I had started living up to the phrase " a piece of my mind". I had no fear practicing it and standing up for what I thought was right.
And one day, I had had enough...
We were in class, working at those desks that had the spots for tote trays. I sat on the end of a row that faced the desks in the center of the classroom. The "bully" sat in the row opposite me also facing the center.
I can't remember what he did to cause the upcoming event, and neither does my mother. But I'm sure he'd made fun of somebody. Or threatened someone. He liked to do that a lot. He liked to make people feel inferior to him, and my heart could not stand for that.
So, I yelled at him. Across the classroom.
Apparently, he'd had enough of my reprimands and, before the teacher could stop him, raced toward me. I was still telling him off, unafraid of his menacing face and figure.
He didn't holler back. He just flipped me and my desk over.
Now, my school had those collapsible walls, and they were all pushed back. So 4 third grade classrooms ceased working when I went flying.
No one moved. Everyone thought I was dead.
But then, out of the wreckage, I shot to my feet, my roar greater than he could handle. I shook my finger at him. I told him he was mean. I demanded he do better. And I showed him that no matter what he did to me, I would NOT back down.
We were both carted to the principal's office. He got a spanking. I got a talking to.
My mother was shocked, but not too much. She asked why I only got a lecture. My teacher said, "Because we teachers were silently cheering her on."
And that was that.