What’s the most important thing you have learned in high school ?

This might come as a shock to people who expect me to say stuff about complément d’objet direct. Which is truly the thing we practiced most. The teacher drilled us about those compléments d’objet direct, indirect, qui est-ce qui, etc. all year. It would have been something mathematical if I had given a damn about it but, really, the only thing I wanted in high school was art classes all week long, to be invisible but still be the only girl visible to Luc.

Anyway. What I learned that was most precious was to tell people to close their flytraps. To shut it.

First time I told someone « Ferme-la », it felt like a miracle. Kathy was a real mean girl and she bullied me. It was terrible. Teachers did nothing about it. When I told her to shut it one time, she gave up ! She stopped. Never heard from her again. Abracadabra.

Then I changed school and there was this stupid guy always making ridiculous jokes and making fun of me. I told him to shut it. The guy, Martin, really shut it. Never heard from him again. Abracadabra.

Most of the time I don’t say a word when people really annoy me. I act as if nothing’s happening. I stay away from people like that. But it was really difficult to accomplish in high school. At work, I can avoid them but at school I had every classes with them or their friends.

It took many more years before I learned not only to tell people to shut it but also to stop it, tell people « NO ».