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Adventures in Being Bad by Helen Chappell

Okay, this really happened. Even all these years later, I can’t believe it happened to me, but I was there. So it had to have happened. Back in the ’60s, I got kicked out of boarding school and had to go back to public school. Before you start tsk-tsking, I’d like you to re-read The Catcher in the Rye, which is sort of the classic on getting kicked out of private schools. It was a horrible uptight school in Virginia, full of bitchy Southern Belles and mean girls. I wasn’t too sorry I had to come home in disgrace. Of course, I had to hear about it for the rest of my life, but as much as I disliked public school, at least it offered me social companionship that went beyond mean girls. Although there are plenty of mean girls in public school, which is why I never go to any of the reunions ~ but that’s another story. My theory is, if you were happy and in the “in crowd” in high school, you’re doomed to an adulthood of being a small-town insurance agent, divorced and living in a trailer and, oh, just all kinds of hellacious afterlife. If, on the other hand, you were miserable in high school, your chances of leading a

reasonably content and productive adult life are pretty good. So far, nothing in my experience has changed my opinion. Anyway, there I was, back in public school ~ a small-town public high school. To begin with, it was a pretty mediocre school, with strong fears of godless commies, contempt for independent thought and a religious worship of all things sports related. The cliques were so stratified they might as well have been set in a cliff face. Not the best place to grow a creative, rebellious mind. You know the drill: the jocks and the cheerleaders at the top, then the 9

December 2015 ttimes web magazine  

December 2015 Tidewater Times

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