|I've been taking part in 'The Challenge' this month, and I'm starting to think I might actually make it to the end. Not bad for a first attempt (of course, you know what they say about pride, right?)
For this challenge, I have to write about a favourite school memory.This is hard. Not because I hated school and it's painful to think about it. Actually, it's the opposite. I loved school. I have so many memories that bring a smile to my face when I think of them. So many. Like, a couple of school plays where I played the lead and (if I do say so myself, brought the house down). Or, maybe, the school prom where I and my friends sneaked alcohol in and got wasted, but had the best night ever. Or, just maybe, I could write about the feeling of getting good exam results.
These are all wonderful memories. But, I think, the one I will write about is a memory referred to as the "Sutherland the Witch Incident". I was in Year 11, so I would have been 15 or 16, and there was a teacher called Mrs. Sutherland. She had a reputation for being a little crazy, and by crazy I mean completely cuckoo! I'd never had many dealings with her, so I liked to give her the benefit of the doubt (I was never one for being told who I should and shouldn't like). One lunch time, I was walking through the foyer with three friends (Nina, Shell, and Mel) and Mrs. Sutherland walked past. Our ears were suddenly assaulted with a roar: "Stop right there!" We looked around, but there was no-one else there. We all froze, not sure what was happening. Sutherland then launched into a tirade against us, yelling at us for calling her a witch. Umm, what?! We had been chatting amongst ourselves, barely even noticed her presence, and suddenly she was screaming at us for calling her a witch. Seems the 'crazy' label was pretty much on the money.
Once she was finished yelling, she told us to apologise. However, there was no way I was apologising for something I hadn't done. I told her this, which kind of made her even angrier. She marched us to the Headmaster's Office, but he wasn't there. So she told us to wait outside, until we were ready to apologise. All afternoon, we sat there. Teachers kept walking past, making it clear they were on our side. But, if we just apologised, it would all be over. Say, what? Apologise for something I hadn't done? I don't think so. By the end of school, Sutherland said she had phoned our parents and informed them of the situation. At which point, Shell and Mel caved and said they were sorry.
Nina and I, however, refused point blank, even when Sutherland said we couldn't return to lessons until we apologised. Seriously, this woman was off her rocker! When I got home that night, I was expecting to be grounded, or something. Instead, Dad asked me what happened, and when I told him, he thought about it, then said, "I wouldn't apologise. The woman sounds like she's got a big problem, mentally." He gave me a hug and I felt vindicated. My mother pointed out that something needed to be done to end the deadlock, so we met with Nina and her parents (who were equally supportive) and wrote out statements of "apology" that didn't actually say we were sorry.
I believe mine was something like, "I am sorry you were upset because you thought we called you a witch." It was a little longer than that, and I read it from the card, monotone. Afterwards, it was all over.
I will never forget this, though. It is the one time I really stood up for myself. I took on a teacher, and I won. Nina is still my best friend, as is Shell. This, for me, is a fond memory.