Monday, October 11, 2010

The Last Assignment of James Farnworth

  We have all been in school and wanted to be somewhere else. For me it was a long time ago and I remember being tired of the teachers and students. One week in my 8 grade year, my parents had planned a trip to Reno which meant after school on that Thursday we would be on our way. The school’s office would get a call that my family had an emergency and would be out for at least a few days. In this case we weren’t planning on being back until Tuesday.
  It was nearly the end of the school day and I was stuck in the middle of typing class. I wasn’t sure why anyone would want to learn how to type. I wasn’t planning on working in an office. This obviously was before the internet. The teacher announced one finally assignment. We were to type out office four office memos and address them to people within the school. This wasn’t unusual, we offend made up memo’s to people we didn’t know.
  The memos were to state some change of plan, some new rule, or just anything we want to tell them. I didn’t want to do the assignment. Reno was on my mind. Yes, I was just 14 but I like to go to Circus Circus, the Reno, and the National car museum or just hang out with my older brother.
  We had thirty minutes to do the project and then we could leave. I got to work and was done with the assignment before everyone else. I left school and was soon on my way to Reno.

       I wish this story was about trip but we will stay with the four memos that I wrote. First, the teacher had told us to address them to people within the school district, but what the Teacher didn’t tell us was he was going to deliver the memos to who everyone we addressed them to. Some people wrote memos to there teacher and a few went to the janitors. Mine went to the vice-principal, the principal and the school board. Our great and shiny, teacher dropped them in the mail boxes of each of the addressees. The principal was the first to get his. Then the vice-principal and it was never clear if the board got theirs but I am sure it would have been a laugh.
  I was halfway to Reno and memo‘s were getting past around. The memo read, “I apologized for the problems that I have cause over the years and have decided to end it. I can not go on any more with the way that this school is being run and I have choosing to kill myself rather than come to school anymore.”
  I am just glade that cell phones and voice mail hadn’t been invented for a few more years. The teacher was called back to school; a small delegation went to my house to see if they could talk me out of ending it. I was no where to be found. Then the next day, I was not at school, in fact the school got a message form my father saying that there had been a family emergency. This didn’t stop the school from calling all of the numbers on my emergency contact list to ask were I was. No one knew where we were or when we would be home. My father didn’t tell people when we would leave town. He had trust issues.
  The teachers sat around and waited for the announcement in the paper about my death. Today, I would like to think that there are more protocols set in place when a kid threatens to commit suicide. Although they were under the impression that I had already committed the act and there was nothing that they could do.
We got back from a great vacation and I went to school the next day. In my first class, I was called down to the office. Where I found my typing Teacher, My principle, vice Principle, two counselors and a couple of people I didn’t know. The funny thing was I had forgotten the whole assignment and when I was asked to explain I started to laugh and said it was a joke. That I was gone with my parents on a little vacation and there was nothing to worry about. They were mad but surprisingly just wanted to sweep the whole thing under the rug.
  I was never taken seriously when I was a teenager but for weekend I was on the minds of every power player in the school district. I am not sure the typing teacher ever tried that assignment again but I doubt it.

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