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My Son Has Been To The Dean’s Office Twice

photo-5 copy 2My son has been to the dean’s office twice this year for throwing a carrot and a drum stick. These were two separate throwing events. What I mean to say is that he was sent to the dean’s once for throwing a carrot and once for throwing a drum stick. If he had thrown a carrot AND a drum stick twice and been sent to the dean’s office twice for this same event of throwing the same two things, well that would be extraordinary and I would expect some pretty severe disciplinary consequences because the school’s administration mustn’t send a message to the student body that throwing a carrot and a drum stick in the same moment of insubordination is a behavior that they would consistently tolerate. But, as I mentioned above and hope to make clear again, the carrot and the drum stick throws were two isolated events.

And some witnesses allege that the drum stick was thrown by Wyatt.

But my son freely admits to throwing the carrot and the school’s video capture confirms this admission. However, though he admits that he did indeed throw the carrot, he denies responsibility for throwing the carrot. This is his superpower.

Being called by your son’s dean of students because he threw a carrot forms a particularly deep impression in your memory because it falls a considerable distance outside your normal realm of experience. “Excuse me?” I said. “He threw a what? Did you say he threw a carrot?” In addition to my genuine curiosity about my son’s motive for throwing a carrot was the predominant sense that it was hilarious and enviable. In fact, you’re probably right now filled with the desire to throw a carrot, aren’t you? Don’t lie. You should stay open to that part of you that wants to throw carrots. I think that perhaps deep within every man, woman, and child lies the fundamental desire to throw a carrot. I wanted to before I even hung up the phone with the dean but there was nary a carrot to be found.

A food fight broke out in the school cafeteria and my son’s identity dissolved into the spirit of the mob like sugar in a hot cup of coffee. Then, joyously freed from the bondage of selfhood, he, with wild and reckless abandon, threw a carrot. He was grinning like an ecstatic patient  just freed from the asylum. How then can he, in good conscience, be held responsible for something he did under the spell of raucous group madness? I don’t know either.

More recently, he was written up for disturbing the peace in band for throwing a drum stick that caused minimal head trauma to a girl who plays the flute and champions the belief that the band’s weak spot is percussion. She is of course entitled to her opinion and shouldn’t have to pay for it with a drum stick to the melon, but we live in a world where a lot of things that should not happen, unfortunately, happen and to that sad fact the goose egg on her head is ample testimony. The dean and I both agree that whoever threw the drum stick at the outspoken flute player’s head should be punished severely and with a quickness.

But my son vehemently denies throwing the drum stick and, as already mentioned, a lot of witnesses and evidence implicate Wyatt. So what is to be done? Will injustice prevail? I don’t know either.

My son has been to the dean’s office twice this year for throwing a carrot and a drum stick. There’s nothing in any of the parenting manuals that address how to prevent or treat these aberrations of behavior so we merely raise our chins and trudge through these lives. There are more ways through the world than the number of stars in the sky that strive to light our way.
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