Subtitle: Cheating? Not the Pretty Girl.
In third or fourth grade, a time when I transferred schools a few times (though I always ended up back at Club Heights) I sat next to a very pretty girl. She had long golden hair, pretty nails, and always smelled of some type of flower. The teachers loved her, and I, being her friend, enjoyed her as well. Let's call her Alice. Why Alice, because honestly, she did look perfectly put together, just like Alice in Alice in Wonderland. At the time, I was the opposite. I had short frizzy hair, I wore boy clothes most of the time, and my nails were certainly unkept (refer to the photos above for a visual on this). Teachers at this school didn't much care for me. Why? I was a daydreamer. (Side story: At parent teacher conference my teacher complained that I stared out the window and didn't do my work until she gave the warning of: 5 minutes until recesses. Upon which I would get it done and get 100%, she thought it was a distraction to the others).
Why was I a daydreamer, because I was bored. But this is not about that. Flash forward to the big test. Everyone was nervous, even my pretty friend Alice. I told her not to worry, these tests were easy. I guess, at the time, I didn't understand that some people can get test anxiety, that they become so nervous and worried they literally freeze during the test. Needless to say my friend must have had test anxiety, at least I like to believe she did, especially after what happened next.
Two days after the test all the papers were handed back except two. Alice and I looked at each other as the teacher promptly told us that we needed to see her after class. There we were, standing in front of this beastly lady who sat proudly behind her desk, her hair in a tight bun, a few sprigs of gray sprung out where she had placed a pencil behind her ear. She handed back the tests. Only two wrong, two out of a hundred. Wow, we did excellent, a smile formed on my face. A smile that was quickly dashed. The two that were wrong were exactly the same, right down to not carrying the eight. Long division, while tricky, shouldn't have the exact same mistakes. Someone clearly cheated, and not only cheated but somehow the tests looked as though one was exactly copied from the other. But who did it?
This part amazes me, even to this day. The teacher did not ask us who cheated. No. She simply accused. Though the conversation is foggy at best, I will reconstruct it.
"Elicia, how dare you cheat off Alice. It is clear that she studied really hard, and you decided to take the easy way and simply copy off her, and you were so lazy you didn't even try to cover your tracks by missing a few more than her. Why, you didn't even try did you?"
I think at this point she began lecturing me, but I can rightly say, after she accused me, the only thing I heard was blah, blah, blah. What happened next did however, surprise me. Alice's face changed from her normal dainty smile to a look of horror. Did she believe it? Did my friend think I would do something like that? No. It was after a full minute of lecture that my friend showed me what friendship was really about. She interrupted the teacher (maybe she was mad, I can't be sure) and in a louder than normal voice, she said: "Elicia didn't cheat. I copied off her."
This shut the teacher up. The silence was overwhelming to say the least. Even I was silenced, and my life, was forever changed. The teacher looked ashamed, lowered her head, and promptly excused us. The next day I found out from Alice that she got in trouble, her parents were called, and she was going to have to take the test over again. Alice didn't apologize, she didn't need to, she had been brave, because we both knew that if she had not spoken up, it wouldn't have mattered what I said. I would be the girl to get in trouble. I don't know why she did it, the speak up part, and I never asked, as I ended up moving away a few weeks later.
What this experience taught me: Pretty girls are treated better, whether this is true or not, this was a lesson imprinted on me, and after that day I began to grow my hair long, brush it, and tried to always look put together in school. (Not a good lesson, but I think it demonstrates how little actions can warp and change a person. We often blame barbie dolls for the way girl's feel about themselves, but I think Barbie may not be to blame, no, it might be the way people treat Barbie.)
Second lesson: I learned how to be a good friend. A friend with Integrity. Now I know the girl cheated, but in the moment of truth, the moment where I was going to go down for her crime, she stood up for me and didn't let me suffer. For this, I will always have a special place in my heart for pretty Alice.
All right. This was the first post of a new year. They will get better as we go along. I hope you will enjoy this series. As always, have a beautiful day. XOXOX Oh, and like and share if you like and you like to share. ;-)