to the front of the class and get your tests back," Mme P. said, beginning to call names. I won't say what marks anyone got, but I will tell you that neither me nor Ariel failed, at least.
When everyone had received their tests, Mme P. informed us that our grades were extremely disappointing. After several minutes of telling us why, she proceeded to test corrections.
We, the class, took turns writing the correct answers on the board, then, Mme P. told us to write the answers out on a separate sheet of paper, copy down the corrections for the things we'd gotten wrong three times, staple the paper to our tests, and put them in our binders, ready to be marked for neatness out of ten. (I'll rant about Binder Checks another time.)
Everyone groaned at the workload, but complied; that was when Ariel chimed in with a suggestion.
"Why don't we write on the back of our tests to save paper?" She questioned. The idea hit a note with me, so I decided to voice my opinion to the room at large.
"Hey, yeah! That's a great idea!"
Both Ariel and I got straight to work, writing on the back of our papers; Mme P. was quick to correct us.
"I didn't say to write on the back of your tests, I said to write on a separate sheet of paper!"
"But that's bad for the environment!" This, from Ariel.
"Yeah! We should be saving paper! Every bit helps!" I added.
"This isn't about saving paper; this is my classroom, and you have to follow my rules," Mme P. retorted, obviously annoyed, "Now copy your work down again on a separate sheet of paper."
I don't want to hear it Ava," Was the incorrectly pronounced response.
"And what about the poor paper clip?" Was Alice's take on things, a voice piping in from the other side of the room. The whole class smirked about the paper clip comment, including Ariel and myself.
"That's it, why don't you and Ariel go to the hall?" Said Mme P., losing her temper.
I complied, as did Ariel, and not without a small feeling of pride. I made a 'rock-on' sign for to my friend Connor, and rolled my eyes, luckily not in Mme P.'s line of sight.
In the hall, me and Ariel waited. I was bored, so I went to my locker--conveniently situated directly beside the classroom--and dug out my intermediate Royal Conservatory piano theory book. Just as I was closing my locker, Mme P. entered the hall and spared a few seconds to tell me off for going to my locker. That aside, she proceeded to attack the values and beliefs of both Ariel and I for at least 4 solid minutes. Every time we tried to explain our reasoning, she interrupted us, saying that she didn't want to hear it, and telling us not to talk back. In the end, she told me to stay after class on account of my protests against the ethics of binder checks (I said I'll tell you another time, didn't I?), and we were sent back to class to finish the corrections.
Ariel told me she hadn't felt so angry in a long time, and my hand shook slightly as I wrote on the half piece of paper that Ariel and I had torn and shared as a compromise.
As you may have gathered from reading this post thus far, the whole incident was idiotic. Ariel and I wanted to save paper, Mme P. felt that we were being rude, and we were punished. Why? Ariel made a good suggestion; in an ideal world, shouldn't she have been rewarded, not punished for her initiative? What was so wrong with a simple suggestion; with upholding ones ethical beliefs? It was a small thing; a few pieces of lined paper, but isn't even something that small worth saving if it is at all possible to save? In this time of global warming, depleting natural resources, and impending disaster, we should all be doing whatever we can to protect the environment...right?
Well, no matter who's right, I still feel angry; I don't see how what Ariel and I believe is wrong, and I'm not going to back down just because one backwards teacher tells me to.
If I come home late, it's because I'm in detention.
-Eva, not Ava