A Bought Lesson Learned
The moment had come for students and staff members to order and purchase school spirit attire for the 1987-1988 school term. This was avery exciting occasion my classmates and I because nothing mattered more than being able to showcase the joyous spirit for our beloved school. Mrs. Barbati, my homeroom teacher, passed out individual catalogs from which to make selections, and there were instant waves of highly motivated, but premature claims from any one student in the class as to what he or she would purchase. After she finished distributing the catalogs, Mrs. Babati enthusiastically suggested that every participate and recommended that no selections or purchases be made without the consent of a parent or guardian.
Later that evening, I presented the catalog to my mother with no consideration as to her state of mind or feeling of health. She could see the energetic nature at which I appeared; yet she accepted the catalog with very little change in emotion and posture. My mother thouroughly reviewed the information, while subliminally granting a jovial tease as for me to display a sense of calmness in that she suggested that maybe such release of energy could somehow be placed towards making the purchase myself, since I had saved a few coins and dollars of my own. Suddenly, an array of dissapointment overtook me because my attempt to make a very important identity claim in the name of “good ole’ schoolpride and spirit” had just been smoke screened by the person I had grown to love more than anyone or anthing in the world.
Before giving up, the episode of being dissapointed was no longer a lasting feeling; desperation and temptation were prevalent and in play. My mother drifted off into the bathroom long enough for me to ramble through one of her dresser drawers where loose change and an assortment of papered monies would occasionally be present. As I opened the drawer, there was a one hundred dollar bill gleaming to my eyes and resting in crisp form. Within seconds of seeing such amount of money, I cuffed it as if it was my own; the valued teachings of “Thou Shall Not Steai” posed no sense of restaint as I walked away as if nothing had ever occurred.
On the day the payments were due, I went to school with a sense of honorable guilt in that I was very much ashamed of my wrongdoing because my mother had previously raised questions bout the money after discovering that it was missing; thoughts never occurred that I had taken the money without her knowing. Just minutes after the bell rang for school to start, Mrs. Barbati requested that any one student could come forward and make payments for selected merchandise. I proudly approached her desk with money and oder form in my hand so that my payment would be record. After a quick glimpse at the one hundred dollar bill, Mrs. Barbati looked at me in a manner of surprised shock because she could not grasp the idea of me, a third grade student, being trusted with such large amount of money. She posed several quick questions which suggested I had this money in my possession without parental consent or knowledge, but my strong will would not allow me to give in. After drilling me for several minutes, Mrs. Barbati later took the money in a reluctant fashion and remained firm about possible falsehood in what I had told her about my mother knowingly provided the money and granted me permission to make the payment.
Later in the day, my mother made a brief stop at my school with intentions of making the payment for the merchandise that she and I had previously discussed at home.Upon arrival, Mrs. Barbati notified my mother that I had made the payment ealier in the day with the consent of a parent. After this revelation was exposed, Mrs. Barbati went on to voice her concerns and ealier doubts about my unwillingness to tell the truth about the money when briefly confronted me in the classroom. The conversation between the them came to an end, and my mother returned home home in a furious rage. She called me out with very few words expressed, and I later became the target of one of the worst whippings ever given to third grade student in disciplinary history.
The embarrassment and paine receiving the order less gratifying to the point that telling the truth and respect for authority and one’s property became greater priorities reguardless of circumstance. I do not regret my mother’s decision to discipline me for my selfish and senseless behavior because her action then has positively grounded me in my decision making now.