Extraordinary Punishment

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As most seniors do, I have a raging case of senioritis. I am unmotivated to do my classwork and homework, let alone even come to school, but I still do. Some days, when this disease strikes circumstantially hard, I give in and decide to skip a class period or two. Usually when this happens, I call my mom, the more understanding parent, and give an excuse that I´m either tired, forgot something at home, or whatever I can come up with. But, on this particular day, my routine was changed.

Wednesday night, after attending my youth group, I had a ton of homework waiting for me at home. Now, most would say, ¨Why wouldn’t you just skip youth group to finish your homework?¨ Truly, I did think about this, but the problem was I had done this the past two weeks for the exact same reason. So on this day, I felt that I needed to attend.

I started my drive home, preparing myself for the late night I was about to experience, and dreaded that I was already feeling tired. To avoid this problem, I made my first mistake.

I decided to stop at the one place that could reawaken my brain, Dutch Bros Coffee. I thought that if I was caffeinated I´d be able to stay awake easily enough. I ordered my medium blended rebel and was back on my way.

I finished my rebel, along with my homework, around 1:30 in the morning, which is a reasonable time to still be able to be able to wake myself up in the morning and make it to school on time.

With this thought in mind, I turned my lights out and closed my eyes for sleep. Except sleep never came. I laid awake watching the hours go by and finally at 3:30 am made the choice that I would not be able to make it to school on time. I texted my brother knowing he’d see it in the morning that he’d need to ride the bus to school and texted my mom that I couldn’t sleep. I finally drifted off around 4:30.

I woke up the morning and drove myself to school arriving at the start of third period. This was where my second mistake occurred, as I went the whole day without telling my parents about my morning absence from school. I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal, but boy was I wrong.

I returned home later that night after a long day of a track meet and dinner with friends to be ambushed by my questioning parents of where I was and why I wasn’t at school. I couldn’t lie because they had the evidence of phone calls and emails from Prairie’s Attendance Office so I  told them the truth that I had slept in.

My parents reasoned that with my own car, I have too much freedom, so it was taken away from me, along with my phone, forcing me to ride the bus to school… as a senior. I wasn’t even allowed to ask a friend for a ride; my parents wanted to ensure that I felt the punishment of a public school bus ride. I somehow managed to get a ride to and from school almost everyday freshman and sophomore year up until I could drive myself, and since then I have always driven myself to school. So, this was going to be one of my first times.

Not only is this punishment bad for a normal day, but this was the worst day for it. Color wars. Riding the bus I have to wake up earlier than normal, but to get ready for color wars I’d have to wake up earlier than early. As I got ready I frantically tried to dry the painted hand prints on my legs so they wouldn’t stick to the bus seat and ran out the door.

I begged my younger brother to sit by me, partly for the comfort, but mainly to shield others from seeing me. I was dressed in all red, the ~senior~ color for color wars and the bus riders would all automatically know I was out of place here.

I entered the bus, my head down, and sat on the cold, unpadded, leather seat. Quickly, the scent of mildew ran up my nose and then was slowly followed by a faint smell of weed. “Great,” I thought, “now I’m going to smell like a stoner and my reputation of the good child will be ruined.”

I looked past my brother, across the aisle, to see a couple of sophomores who I have known since they were young commence to wrap their arms around each other and makeout. I immediately was disgusted and watched out the window for the remainder of the ride to school.

Once we were stopped and the doors opened I tried to speed walk as fast as I could through the aisle, down the stairs, and across campus, muttering a simple “thank you” to the bus driver as I exited.

I made through my first two classes just fine until Journalism in 3rd period. The past few days I had been working on a project of a video that was solely made on my phone and my phone only. The project had been finished and officially uploaded to Youtube, so I thought it’d be no problem that I didn’t have my phone. But on the contrary, I was greeted to class by my teacher explaining the edits we needed to make and have it reuploaded.

Now, embarrassed because the one time I get grounded, I have to explain the whole thing to my teacher in front of the entire class. She embarked upon rolling out laughs, part of what I thought was sympathy, but really she was just amused at my misfortune.

My partner for the project and I went to see our Athletic Director who was the head of our project, and had to explain to him why we couldn’t fix the video. I got away with saying that since it was already to uploaded, we weren’t able to change it, and headed back to class feeling in the clear.

But, to my surprise, my teacher wasn’t satisfied with my excuse and quite literally called the Athletic Director on the phone and told him the real reason we couldn’t fix the video.

So, the one time I get in trouble, most of the school has to find out, which is the most embarrassing. I am still having to ride the bus everyday until spring break, and honestly it still sucks and is still embarrassing. But, at least, my lesson is learned.

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