|sent from: Waterloo Station, London, UK. destination: Battersea, London, UK|
When I was a teenager, our teacher, specifically our Maths teacher, a pendantic, humourless man with a high forehead, small frame and curly, desperate hair, assigned the whole class lines – 100 lines – as punishment for some action of a few that swept the innocent into the net as well. I was one of the innocent. I hate being punished, more so because I never was punished, I was one of those goody-goodys (wish I hadn’t been, but that’s another story), and I took reprimands very personally. I saw a chance to be clever, and via the relatively new acquisition of a photocopier at home, completed my punishment by way of industrial manufacturing methods, i.e. wrote one line and duplicated the rest. I was convinced that my efforts would pass the test – if anything I should, like Kirk taking the Kobayashi Maru test, get a commendation for original thinking. We handed in our lines the following day. Passing a cursory glance over them, he stopped at mine, called my name and had me come up and asked me what I had done. I was red with shame and hated him with a passion in that moment, and to this day that small incident makes me remember the humiliation of it. He made an example of me, and it stuck with me.