These office cubicles are shoddy. If the school administrators want real privacy they go to an empty classroom or a conference room. But I’ve found that in most cases, they’ll just let it rip and whoever hears what’s going on is welcome to the show. In fact, I suspect that this particular Vice Principal relishes his unseen audience. The conversations certainly stimulate a writer’s imagination! In fact,  the inspiration for my mystery novel came partly from overheard scenes like the following. Don’t conversations like this seem a bit, well, murderous?

Take note: this writing contains raw language and some non-standard english. Those of you who have experienced public education will not be surprised.

Student 1: “I told you, I didn’t do nothing.”

Vice Principal: ” I’m tired of seeing you in here. You girls know better.”

Student 1: “My sister say she know you better.” (laughs)

Vice Principal: “Those comments aren’t helping you.”

Student 2: “I ain’t done nothin.  I was just sitting there eating lunch and she comes over. James told her to go away, but she got up in my grill.”

Student 1: “I did not. She lying.”

Student 2: “Ask James then. She come up and then she starts pullin my hair.”

Student 1: “She threw a french fry at me!”

Vice Principal: “Serena, I thought we agreed you weren’t going to go near them anymore.”

Student 1: “She started it. I was just looking for my friends when Amber called me over.”

Student 2: “You’re so hot for James.” (laughs) “He hates you.”

Vice Principal: “Amber, did you call Serena over to you?”

Student 2: “No way. I hate the bitch.”

Student 1: “Whatever. Just give me the damn suspension so I don’t have to sit here and smell her butt.”

Sounds of thumping, overturned chair or something.

Vice Principal: (Shouting) “Hall monitors! Officer Sam!”

Hall monitor’s radio then sounds of running feet. Hall monitor charges into office with campus cop at his heels. One student led out by campus cop.

Student 2: “See? She a bitch. Can I go to lunch now?”

Vice Principal: “I’m giving you five days suspension. Wait outside until your parents pick you up.”

Student 2: “I ain’t had lunch. You have to let me have lunch, that’s the rules.”


See my books about High School for more insights. Excerpts from  School of Lies and Deadly Traffic are on my website www.mickeyhoffman.com

~ by mickeyhoffman on April 6, 2009.

8 Responses to “Overheard”

  1. Wow. Very well written. You’re right. It’s absolutely murderous!

  2. So true in today’s schools. Very well written. I felt as if I were there.

  3. Is that true in today’s schools? Geez. I’m glad my kids don’t have to deal with it then.

    Great piece. I really enjoyed it. Bad grammar and all. Actually, I think non-standard English can make dialog really interesting.

  4. This was a GREAT piece! I think my favorite so far, it reminds me so much of my high school and how utterly happy I was at graduation. 😉

    Thanks for the memories.

  5. Definitely food for a story there. If such overheard conversations are common for you you will never be in want of story stories. Good and bad in everything, I suppose. Good piece.

    I keep telling myself, just two more months, just two more months… Then my youngest will be out of high school. Fortunately, our high school is not quite so bad (or I am not privy to the action).

  6. I sure wish I could edit. story stories. :p

  7. What I liked about this was the sense of coming into the middle of a situation, realizing there is a less than positive history between all the parties and knowing there will be a future to the story as well, probably a very unhappy one. I’m not sure I want to know what happens next, but it really piqued my interest to hear about these kid’s history. I would say – very good, but that doesn’t seem right. Very – thought provoking … powerful and sad. Thanks.

  8. All I can say is cool! Well, written and very much true to life!

    Thanks for sharing.

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