Friday, September 9, 2016


Miss Laidlaw was my Grade 5 homeroom teacher. That's when it happened. Our classes rotated from homeroom to other classrooms for different subjects. It puzzled me then and puzzles me still, why adults could not take this into consideration when assessing blame for the spitballs that appeared one day on the wall of my homeroom. The spitballs were conspicuously stuck around the large wall clock in our homeroom. Miss Laidlaw fancied herself a super sloth, a Sherlock Holmes I surmise because when no one admitted to the deed, she required all of us to remove papers from our homeroom desks. She removed one spitball from the wall, unfolded the spitball and now came to each student's desk with this torn piece of paper. To my horror, upon removing papers from my desk drawer, a page had a corner ripped away. At my desk Miss Laidlaw matched her spitball to my paper. I stalwartly claimed innocence for an inordinately long period of public interrogation. Other students sat at my desk during the day I protested. We were all sent home for lunch but I was told that upon return I must confess my guilt and make an apology to my class for wasting their time. Over the lunch hour I struggled with this allegation and that afternoon to my everlasting regret I yielded to the pressure and complied with Miss Laidlaw’s demands, though I am still innocent to this day, scarred, needing therapy that will surely come too late.

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