I know a few teachers, and teachers-in-training. It seems to be a truth universally acknowledged that Year Nine students are the Worst People in the World. The way teachers talk, Year Nine students sound about as evil as low-level dictators, but without the charm.
It's a sad thing for me to hear personally, because for me, Year Nine was an unparallelled year of academic and creative achievement. I scored a tiny speaking role as a maid in our school musical, The Three Musketeers (Milady deWinter backslapped me across the face), and I became, wait for it...
...Dux of Year Nine. That's right - at age 14, yours truly was an academic superstar. Very High Achievements in every subject - including maths and science. And boy, did that never happen again. Wound up failing Maths B by a touch in Year 12. Annoyed Mr McNaught by scribbling pictures on my final exam instead of answers. Because I'd given up by then. But have I ever needed to conjugate cosigns or trigger my nometries again, Mr McNaught? NO I HAVEN'T.
Yes, my maths teacher was named Mr McNaught.
Anyway, my achievements would indicate to me that I was a decent Year Nine student. Possibly a super-nerd. Very likely a super-nerd, really. But I'm starting to think my Dux tag was possible not because my early-teenage-years mecha-intelligence, but because of a total lack of interest from boys and a far too serious collection of books about serial killers and the JFK assassination.
I think everyone else may have just been slacking off.
However, I do recall one incident in Year Nine that qualified me as Teen Shitebag. At least in my own estimation, being in possession of the world's most overactive guilt complex. I hated getting in trouble. I avoided it at all costs. Still do.
But in trouble I got, in Mrs Crombie's English class. I'd like to point out though - it was all David Nelson's fault.
Mrs Crombie was an elder stateswoman at the school. She favoured wearing colourful cotton muu-muus, precisely cut to show off the awesome meat curtain that dangled from her upper arms. It was so thick every time she reached for a textbook she covered half the whiteboard.
David Nelson was the "bad boy" of my year. He was an idiot. Looking back, he probably had ADHD, if you believe in those types of conditions. Those who don't would simply say he hadn't had enough beatings as a child. He was one of those kids who just radiated energy, too much energy for his skinny frame. He also drank far too much Coca-Cola, so I suppose sugar overdose contributed.
He was rude, rebellious, fairly unattractive and used to copy my work. But for some reasons, I wound up enjoying sitting next to him in Year Nine classes. I think it was because he was funny; and he honestly didn't care what people thought of him. He got poor marks, frequent detentions, and crap from both teachers and fellow students. My little Hermione Granger self always did well in tests, answered questions, and cried if anyone ever said a nasty thing about me. I cared so much about being liked; and could only admire David Nelson's brash rejection of anything
Let's not romanticise him too much though: he would have been an absolute SHIT to teach. David would laugh and giggle his way through English, never read the books or do the homework. I did feel sorry for Mrs Crombie.
The incident occured one warm spring day, in a lesson not long before lunch. David Nelson passed me a note, that read, mystifyingly:
"YOUR A POO IN A POO POT".
I believe I recall the mispelling accurately. It's unlikely David Nelson had a firm grasp of apostrophe use.
I didn't really understand what he meant by this scribbed missive, but I giggled.
I tore off a corner of paper from my notebook, and compose an elegant response:
"YOU'RE A TIT IN A BRA"
Now I don't know what I meant by that. I really can't explain. Certainly, I'd like to think I'm slightly more sophisticated with my punning these days. But back then, on the fly, before the 10 years of improvised comedy experience, that was the best I could come up with.
But disaster struck.
Mrs Crombie saw me pass the note to David Nelson. She stormed over - well, waddled over - and grabbed the piece of paper out of David's hands before he could hide it.
She opened it. Her face furrowed. Her eyes blackened. She looked up at us.
"Who wrote this?"
I believe my face gave it away. David Nelson offered nothing in the way of gallantry; after all, he was in detention virtually every other afternoon so it must of been a novel experience to watch someone else get in trouble.
"Natalie." she said flatly. "I never expected something like this from you."
Then she raised her arm, forming a level at her eyeline. "You have just gone from this..."
She jerked her hand downwards, bringing the "level" closer to her stomach. The meat curtain trembled.
My eyes filled with tears, and I put my head down, attempting to hide my scarlet face.
David Nelson, needless to say, was highly amused by the whole incident.
I believe I received another stern talking to from Mrs Crombie once class finished, then spent lunch crying.
Anyone else have a good Year Nine ShiteBag story?