D Is For Decent
Back in high school it was the thing to say: Decent, with accent and length on the "de". DEcent had become the acceptable response for everything.
“What class do you have next?”
“Math with Mr. Lapp.”
“Are you going to the game tonight?”
“No, mom won't let me go.”
“I have to wear glasses now. Do you like them?”
“You look like you have bug eyes!”
Good, bad, or ugly, DEcent ruled the climate of the students, and the faculty quickly picked it up and joined in by making T-shirts and sweatshirts with DEcent printed on it for all the students. I can still see the history teacher's smirking when we'd wear the shirts...on test day. We knew that most of us would fail the test for lack of studying, and the teacher knew it, too. But it was DEcent; we knew the boundaries as well as the teacher.
I had sworn to always keep that shirt. Black with yellow letters which accented DEcent even more. But alas, like all childhood clothing, it slowly faded and disappeared into the ambiance of the past.
I think about those days now and how that one word changed the outlook of the students, 9th through 12th grades, and the faculty, one word that made us feel acceptable no matter what walk of life or what side of the tracks you were from, and encouraged us no matter how bad we had it or thought we had it.
I think we need more DEcent today, even more than we did then.