Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Self-Manager Badge

This is not a funny story like my others. No, sir. This is a terrible story. This event traumatized me as a kid more than even that Gremlin movie. My mom is still mad about it. 


The Self-Manager Badge

            I’m in second grade and I’m going to be eight soon. I try to be a good person, but my teacher never gives me a self-manager badge. There must be something that I’m not doing right, but I don’t know what. Other self-managers walk up the slide, and I never do that, but still they have the green bobcat pinned to their overalls, and I have nothing. I try not to run in the hallway, though I do sometimes, but I’m almost always quiet during class. When I draw pictures, I always do my best. But there’s something that I’m not doing right. I don’t think my teacher likes me very much.
            She gave me a self-manager badge once. My mom told me it was because someone else told my teacher what a great kid I was, and my teacher felt embarrassed when she had to say I wasn’t rewarded with a badge.
It didn’t really count because she kept taking it away. If a self-manager disobeys a rule, like walking up the slide, the teacher takes the badge away for one day. If she has to do it seven times, then she takes it forever. I heard rumors that teachers wait until the students are gone and then they crush them with their bare hands.
            One time I was running a little bit in the hallway, and when I turned the corner, she was there talking to another teacher. I knew she wanted my badge, so I took it off and gave it to her before she asked for it. The other teacher laughed, and my teacher seemed mad because I did that.
            After that I went to recess and thought about my badge. I had hardly had it for a week or so, though half the time I didn’t have it; the teacher did. Sometimes she’d keep if for days and I’d have to ask to have it back. Already I had it taken away four times. I decided that from then on I’d be extra careful, so careful and so good that the teacher would be so impressed, and then I wouldn’t get it taken away anymore.
            When we came in from recess, I tried not to look at my teacher because I was ashamed that I had broken the rules. But then I had to look, because I saw that she was holding my self-manager badge. Everyone was watching her. It shone in her hand. I wondered if there had been a mistake and she was going to give it back to me, but then she crushed it with her hands like it was aluminum and threw it in the trash.
            I was confused. There must have been something that I did wrong, something awful, that would cause her to do that. I tried not to cry, but I did anyway. As I sat on the rug during story time, sobbing and trying to remember what terrible thing that I had done, I felt a pinch of anger. This was my first injustice.


  1. That is heartbreaking. My poor, dear friend.

  2. 0-0 I don't even think I know what to say to that. I had a teacher who hated me once; it was kindergarten. But I don't think she ever did something that bad. Luckily, we moved after the first semester.

  3. Even though I said this story wasn't going to be funny, my husband thought it would be and chuckled through most of it. Then he got to the last paragraph, and he was like, "Whoa. That's terrible."


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