The Eighth Page

DC This

As I look back on my extensive record of disciplinary infractions, I’m amazed by two things: the diversity/severity of my offenses, and the fact that I have yet to be “DCed.” Despite my ‘clean record,’ I can no longer bear the guilt of my crimes. Therefore, what follows is a thorough, detailed account of my Andover rule-breaking. Freshman year: the time when my gradual yet steady descent into a life of crime began. I stayed out of trouble for the first few weeks, obeying the many rules with which I was bombarded. I signed in on time, recognized study hours, and obeyed lights out…until one fateful night. I remember it like yesterday: I had finished all my work, laid out my clothes in an orderly fashion for the next morning, and even received my nightly telephone call from my mother (in which she sang my a lullaby and told I was her “special boy”). Then I remembered: it was Mr. Driscoll’s birthday the next day! How could I have forgotten? I was such a well-organized student! How could I have let this slip my mind? Panicking, I thought frantically about my usual assortment of birthday gifts: home-baked carrot cake; Michael Bolton’s “Greatest Hits” CD; an industrial-sized bag of gummy worms. … But Mr. Driscoll had everything. I was just about to give up when I remembered one of the first things my elderly German nanny/permanent mentor had taught me as a child: when in doubt, sew. I reached into my desk drawer and found, waiting there for me like an old friend, my sewing kit. I knitted furiously through all hours of the morning, wielding my shiny knitting needles like a 12-year-old boy enslaved in a Nike sweatshop. By the time I was finished, it was 4:30 a.m. and the sun was beginning to emerge over the vista. I had a finished product: a beautiful, precisely-knitted ‘I [HEART] KITTENS’ sweater, but I hadn’t even noticed that, in my haste, I had broken “lights out.” I had not been caught, but the deed had been done. I was officially a rule-breaker. It was all down-hill from there. I began violating lights out regularly. Even if the reasons were innocent (reading haikus, staying up to listen to my new Yanni record), I was breaking the rules nonetheless. After that, I was a regular presence in Ryley after 8:00 p.m. And the evil stares from seniors (and Ryley workers familiar with my tendency to search for EXACT change no matter how long it took) didn’t faze me. I had started down a dangerous path, and there was no turning back. From there it got only worse: stealing spoons and bowls from Commons so that I could eat my Lucky Charms on the run; printing non-academic documents from the library without paying the ten cents per page. And my transgression at the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library continued. I checked out a series of books on Leonardo da Vinci for a History paper and chose not to return them. With this offense, I finally crossed the line that divides bright, hard-working students from career criminals. (I’m actually not joking about the library books, so if anyone is interested in buying a black market copy of The Artist in his World, give me a call.) I also amassed a large late fee at Andover Video, but managed to escape the charges by allowing the proprietor to slap me around a little. Thus ended my freshman year, a year of transition and irrevocable transgression. Lower year has been no better. I began to dabble in more serious behavior, ones actually noted in the Blue Book. Unfortunately, this Fall the school began cracking down on bandwidth use, and it just so happened that my roommate, developed quite a jones for anime video. However, after we became aware of the wave of downloading-spurred DCs occurring on campus, we thought that our hours of downloading Dragonball Z would catch up with us. Nothing ever came of it. My roommate equated the fluke to pure luck, though I still insist that I have a guardian angel named Toby who watches over me. However, my violations of the AUP were not limited to excessive downloading. I also began to visit websites one might refer to as ‘creepy.’ There was nothing pornographic or violent, so, I suppose what I did was not actually illegal. Yet, websites with instruction on how to fashion a full-length gown out of string cheese are just weird. My rule-breaking was so frequent that I became addicted to the rush. I found myself breaking the rules just to break them. I started smuggling concrete blocks into my room by the dozen, carefully concealing them under my bed. Only when one of the piles fell over on my roommate, trapping him in a position of unspeakable pain for several hours, did I realize that I truly had a problem. So there it is: my history of rule-breaking at Andover. I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted off my chest, much like the weight that had to be lifted off of Dave’s broken legs. Things will get better for me; the road to recovery will be long, but I’ll make it. It’s just too bad that Dave may never walk again.