There were about six or eight of us - I can't really remember - that were set apart from the rest of the class. At the time, I had no concept of what a 'browner' was or what 'remedial' meant, all I knew is that we were given different tasks and studies than those given to the remaining students in the class. A few years later I would learn the meanings of 'browner' and 'remedial' and that I was one of the former.
Our group would become decidedly mischievous since we were left to do our own work without much supervision from the teacher. This is not to say the rest of the class was of the remedial type and needed special attention, but that the teacher trusted us enough to work on our own.
Too trusting, indeed.
Our desks were situated in the back corner of the classroom. We would talk quietly amongst ourselves and help each other with assignments. When this got boring, which was more often than not, we would scribble on the desks, make up stupid words, fling tiny bits of paper across the room when teacher wasn't looking, or tried to hit one of the other kids in the back of the head with the tiny paper projectiles, and other silly stuff. We were too young to know about spitballs then.
Then there was Steven. Steven sat next to me all the time. He was generally shy and I would have to goad him into having a bit of fun. During the bore sessions, I would occasionally poke him with the eraser end of my pencil and, in kind, he would poke me back. One day I caught him off-guard and jabbed him in the ribs which made him jump up and disrupt the rest of the class. The teacher looked at him scornfully. He apologized and sat back down. In retribution, he jabbed me back. Hard. With the newly sharpened end of his pencil. In the left cheek. Of my ass.
Needless to say, we were both ejected from the classroom, but we laughed all the way to the Principal's office.
The graphite "dot" from the jabbing remains visible to this day.
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