Waterboarding is for Sissies

I discovered today that I apparently missed my calling as an interrogator.

I had a bit of a mystery in my classroom as someone had played around with the settings on one of our laptop computers.  Considering I teach 6 grade levels a week, two other classes had borrowed the laptops in the past few days, and I host the Robotics Club in my room, I was pretty certain I was not going to discover the culprit out of a pool of over 100 suspects.  So, I figured I would just lecture everyone, beginning with today’s 5th graders.

“So, apparently someone changed the name of one of the desktop icons, which one of my 4th graders discovered yesterday.”

The students started looking around at each other.

“It was Evan!” two of the kids said in stereo before I could say one more word.  I couldn’t believe how quickly I had gotten them to rat someone out.

“What?”  Evan is in Robotics club.

“Yeah, a few weeks ago he messed with the desktop but we changed it back.”

“Well, that’s not it, then.  But I will definitely be talking to him.  This was something that happened recently because it was noticed yesterday.”

“It was Harry!”  someone yelled.  Three other people nodded and murmured, “Yeah, I saw him do it.”

I looked at Harry, who seemed completely bewildered by this sudden onslaught of accusations.

“No, he changed the names of some files, but I changed it back,” another student defended (?) him.

“Harry, you and I are going to talk in a minute,” I said sternly.  “Now, back to what happened yesterday.  Someone changed the Internet Explorer icon to say something different.  I’m sure you were just being silly, but you guys could get me in a lot of trouble by doing things like that.  If people don’t think I’m supervising you enough they could take away the technology, and wouldn’t that be sad?”  Encouraged by the seeming willingness on the part of my class to throw people under the bus, I laid it on thick.

They all nodded that this would, indeed, be sad.

“What did they change it to?” someone asked.

I shifted uncomfortably.

“Purple Mustache,” I said, and waited for the laughter.


Slowly, a hand came up.  A quiet voice said, “I did it.”

It was my daughter.

“You did?!!!” I said – along with 15 other people.  My daughter has gotten one conduct mark during her 5 years of elementary school.  The only one I suspected less of changing the icon to “Purple Mustache” is my dog, Wonderbutt.  And that’s only because he didn’t have access to the computer.

Crap, I thought.

“Well, you and I are going to have a serious talk at home tonight, young lady,” I said.  Even though I wasn’t sure about what.

I had no idea that I had this kind of confessional power.  Apparently I somehow mastered the technique of the Guilt Trip without even knowing it.

Now, if I could just master the technique of the Don’t Even Think About It Trip, maybe her teen years won’t be so bad after all.



Posted on May 9, 2013, in Dimples, Fashion, Humor, Parenting, Work and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Stern talkings to were the things I hated the most in school. By high school teachers would let me leave class early so they could yell at the rest of the class and I was so grateful.

  2. Guilt trips leave such unforgettable memories! Maybe they need a mom to interrogate terrorists… It would save soooo much time! Congratulations on solving the mystery, I’m sorry it turned out to be your daughter, :/ read you soon, Alexandra

  3. Wow well done you – I think you must have superpowers you have told no one about!!

  4. When you get a minute, I need you over here. I’m dying to know who’s not cleaning up after their dog. I have 3 neighbors in mind, but I think you can get a confession out of the guilty pig.

  5. I love her for having the guts to admit it…right there, right then. She could have easily waited until she was home and admitted it to you in private.
    Maybe purple mustache is a secret code for a boy she has a crush on. Any 5th graders in your class with facial hair? 😉
    Happy Mother’s Day!

  6. Ditto to youramericanwisdom. Kudos to your daughter for her honesty. She doesn’t learn those things in class, but at home. Excellent piece.

  7. I can’t believe she admitted it in class. I would have waited until I got home! Maybe she wanted everyone to know she isn’t teacher’s pet. 😉

  8. That is (unfortunately) hilarious! Mine would do the same thing if they knew how…

    At least you figured it out in the first round! You only had to give one GOOD guilt trip! Save those interrogating skills for the next big thing that’s bound to happen… It’s almost the end of the year!

  9. classic “isn’t this sad?” move. I love it.

  10. Can you babysitt? And I will give you a list of stuff to get to the bottom of.

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