I hate people who tell me the world isn’t fair. In particularly my third grade elementary school teacher.
The incident began with the victim, Courtney, being assaulted on the playground. A classmate Chad apparently shoved her into the gravel and she was hurt. She cried and was forced to receive attention from the nurse who promptly reported the incident to our teacher.
Now I don’t know how I got involved in this exactly, I was usually up to no good but regardless the teacher was under the impression I pushed poor Courtney and not Chad.
We had all gathered after recess on the floor in the reading corner, as we did every day after recess. That’s when the teacher told me to put my name on the board and that I’d have to sacrifice a portion of tomorrow’s playground as a punishment. At the time I remember feeling panic and I had no clue what she was talking about. So I asked, which apparently was a mistake.
“You know what you did, now go put it on the board,” she said. I remember her being more irritated with me than she should’ve been, especially considering I had no idea why I was in trouble. I asked again.
This time she closed the book and narrowed her gaze upon me with a frigid glare that pierced through the glasses she always wore. Everyone was quiet now and tension was in the room.
She told me that for not listening and for pushing Courtney down, I’d have to sacrifice even more of my time and “playing stupid wasn’t going to work.”
I told her I didn’t do it. And that’s when she called an eight-year-old boy a liar in front of his peers. I thought I might cry and again she told me to put my name on the board. I was so upset I yelled at her “no.” I’m still glad I did.
She drew a teacher’s final weapon, “If you don’t write it on the board, then go to the office.”
I waited a second and then walked out of the room crying. I went to the office and met with the principal. The teacher came down and after hearing her tell the principal how I’m “a liar sometimes,” I was forced to apologize to her.
Later the next day I was sitting with my head down while everyone else was outside playing, almost everyone. Across the room Chad was also sitting.
“Why you here?” I asked.
“Courtney told on me,” he said.
The teacher told us to be quiet, but I couldn’t be. I remember telling her I didn’t do it and she said basically, “Yes Tyler, I know you didn’t.”
So again I asked a question.
“Why can’t I go outside, I didn’t do anything?”
“Because you wouldn’t put your name on the board when I asked,” she said.
“But I didn’t do anything, that’s not fair,” I replied.
In that snide and arrogant tone that only teachers seem capable of mustering, she said, “Life’s not fair.”
Halfway through Chad got to go outside, while I had to remain. I don’t remember anything from third grade as vividly as I remembered that day. I vowed I’d never be punished for anything I didn’t do again and if was utterly unavoidable I’d get revenge on those involved anyway I could.
Life’s not fair? No kidding. But every time I hear it I feel like it’s being said as an excuse.
Something weak minded people utter to justify a selfish impulse or ignore a personal failing.
Just because the world isn’t fair doesn’t mean you have the right not to care about what should be fair.