When I was in sixth grade, my teacher pulled me aside to “have a talk” in the hallway.
This happened in the middle of the day, in front of all my classmates. I was embarrassed and nervous. I had no idea what I had done wrong to prompt this private discussion.
I remember it better than I should.
My desk was pushed into a square with six other students’ desks. I know now that this was to encourage teamwork. For me, it mostly encouraged talking. I’m chatty. And goofy. A storyteller. I like to make people laugh. This was true even as a child. I figured a hallway scolding meant I’d done something disruptive in the talking department. It wasn’t the first time I’d been reprimanded for not shutting up.
Oh, but I had been on a roll of good behavior!
We had been writing that week, a lot of open-ended stuff. I had turned in a few wild short stories; stories I was proud of, though for the life of me I can’t remember what they were about.
Man, I wish I could.