Once upon a time, a well behaved and good intentioned girl with satisfactory grades and a witty sense of humor went to high school. Let’s call her…. Pulia Jatton.
Pulia hated high school. Even in her very first class on the very first day of the very first year of high school, sitting in the fourth row of Mrs. Price’s math class beside a girl with too much eyeliner on, Pulia knew that these would not be her glory years. But she went to class, got semi-involved and had an onslaught of amazing friends. Two years in, Pulia became unsatisfied with being a Sailor. With a strong hankering for a constant stream of big life changes (and the pull of a smaller learning environment) Pulia decided to take a chance and become a Wombat.
The Wombats were a small and mighty clan with lots of secret handshakes, overly cheery sing along songs and a group of faculty with some unique quirks and interests (…ahem). Pulia still hated high school, but she loved the Wombats. Their sitcom like disfunction kept her interested and amused. Besides all of that, who’s complaining when you get out of school every day at 10:45? Not Pulia. That’s for sure.
While a Wombat, Pulia remained a happy gal with a good rep to her name. She was *voted class clown (two years running, thank you very much) and Best Dressed in the yearbook and also ran and won the ASB secretary position (I mean, sure, she ran unopposed, but it still counts for something, right?).
She stayed out of trouble, never touching the hard stuff and avoiding the dark and windy roads of recreational drugs (mainly to the credit of the A&E television show, Intervention, that terrified her enough to avoid anything in any way, shape, or form remotely addictive– sometimes including Advil.) Besides all of her moral and religious reasons for avoiding all that shiz, there was/is a strong belief/curse in the Datton/Latton/Katton/Jatton family that if/when anyone were to do ever do something even slightly out of line, there would be outrageous ramifications. The rest of Pulia’s peers could live lives of mostly harmless and cliche high school debauchery without ever getting caught of punished for their actions, but it’s a known fact that whenever Pulia tried to pull of anything somewhat risky/against the rules, not only was she always caught, but there were/are typically ramifications of epic/over the top proportions. And consequences didn’t sit so well with Pulia. Much like citrus, she was highly allergic to any sort of disappointment to her parents/leadership figures that it made her break out into hives of some sort.
So she avoided trouble.
It was a rainy day at the Wombat headquarters in the middle of Pulia’s Second Semester of her Senior Year. In ANY other high school IN THE WORLD, this is a time for students, already accepted to the college of their dreams, to take the remainder of their high school career into their own hands and make decisions (like when to go to class and when to ditch, when to pay attention and when to text during class, when to finish the assigned English reading and when to Spark Notes it up) on their own. So, with only one class left to go for the day and talk of a Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles lunch run, Pulia decided it was worth rolling the dice and strategically checking outa bit early (and let me just say, that last class was ASB….so, let’s be honest… it didn’t really matter anyway. Can I get an Amen?) Yeah, it was risky, but calculated. If this was the worst thing Pulia did in her four years of high school (and all her teen years, for that matter) it would be alright, right? What could the middle college do to a Second Semester senior with a perfect track record who was also in a leadership position anyway? Kick her out of school with 4 weeks left? I was– I mean, Pulia was untouchable. Too big to fail.
Or so she thought.
To make a long story a teeny bit shorter, let’s just skip the rest of the details and get the point: Pulia got caught. Caught bad. Halfway to lunch she and her cohort, Wauren Less knew their mission to leave undetected had somehow gone awry and they were forced to not only return to school, but also to class with their tails between their legs, drenched in shame and embarrassment. And instead of a detention or a slap on the wrist for their wrongdoings, Pulia and Wauren had to write one apology letter to the principle of her school, but also all of their teachers AND their parents. Come on. Pulia was not happy. But, she knew it was just part of living the life of a trouble teen. And she was willing to meet the requirements of her new life style in “The Fast Crowd.”
The other day, me, Julia Patton, was going through some of Pulia Jatton’s (no relation) old high school files on her computer and stumbled upon said letter– specifically the one to the principle. Her remorse is clear and the tone is in no way sarcastic or poking fun at the severity of the situation. Nope. Totally sincere.
Dear Mr. Nanney,
I deeply apologize for leaving school today without permission. Not only do I realize the potential liability consequences my actions could have had on the school and or the valuable and irreplaceable time that I missed in class, but mainly the deceit and lies that came with leaving school early.
As a leader in the school, I am deeply ashamed of my actions and their effect on the open and honest culture of the school. I speak from a sincere place when I say that the opinions and respect of my classmates and teachers mean the world to me and having those opinions marred or jaded in any way brings great remorse. I have brought shame onto myself and all surviving generations of my family.
The Middle College has been such an oasis for me to learn academically and personally and although I do feel that I have grown in many ways since I have been here, it is clear that I am still learning and changing.
I can assure you that nothing this foolish or impulsary will take place for the rest of the school year and I plan to finish out this semester as one of the best in my scholastic history. Believe me when I say that the punishment and scrutiny I have put on myself in this situation is extreme and I will continue to evaluate and grow from not only the mistakes I made today, but in my life in every area.
Thank you so much for the opportunity for forgiveness.
If Pulia were really a bad ass, like one of the other girls who got caught, Hherry Shamlin, she would have refused the write the letters and gotten away with telling the principle that she thought their punishment was “Bull Shit” (Yes, Hherry really said that to the principle’s face) and not even gotten in trouble for it. But one act of rebellion was enough for Pulia. Her only other walk on the wild side after that was when she snuck pearls over her gown on graduation day, even when the directions explicitly stated “No Jewelry.”
And that was the time Pulia Jatton was a bad kid.
Somehow this act of temporary unreliability did not do enough damage to Pulia’s credibility and she managed to graduate from high school and attend college, being a productive and contributing member of society. She was lucky her stumble down the path of recklessness didn’t lead to further damage.
*Fun fact: Being class clown is a legacy similar to that of a sorority of Pulia’s family. Her mother, Pinda Latton, was also class clown in her day. True story.