“I’m leaving the door open…”
I had a memory pop up recently—and that remembering can also be triggered from seeing someone wearing very thick ‘coke bottle’ lensed eye glasses.
My recollection is from my early elementary school days, where i was probably in grade 5 or 6… The principal in that school was named Mr. P_____, who was a very tall well-dressed middle-aged white man with dark hair. Mr. P_____ took his job as school principal very seriously. I don’t remember seeing him smile much. His dark-coloured rimmed glasses were definitely a part of who he was. He would often tilt his head back and peer over them, as they often slipped down his nose—probably from the sheer thick-weight of them.
During that time—it was probably around 1970 or so…and, the strap (corporal punishment) was still being used in schools until it was banned in about 1973. And, Mr. P_____ seemed to like using the strap as a disciplinary action in our little school. It certainly worked for him.
When some poor sod got into trouble and was sent to the principal’s office, fear would reign—as one would often get a strapping as a result. I myself came very close to receiving the strap once—though managed to get out of it, some how, i have no idea how…
So, when a student was slated to receive the strap, what Mr. P_____ would do every time, was… He would go to every classroom one by one, open the door (he never knocked), rudely interrupt barging into the room, look over his thick black glasses and state very sternly: “I’m leaving the door open…”
We soon learned what that meant…
He would then move on to the next room and do the same. When he was done with each room, he would then go back to his office where the student was and, leave his office door open as well. He would then proceed to strap that poor student.
The whole school would go into a disturbed hush…
Needless to say, we as a student body were absolutely terrified…where we all ‘felt’ that strap together, ‘as one—while we were forced to listen to the cries streaming down the hall from his office.
We were always relieved and breathed a big collective breath when it was finally over with.
Until, the next time.
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