NORMAN — In the seventh grade I was promoted by my peers from president of the class geek-nerd-brainiac society to, well, if not fully cool, then at least on the way. I had discovered two sports I excelled in — golf and baseball — and the girls had discovered that I was one of the best, if not the best, dancer in the class. My classmates began overlooking the fact that I was a straight-A student, always sported a few pimples, and wore thick glasses.
My sudden popularity went immediately to my head. Seeing an opening, I promptly assigned myself to the role of class comedian. Up until then, only my few friends (nerds,) all knew that I possessed a quick wit. I was determined to change that, and change it I did. In no time, a very sick co-dependent relationship developed between my fellow students and me. They depended on me for jokes, and I depended on them for laughter. It goes without saying that the more they laughed, the more I joked.
My teachers tried in vain to get me to comport myself properly. They kept me after school, gave me extra work, had me write “I will not interrupt instruction with what I think are funny jokes but what are in fact immature remarks” 1,000 times, then 2,000 times, and so on. When my teachers finally accepted that they had failed to suppress my craving, they began sending me to the principal, but all he did was talk to me about how I had a lot of potential and could be a positive role model and how disappointed he was in me. Needless to say, that didn’t work either. In fact, the more the “authorities” failed at turning me back into a nerd, the worse I became (or better, depending on who was making the judgment).