While I didn't love my school, I had one class that I really did enjoy. My U.S. Government teacher was eloquent and motivating, and his class was the only one I was in where the students were being truly engaged and challenged. One day he was covering unlawful search and seizure, and I was selected to help do a role play for the class. In this role play, another student and I were found in the girls bathroom with a lit cigarette. When asked if we were smoking, I confessed that yes I was while the other girl denied. My role ended with my being handed a referral and told to sit down.
The referrals at my school were A4 sheets of paper with two carbon copies. They were handed out for any form of disciplinary action to take place. A troublemaking student would receive one, and be sent to the office immediately to get their punishment. The referrals themselves contained the name of the student, name of the teacher, and a description of the reason why the student was being punished. At the office, the principal would fill in the section that said what punishment would be given. I had never received a referral myself, and so being handed a genuine (and blank) golden ticket to the office was incredibly exciting.
The girl next to me and I decided a prank could be had. We separated the two carbon copies from the main referral sheet and traded them, so we could fill them out for each other in unknown handwriting and show them to our parents. I cannot remember what we said she did, but I remember mine very well.
"Melece Meservy has been sent to the office for disciplinary action after she started singing "I'm Too Sexy" loudly in the middle of class. When asked to be quiet, she jumped onto her desk, and began to hop from desk to desk across the classroom while swinging her hips in a suggestive manner."
Under reason for behaviour, we checked the boxes for "attention" and "reason unclear." Action taken was immediate suspension from school and mandatory visitation with a school counselor.
I knew that there was no point in me trying to trick my dad into believing that this had actually happened, but I was determined that I could con my mother. I worked hard all the way home on the bus to muster up fear and panic in my eyes and voice. I walked slowly into her room where she was laying in bed reading a book.
"Mom." I said, "I did something bad." I handed her the paper, and watched her attentively. To my disappointment, she laughed.
"april fools!" She said, handing me back the paper.
I took my failed prank into the kitchen and chucked it on the table. I made myself a snack and busied myself with my homework (probably, actually reading Twilight or watching TV if I'm honest.) A few hours later, I heard a knock at my bedroom door where I lay reading a book (it wasn't Twilight, though, I remember distinctly.)
"Hello?" I asked.
My dad entered the room looking somber. I knew something bad had happened because he came in and immediately closed the door behind him before walking over to sit on my bed.
"How was your day?" He asked
"Fine." I answered, as eloquent and quick to share as most 16 year olds talking to their parents.
"Did anything happen?" He responded, still staring me down with the upmost danger in his eyes.
"No...?" I said, now wondering what I have forgotten about. Catching on, I started to laugh.
"What I saw out there did NOT seem like a laughing matter, Melece" insisted dad, now getting angry.
"It was a joke, dad!" I laughed hysterically, "I was trying to get mom, but I NEVER thought I'd get you!"
This is one of my dad's favourite stories to tell. From his point of view, he says that it was one of those days where nothing at all was going right. He had been faced with incompetent coworkers who really ought to have been competent, and was told once again that it would be a "couple" more months before our visas came through. He came home feeling dejected and exhausted, especially knowing that mom and I were struggling. He came into the kitchen to find an official document telling him that I had lost it.
"She's gone completely insane," he thought to himself sad, and incredulous. "This is awful. This means I have to punish her, but I don't want to. She must have had a complete psychological break."
And thus my father entered my room burdened with the task of punishing his officially insane teenage daughter, and I got a wonderful laugh out of a tired and lonely week.