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A Knife Fight In The Band Hall

When I was in high school I got busted three times: once for having a knife fight in the band hall, once for throwing spitballs at my deadliest enemy Jimmy Green, and once for laughing out loud at a classmate in plane geometry who couldn’t quite grasp a theorem. Each time my Deportment grade was dropped to a D. My parents were frantic and ashamed. The knife fight in the band hall was with rubber knives, but knife fights in the band hall were strictly forbidden even if they only involved butter knives

It was an axiom of my high school that if your Deportment grade was low, every other grade was probably low, too. I’ll bet this correlation was well above 50 percent. The educational philosophy of my high school was simple: If you couldn’t sit still for a while, you probably wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans. High school, even grammar school, existed to teach us that we must learn to remain stationary. Otherwise, we’d never be able to earn a living, as a truck driver, scholar, factory worker, or sculptor. The public schools were training us to participate in a productive and industrial society, and having knife fights in the band hall was absolutely contrary to such values.

In my case it worked. I brought up my Deportment grade, and, in order to do this radio spot I’ve sat still for about 90 seconds.

I am, in other words, well-educated.

This is Tom McBride, and that’s my Perspective.

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