I remember the moment in my life, where I made the CONSCIOUS decision to become a “bad” kid, very distinctly.
It was in kindergarten. My class had some sort of reward….system? I don’t know. It was a f*ckn 3 row chart on the chalkboard. I don’t really remember the details except that one column was good behavior, one column was “yellow” or could-use-some-work behavior, and “red” – BAD behavior.
I never did anything wrong. I was quiet and AT LEAST indifferent, if not nice. (I say it like that because I can never really imagine a time when I was… “nice” or “sweet” – perhaps before I could talk?)
I remember sitting there, in the dim classroom (nap time?), staring at that chart on the board. And I looked at the names on the bad-behavior side, and I thought to myself, “Self, those kids are getting tons of attention for acting out…”
Followed by, “I don’t get any attention for my good behavior. I follow all the rules, and for what?”
A MONSTER WAS BORN.
My first act of rebellion: I was walking down the hall (single file, like the sweet, cherubic angel that I am), and as we passed a fourth grade teacher (fairly certain she still hates me), I stuck my tongue out at her.
That was the first time I lost my recess.