At my book signing at Organic Books on Jan. 25, 2020, I shared this amusing excerpt from my memoir, Between Two Worlds. It seemed to get a few laughs.
I only spent exactly one year at Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton, California.
Academically, I lagged as I had throughout my junior high and elementary years. I barely passed my classes with Cs and Ds.
When I arrived a Sunny Hills, I had few friends. Most of my buddies attended other high schools. I tried to fit in, but I did a poor job of that.
One day, I got into trouble in my math class. I was cutting up, and the teacher told me to stay after class. I had no intention of doing any such thing. My plan was to slip out before he could intercept me.
Mr. B was no taller than I and nowhere near as muscular—in fact, he was rather wimpy. As I drifted out the door, I was taken aback when he grabbed hold of my arm. I shoved him hard and left.
Unfortunately, I was cheered by one of my classmates, Debbie. She was petite, with long brown hair and a smile that could knock anyone off their feet. Debbie laughed at Mr. B’s humiliation.
I relished in the attention, bragging as if it were no big deal. The following day, I discovered what a big deal it really was. I was suspended from school for several days. My father was furious.
To get back into school, my father and I had to attend a meeting with the assistant principal, a large man with a big head full of short brown curls. He seemed kind. He never raised his voice.
The meeting went to my advantage because my father was deaf and the assistant principal was hearing. With no interpreter available, I signed exactly what I wanted my father to know.
I blamed the teacher for manhandling me in the first place, and my father’s frustration with me dissolved. Gleeful with my cunning interpreting skills, I happily accepted my reassignment to another math teacher for the remainder of the year.