All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Is There A Difference Between Honor And Love?
A/N: The /slashes/ before and after words signify italics. --Is There A Difference Between Honor And Love?-- -based on a true story- /for Jimmy/ I'm listening to hard rock as I write this. I was listening to cello solos, but now I'm listening to hard rock. It's got something to do with beauty and hate and I dunno, water?
But moving on. I'm going to tell you what happened at Tappan Middle School today. Maybe it's a bit late to start, two days until the end of the school year, but that's irrelevant. Well, maybe it is relevant, but that not entirely the point.
So this how the day started; I was worrying about what to wear because the 7th grade play's today, right? And I've got about two seconds in which the audience actually sees me, but I've still got to make a point, right?
This story isn't about the play though. All you need to know is this: Rivers Upchurch was in it. He played Elerand, the peasant boy who falls in love with the princess. When he's onstage, in costume, he looks every bit a pirate, except for his bright blonde hair, which is twisted into sharp curls, and he's got bright blue eyes, I think. He looks more like an athlete than a pirate. Plus, he's got really gigantic feet.
But anyhow, the play ended, with everybody clapping Rivers like he's a national hero, although as far as I know, he's not (he's in my geography class). So 5th hour (after 2nd, 3rd, and 4th hour, amazingly enough) starts. So during 5th hour class, we go to Dairy Queen, since it's the end of the year and whatnot.
Edward got a large, mint blizzard thingy, and ate/drank about half of it before he announced he was going to puke all over the sidewalk. This was not a particularly pleasant prospect, so we were all quite glad when we returned to school, though this turned out to be a false assumption.
Now, 5th hour is just before lunch, and I usually hang out in the library during lunch. Before I entered in to the library (through the library door, amazingly enough,) Edward, with a maniacal grin on is face making him look as though he'd just recently won the lottery, told me "Something's gonna happen down at the lunchroom today, Lydia, watch out."
Big, fat, foreshadowing from Edward-who-looks-like-a-girl-with-his-really-long-white-blonde-hair.
Me, like the stupid idiot I am, said "I'm not going down to lunch."
Edward shrugged, swung his lunchbox like a woodcutter about to defeat evil poison apples from the Lunchroom of Doom, and descended the stairs.
So, during lunch, I quietly read an Animorphs book in which lots of random mice ran around for no apparent reason.
There were loud screams coming from the lunchroom, and then dead silence, but nobody paid any attention. Stuff like that happens everyday in our lunchroom.
The bell quietly rang, and I set down my book. Kids who had eaten lunch elsewhere in the school instead of the lunchroom came out, but there was no sudden clamber of feet coming from the lunchroom. Nobody paid any attention.
The first thing I heard walking into my health classroom was "They're going to cancel the Cedar Point Trip."
We -- the entire 7th grade student body -- go on a giant Cedar Point trip at the end of the school year.
This is so ridiculously gigantic I don't think you can understand. So I won't bother emphasizing.
The Cedar Point Trip was tomorrow, and canceling it would completely screw life for the rest of the summer.
So, naturally, everybody in my health class was quite annoyed, or as my health teacher, Mrs. Wright put it, 'ticked' off'.
"WHAT?!" I blurted. "What the heck happened?"
"There was a food fight," Ayesha bothered to tell me.
"What?! And they're canceling the Cedar Point trip?"
The bell rang, and everybody completely ignored it, talking animatedly instead.
Mrs. Wright contributed to the conversation (she's just a totally awesome teacher like that) and told us "They're thinking about cancelling the Washington D.C trip next year, too."
A voice -- Mr. Micou's the assistant principal, said "The er...7th grade lunch hour participated un an activity that was inappropriate for school hours. We are currently contemplating the eligibility of the Cedar Point Trip."
The voice (the Great Mysterious Voice) crackled off into static.
There was dead silence in the health room.
Then the entire room exploded into excited chatter.
Nobody bothered to tell me what had happened. "Does ANYBODY know who really started it?" asked Mrs. Wright. Did I mention she's a really awesome teacher?
Names petered above the surface of the chatter.
"It isn't 'ratting', it isn't 'snitching', the entire 7th grade field trip is at stake here!" said quite a few people, Jimmy Jensen, a brown-haired, well-liked member of the student body, a great advocate for this proposal.
We sent somebody to tell Mr. Micou of our accusations.
Silence gripped the room as the messenger sank back into her chair and Mr. Micou's voice crackled over the speakers again.
"Would the following people please come to the 7th grade office? Liad Lehavey, Slade Carter, Alexei Tubbs, Dyon Lyons, Eric Furlong, Gilbert 'Rivers' Upchurch, Dylan Swanson, Joe Polich, and James Jenson?"
That would be the aforementioned Jimmy Jensen. Alot of people I know have first names that start with the same letter as their last names. Like William Watkins, or Jimmy Jensen or -- never mind. I don't know enough people to complete that.
But I digress. Moving on. Just ignore that last paragraph.
The first words that Jimmy said were "I didn't do anything!"
Jimmy looked wildly from Nick Shannon to me, who were sitting on either side of him.
The bell rang. Well, at least Jimmy wouldn't miss any of health class.
He exited the room.
During 7th hour, my language arts teacher, Mrs. Stires, said we couldn't talk about it, so we didn't. There was complete silence as Thea read her legend aloud.
During 8th hour, Mrs. Kindschy, my science teacher, also said we couldn't talk about it, but she can't teach, so nobody paid any attention to her.
Tess Clark was dead mad. "Dang whoever snitched. That (expletive). I will (long string of random expletives, which stuffed together don't make much sense).
"What happened?!" I yelled.
Marielle explained the news to me. "Everybody got suspended --"
Marielle gave me a I-CanÕt-Believe-Your-Ultimate-Stupidity,-Lydia look. "Everybody who got their names called, Lyd. Except Joe Pollock 'cause he was in detention." She returned to a heated discussion between Tess, Kshipra, Luke, Antoine, and Garrett (who really hates me for reasons unknown...). Since nobody bothered to tell me, little goody-two-shoes anything at all, I listened.
Apparently Alexei (who I had never heard of before in my life) had gotten suspended from school because he thought the idea of a food fight was 'cool' and said so. Rivers had apparently confessed, (to what, I don't know), as had Liad. Slade and Dylan had apparently actually started it. Apparently somebody named 'Zach' or possibly 'Zack' had gotten whacked with a large chunk of cream cheese.
And Jimmy? Well, Jimmy (because Jimmy was, after all, Jimmy) being Jimmy (look, can I stop this now? I think you get the point) had announced that the entire 7th grade of Tappan Middle School was going to have a food fight. According to Kshipra, the exact quoting was 'Oh, we're all going to have a food fight," in an off-beat sort of manner.
He was not being dead serious, but he's a randomly popular person who's good with people, and frankly, people listen to Jimmy.
A group of people, including Tess, Luke, Garrett, Marielle, Hind, and Antoine, (and of course, me) were gathering together in a small group, writing a letter completely in the defense of Jimmy.
Mrs. Kindschy attempted to take control of the class and failed miserably.
It took two drafts before Kshipra could finally make her handwriting legible in her anger (not like my handwriting is ever legible).
She eventually wrote 'Dear Mr. Micou," and I dictated a bunch of random professional nonsense to her that basically translated to "We think you're a jerk. Jimmy didn't do anything and while we're at it, neither did Eric Furlong, so why don't you just fire Mrs. Kindschy and outlaw school 'cause the school system is way out of whack?"
The joys of having a ridiculously large vocabulary.
So the group chose three messengers to take the letter to the office. I suggested three people who had never had a referral to the SPC before. Of course, my work has professional translator was done, so nobody listened to me.
They sent Garrett, Luke, and I don't know who else. Correction: I don't remember who else. I was back to being ignored, and I didn't know Jimmy all that well. He was popular, and I was not.
The messengers came back.
Apparently (second-hand information here) the secretary said "What are you doing here? What are you here for?"
"We just want to give --"
"Give me that piece of paper, go back to your classes --!"
Jimmy was standing on the far left side of the office. When they went to console him, the secretary, Mrs. Kennedy or whatever her name was, yelled at them like a half-crazed, very mad, very fat, zebra glued to her chair. "Don't you dare console him! Get out! OUT!"
So they went.
They came back and told us about it.
After 8th hour, we were supposed to clean out our lockers (on short notice) so everybody (in our small walking group, Rebecca Bilich, Marielle Saunders, Edward Bottke, me, and Kylah Thompson.) helped out Edward, who had so much /stuff/ in his locker, get it out. Marielle, who had nothing in her locker stood around impatiently while the school emptied out.
Marielle and I wandered out into the hallway, me vaguely wondering if I had left my cell phone in my locker and did I really want to go get it? (No.)
Marielle walked by the office door.
Then she stopped dead.
I dead stopped and ran into her.
She stood stone-still.
I stood still stone and -- look, can I quit this now? Again, I think you get the point.
Jimmy Jensen himself (you begin to wonder who else it would be) was standing in the office, slack-shouldered and staring at the wall across from him as though it contained the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything, which everybody knows is 42, so perhaps it did say 42 on the wall across from him -- I don't know, because I didn't bother looking at the wall.
Marielle opened the door of the office, and stepped quietly in.
I didn't go in, partially because my hands were full and I couldn't open the door, but mostly because, as I said before, I didn't know Jimmy all that well.
Quiet voices penetrated through the glass. I couldn't make out what they were saying, but they embraced.
When the door opened, I told Marielle to hold my stuff for one brief moment. She gathered about eight books in her hands.
"Look up, Jimmy, 'cause I'm saluting you,"
He looked up, his eyes bright.
I saluted him with my right hand, four fingers together in a single, deft movement.
He saluted back, the fierce light in his eyes glowing brighter than a fire.
There was a quick nod exchanged between two people in Ms. Roth's third hour geography class.
There was a quick moment of sanity in a florescent-lighted hallway where there were dozens of posters exclaiming 'Don't Be Negative!' in bright, cheery colors.
There was a quiet understanding exchanged in a salute for life, for honor, for love, and for all the gods above this earth.
Marielle embraced him -- I saluted him.
/Is there really a difference between honor and love?/ /Scrape (Epilogue)/ Later, as we attempted to pile all our stuff into my motherÕs car, Jimmy came out, lugging his backpack. As he threw it into his motherÕs white van, I saluted him again, four fingers together. A quick deft, salute. He saluted back, the nod mutual. /We would still fight on, even when he was gone./ I donÕt know if he realized thatÕs what we were all thinking. The others offered condolences that I donÕt remember. The next day, Jimmy Jensen and the others who had been suspended were glimpsed at Cedar Point. In the days to follow, school ended. Jimmy would move. Elsewhere. I donÕt know where. He wouldnÕt be in Ann Arbor. Not anymore. In seven more days, school will start again. And then where will we be then? /Will we still fight on?/ That's what matters. ---Lydia Lin Brown