Thursday, January 15, 2009

Steve Sears vs. Hugh B. Bain Middle School

Your Honor, Ladies and Gentleman of the Jury, I present to your the case of Steve Sears v. Hugh B. Bain Middle School

Charges: Hard Times at Cranston Junior High and Why It Might Not Be Cool To Bring Star Wars Toys to School

(Pretend I'm Jack McCoy for the rest of this)

Life is like high school? Well, I can handle that. I was many things in high school (Cranston East, fools!), like the useless cog of the computer team, the star handball player during gym, the quiet kid you hope didn't follow you home, and of course, the English Award winner.

So if life is like that, sign me up!

If life is like middle school, then give me a bunker and all six seasons of 24 and just leave me alone.

The case against Mr. Bain and his cronies is simple, folks.

1. Stand under the clock: I don't remember the food. I was a young teen and I would have eaten almost anything. Stale pizza cooked under a small lamp? Delicious. The time after lunch ... a different story. For no reason whatsoever, the school authorities, who got their jollies for punishing kids, would stop lunch five minutes before it actually ended and make you sit there in silence.

Yes, we'd just sit there in silence. Those five minutes seemed liked 20 to me as the assistant principles strolled all around just looking for someone to punish. If you laughed, if you did anything, they made you stand under the lunchroom clock. Was this a metaphor of some kind? Did it symbolize that anyone who talked during silent time after lunch had little time remaining on this earth? Those questions only occur to me know as I look back at the sheer idiocy and the absolute uselessness of that whole exercise.

I wonder if they still do that, by the way.

2. Divisions: Way back in kindergarten, I did something bad. I don't know what, but I had to do a "transitional" year at Woodridge elementary before moving on to first grade. That explains why I was always a year older than my classmates.

(So, yeah, that means Emily would be working at the Dover-Sherborn Gazette because she would not have had my expert tutelage. And Jeff would be re-enacting Rocky V in some dive bar in Albany with his gut hanging out of his wifebeater and a a torn Bengals hat on his mullet. And Zach would be sipping margaritas on a beach in Hawaii with time shares and a wallet packed with million dollar bills and native woman draped all over him because he would have transferred from Northeastern. So yeah, you're welcome guys.)

This crime I committed in kindergarten relegated me to second division many years later, I'm convinced. If my memory serves me well, they grouped most of my classes into divisions. Separate and unequal! Excuse my ego, but I was just as sharp as those Division 1 douchebags. But noooo ... poor little Steve Sears with his hair parted down the middle was a second-class citizen.

This meant that when it came time to recommend us for high school, I could not for the life of me get a teacher to say I would be able to handle AP classes at East. Even though I aced history, nope, college prep for me. I had to haggle (and I NEVER haggle) to get the teacher to recommend me for AP history.

I got an A in that class.

Of course, those CP classes in freshman year were ridiculously easy. Again, I don't say this to brag. I say this because I resent the fact those teachers had me convinced I could not handle tough classes at East. It ended up costing me a top 10 finish by senior year, too, though that's nothing big. It just cost me Harvard and a partnership at a high-powered New York law firm.

If those teachers could see me now, working weekends in Patriots t-shirts I've owned since the 90's and making "That's what she said" jokes at work, they'd eat their words, Ladies and Gentleman.

3. The kids: Me included. You've got 13, 14 or in my case, 29-year-old kids with hormones raging and Hang Time confusing them about the fundamentals of basketball, what can you expect. I was far from a little angel back then, but I'm pretty sure there were many little Satans running around.

I mean, for crying out loud were kids BAAAD back then. Attitude. Bullying. Fighting over the stupidest stuff imaginable. You were either an "altie" with a chain in your pocket or you were "hip hop" with a pimp roll. There was no in between. Of course, I didn't like music that much back then. If anything, I liked classical. I kept quiet about that. There were fights between these two groups. They'd fight over anything. And don't get me started on gender relations. I think Ted Bundy or Shredder would have had better luck with girls than I did.

I met many great people as well, some who I am still friends with to this day. It was just a bad, confusing time. Maybe some of those teachers and principles were right to be pricks.


In closing, Your Honor, middle school sucked worse than every movie Kate Hudson has done since Almost Famous. Puberty, pricks and more puberty made for a Gulag-type experience. And if it weren't for those divisions I would have a degree from Harvard or Yale right now! They tell little children that America is a land for justice and truth, well, Your Honor, justice and truth took a vacation during those two years.

When I drive by that school, a small shiver still slithers up my spine. Though I would go on to become the Lando Griffin of Cranston East, the hard times at Bain just weren't necessary. I mean, I received detention once because a teacher lost my homework! My lisp was a great cause of joy for a few mean little boys. Can justice ever be served in this case? Not unless they invent time travel. Until then, I will fight to make sure no kid has to suffer the same fate ever again.

I think writing this blog ... er giving this closing statement ... will do the trick, right?

At least there's one silver lining in this sordid mess. At least I didn't go to Park View. Yuck.


  1. Say what you will about Park View, we never had to stand under any clocks. And we had Alties vs. "G's" as opposed to Hip Hop whatevers you kids called them. G's sounds cooler.

    Plus we had a pool.

    Where's Bain's pool huh? Ooooh, right, you don't have one. ;-P

  2. HAHA Steve Sears for the win. Yes, our middle school sucked. I remember the first day of seventh grade when I walked down the "up" staircase and in the words of George Constanza it was like I "smashed the Ten Commandments."

    Also, I was in Division 1. Just sayin'

  3. The speech issues were discussed at the student forum at the Sears Law Conference with Steven and Mike in Irvine. Best source for student editorial comments.

  4. steven sears attorney irvine with the free speech conference and many interesting lectures from uc irvine and the asset protection video searsatty.

  5. i'm doing a project at cranston east right now and i searched for "bain middle school" because I went there and we pretty much share the same life story.
    I "graduated" from bain in '05 and i can reassure you the grand tradition of throwing the bad ones under the clock was alive and thriving in my days.
    also, the divisions were still there. I was split up between first division and second division because i couldnt handle pre-algebra (which of course i could).
    Also, when it came to signing up for classes at East, my great guidance counselor was no help. In fact she was the opposite, she was a bitch.
    But this was fun to read. It's nice to know I'm only one of many people whose lives have been ruined because of bain

  6. I vividly remember the infamous clock in the school cafeteria and how one would have to stand under it. The whistle would blow and silence would follow except for the few who dared to rock the applecart and talk.....No doubt Bain were my best years 1967-1970.

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