The SF Chronicle reports that Mayor Gavin Newsom is showing up at the houses of chronically truant students, along with the school's principal. Oh how I wish I were younger! I'd love for Gav to visit me in my home so I could seduce him. Wait, what?
I was a teenage truant. I managed to miss over two-thirds of my senior year in high school. Granted I only had four classes: American Institutions & Economics, English, Public Speaking and Photography. On the one or two days I'd go to school I didn't even have to show up until around 10:30am. I take two classes, break for lunch and then take two more classes and leave for the day. Talk about a rough schedule. It's no wonder I skipped classes most days.
So what was I do with my free time? Most of it was spent in Santa Rosa with my mom shopping and playing tennis. She'd take a tennis lesson from one of her friends and then we'd all play doubles until it was time to break for lunch and cocktails. Afterward we go shopping or just run around town before making the hour long drive home.
On the days I stayed in town I mainly hung around our house making sure when noon rolled around I hid from my father who'd come home each day for lunch. He did not like me missing school but he was easy enough to fool. All I had to do was make sure I turned the TV off in the living room a half hour before he came home, so it was sufficiently cool to the touch. I'd go to my room, close the door and lay on the floor by my bed furthest from the door, thus out of his sight. I'd hear him come home, he'd walk to my room, open the door and look in. I'd see his work boots from the view I had under the bed. He'd turn around, walk out and close the door. After an hour he'd leave. I'd get up and start doing whatever it was that I was doing before he came home. I've never asked him, but he probably knew I was home regardless of how I tried to keep myself hidden. Maybe he just tolerated the ruse.
Despite being a truant I had stellar grades and managed to have a 4.0 grade point average. Of course it wasn't like my course load was filled with advance placement and honors classes like it was the year before, so earning stellar marks was easy.
Despite showing up to classes infrequently, I didn't realize how many days I had missed. One day during the spring semester I got a note from the Attendance Office notifying me I was getting a detention for cutting a class and having an "unexcused absence." How could that be? My mom always signed notes for me. All my absences were "excused" because of it.
So off to the Attendance Office I went to talk with the main secretary.
"Hey Shelia, I got a note here that says I'm getting detention for cutting."
"Yeah, and?" She questioned.
"I always have a note, so why would I need to cut?"
"Let me grab your file."
What I didn't know was the A.O. kept every note written by a parent or legal guardian during the current school year. Shelia scanned the cabinets. She opened one up and fished through the files. Most were thin manila folders. Mine file however was an accordion file, the three inch expandable kind. When she opened the file it almost exploded like a ticker tape parade.
"Wow, that's a lot of notes!" I exclaimed.
"And this is only half of this years file," she moaned. "You should get some sort of award at the end of the year."
"You flatter me."
Of course she found a note written by my mom that excused me on the day in question. Despite seeing the number of notes I had I wasn't dissuaded from taking more days off from school. If anything, I took even more.