It recently occurred to me that the title of this blog relates to an incident in my past. I remember is like it was yesterday…
I entered my 4th Grade classroom and written on the blackboard (nowadays it is white) was “The Trial of the Southeast Six.” As we all came into the classroom and took our seats, we tried to figure out what it meant. It took many hints from our teacher before we discovered that a cluster of six desks were in the southeast corner of the room. That was where I sat.
The day before, several of the people in our group had been talking and not paying attention. It was my teacher’s approach that we could turn this into a learning opportunity rather than a discipline opportunity. It was the 70s after all. I was not one of the people misbehaving, but I was in this group nonetheless. It was a case of guilt by association.
Anyway, each one of us had a criminal type quoted nickname for the trial. It was New York afterall. And my nickname was “Papercut.” Several days before this incident I had gotten a papercut while looking something up in an encyclopedia, and my reaction was memorable enough to my teacher to make it my nickname.
I don’t remember anyone else’s nickname. I don’t really remember the substance of the trial, but I do remember the result. The Southeast Six were split up and cast to the four corners of the room.