Thomas DiLascio


This is the first time I’ve received detention since last year of school. Upon arrival I had a flashback of the non-stereotypical crowd, which fills the detention hall three times a week. From the jocks and lesser educationally motivated teens, to the math teams finest, they take up residence in this hall of silence for an hour. Although they say it’s an hour, generally the teachers on detention duty let you out 5 minutes early. Mr. Mechem gives his three-times-a-week speech covering the rules of detention. Then he sums it up with a “you’re all good kids” sort of phrase. As I look around, I could say that about most of them. But who am I to judge? The fun-filled activities of detention are quite limited. But first you need a comfortable sitting position.

One thing I noticed is that one either find the perfect position immediately, or one spends the whole time trying to find it. The majority of these rule-abiding students do homework. Many say, to act tough, that they get detentions so they can remember to do work they wouldn’t do elsewhere. But looking around into these weary eyes of many, I doubt that anyone here would actually want to be here.

So finding sitting positions, check!

Doing homework, check!

But wait, many options still remain! There’s sleeping, or just dozing off. Some of the musically talented play their imaginary guitars and lightly rock their heads to the loud music, which they create. No real music or listening to is permitted in detention. Nor are cell phone conversations, or any attempt to communicate with others. This includes whispering, passing notes, or silently moving lips to the shape of words expressing boredom. Leaving the hall is not allowed under any circumstances (except maybe a fire drill), and nor is writing on the seats or mini pull-up note pads. Just glancing in any direction gives the hint that the last rule was disobeyed. Looking from back of seat to back of seat I see small-inscribed statements with the mere reason to write as many vulgar words as possible. There are the names of students from a week to five years ago written to signify they once spent a luxurious hour of life just as I am now. Same names pop up all over the place; perhaps signifying someone has a monopoly in this market.

Two teachers are running the show here. One in the front at a desk probably grading papers from her classes, and one up in the back of the hall with a book. The room is relatively silent with the exception to the squeaking noise of someone readjusting their position. From 2:35 to 3:30, the man in the back raised his eyes from his book at every squeak of the ill-oiled chairs.

So I’m just sitting here not doing much else and waiting. But if I didn’t get detention, maybe this would never have been written.


Copyright 2002-2006 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2006 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.