During my senior year of high school, I skipped school to go to court.
My school was unique to say the least. Some schools call the student body a “family”. For my school it made sense. The year before I had 9 people in my grade. In order to fully field a football team, we included students who went to an “alternative” school which did not have a football team. One of the guys was late to our game because he spent the night at the hospital. He had the plastic bracelet to prove it. He wasn’t injured or ill. He was becoming a father. Few things are more “alternative” than playing high school football hours after witnessing the miracle of childbirth. He put a wristband over the hospital bracelet for protection. Not that he knew much about protection.
That school officially ceased operations after my junior year, but another school took over the building. Many of the former teachers and students went to the new school out of nothing more than habit.
This school was much bigger. My senior class was 24.
My career ambition was to become a judge. The robes looked flattering, and I could swing a little hammer. While my rinky dink school could not adequately prepare me for a life of the law, it did have one peculiar advantage. I was well known and well liked. My reputation was spotless.
One Tuesday morning, I executed my plan. I woke up early, dressed in my thrift store suit, and went to the courthouse. Time to witness the legal system.
After parking my 30 year old car, I went through security. I’m not sure what I expected, but it wasn’t this. The place was huge and uninviting. They must not get curious teenagers there very often. I looked for a welcome booth or a directory. Nothing. So I just wandered the halls.
As I was walking outside of a row of courtrooms, a man grabbed me from behind. He had me in a backward bearhug. He quickly let me go, and I noticed that he was well dressed but a bit sleazy, a real life lawyer.
“Oh, I thought you were Tony.” He said.
“I’m not.” I said.
“What are you doing here, kid?” He said.
“I want to watch a trial.” I said.
“You can watch my trial. It’s about to start.” He said.
I watched the entirety of the trial about vandalism and had lunch with my new lawyer friend. The jury returned a non-guilty verdict at the same time school was letting out.
I went home. A few hours later, my mom came home.
“How was school today?” She asked.
“I didn’t go. I watched a trial at the courthouse.” I said.
“Ok,” She said.
The next day at school, I was called into the principal’s office. He asked me about skipping school. I told him what I did. My reputation preceded me, and I suffered no repercussions.
As a rule, I only skip school to further my education.