• What drove me to do so, I haven't the foggiest, but in my lab bio class my desk was covered in doodles, scribbles, and words. All of this was due to moi. The desks were more of tables, actually (the better for discecting, my dear), and they were smooth, black, and cool to the touch. The tables were untouched by a pencil's graphite, it seemed. The worst marks on my table were some curvy scratches in a corner and an ugly little face carved into it.
    For some reason, I found a safety pin in my hand one day during that class. Seeing the clean table and the scratch marks that were already there, I felt it proper to deface the table and leave my mark. The words "CHEER UP, EMO KID" were scratched into the table by the time the class was half over. I really had no idea who would be reading this little message, but I figured that I could make some child claiming to be emo rather angry, and that was where I found the fun.
    After carving these words into the desk, I traded the safety pin for my pencil. Day after day of enduring lab bio, I would take my pencil and start to doodle on the desk. Soon enough, it was covered. My friend laughed at me, saying I was probably going to be in jail for tagging when I was older. I laughed along with her, half wondering if she was right.
    Eventually, my vandalism spread to other classes. Spanish, Algebra, health, it seemed no class was safe. Algebra, in particular, really interested me. I sat in the last seat of the second-to-last row of the classroom, so the teacher never noticed me scribbling on my desk. I decided one day to make a little tradition: every day in Algebra, which was my first class of the day, I would draw a face of the day. Every day there was a different face decorating my desk. It became something I had to do, something I felt compelled to do even on days when I was too tired to even remember what the word "creative" meant. It was more than a hobby, it was a habit.

    I was never caught by my teachers, none of my real teachers, at least. As my lab bio teacher lectured us about keeping the tables clean and the punishment that would result if we wrote on them, I traced my hand and turned it into a turkey, the kind you might have made in kindergarten.
    "I'm gonna laugh if you're caught," my friend said in that friendly way that all friends have.
    "But I won't be. I mean, c'mon, he's not even noticing!" I replied confidently.
    Yes, I was rather confident that I would never be caught. I had been vandalizing desks for months now and no one had ever said anything about it.
    This confidence may have been what made that substitute teacher in Algebra, the one who reminded me of a Texan prison warden, look at me and notice I was not actually writing on paper.
    "That's some nice artwork," he said, magically materializing next to my desk.
    "Oh, really, you think so? I dunno, I think it looks kinda lame," I said, trying to act like he was serious.
    "What's your name?" the man asked, ignoring my comment.
    "My name?" I replied, twisting my head down so that it was almost laying on my desk and I had tilt my head up to look at him.
    "Yes, your name."
    I gave him my name like it was no big deal, and even instructed him on the spelling of my last name. I pretended I had no idea that he was going to pass my name off to my regular teacher and that he would probably give me a referral or something.
    "Okay. Clean that desk," the substitue ordered.
    I considered asking him in Spanish because that's what I do when I want to annoy people, even if they know what I'm saying, but decided against it. There was still, after all, a chance that he wouldn't influence the teacher to give me a referral. "With what?" I asked innocently.
    "I'll get you a rag and some chemicals," he said, and did.
    The class laughed as he put the rag and the bottle of alcohol and water on my desk. I laughed too; it was funny. I dutifully cleaned the desk and left the cleaning supplies on the desk when the class was excused.
    I didn't stop writing on desks, though. I even continued to do so in Algebra, but I stopped making a face of the day.
    Eventually I realized that perhaps I shouldn't be doing that. Now, I had known all along that it was wrong, but I never really cared. One day, though, I decided I would not draw on my desk. It was harder not to than I thought; I went throught eleven sheets of paper in one day because I was doodling on paper instead of desks.
    During the last week of school, I decided to instead write and draw on my arm whenever I wanted to do so on a desk. I quickly kicked the whole vandalism habit because I writing on myself with a pencil, and it hurt to make my doodles be seen. At least, I think this is what I credit for doing it. It was probably actually the fact that school ended, and I was suddenly deprived of desks.