Do you remember ever being given the order “kneel down!” as punishment in high school? I do. Vividly. And in my view, there was no punishment worse than kneeling down – especially for a long stretch of time. Think about it. Whether it was scrubbing toilets or doing laps round the hockey pitch, you could at least do them with an attitude, showing the system that nothing moves you. But kneeling down? There was just no dignified way of doing it. It got you right where it hurt. In fact I am fairly convinced that it is possible for someone to die from excessive kneeling.
As a school prefect, I also despised it as a form of punishment meted out to law-breakers and actually used it only once and this one time it was my friend & classmate Diana who got it. I was cop-on-duty and she was late (as usual) coming to class. Somewhere far off, the teacher-on-duty had her eye on me and on closer home the whole class also had their eyes on me.The pressure. Why me? I who had been a “good cop” had to make Diana kneel down and I have never forgotten how rotten I felt for humiliating her in that way.
Anyways, I did my fair share of kneeling down at St. George’s School and my knees bear good witness to that. One day we were made to kneel down for like a whole afternoon – I’m not sure what we had done; all I know was that the time did not fit the crime. We were kneeling down for so long that even the stories we were telling to keep ourselves busy almost ran out.
Then one of the girls fainted. Her name was Maddeh, a chubby girl. She was complete uptown material and really delicate. She first started fidgeting and then became all flustered with her face red, and then it happened. I thought that now the teachers would have to consider abolishing this torturous form of punishment because it was causing us bodily harm. We all hoped that at least we would get off the hook & be released from the punishment. Shock on us. After she was attended to, we were forced to continue kneeling down.
Recently, I mentioned this incident to her and she confessed that it had all been an act. Ati she just couldn’t take it any more and had to do something! What? I was stupefied but then figured, only she could have pulled it off.
That was me. In your school which was the worst “pano” you ever endured? Feel free to share.