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Why is this never good news? A rotten mark on a test. Bad behavior (or perceived bad behavior).

And always accompanied by the snicker of fellow classmates who happen to see the note on your paper or test or notebook. And always in red. Rubrics. As if, somehow, the red instructions were of equal weight to the rubrics in missals or books of common prayer.

Then comes the waiting. Waiting for the end of class, the end of the school day, the call to parents. Where more trouble ensued. Getting told off by the teacher, then the parents, with some accompanying punishment. Grounding, no TV, no dessert. Waiting’s the hardest part.

All that weight in two words of five letters. And there’s no defense. Too many people on one side of the story. The other side? The one that “explained” the reason for the original sin? Lost. Gone. Irrelevant.

The worst part is being unheard, ganged up on, doomed.

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