Unpleasant Seating Arrangements.

Assigned seats in high school were the worst. 

I mean, sure, most students would usually choose to sit in the same approximate place every day anyway, right? But having a teacher require that we sit in a particular seat for his or her class was so, like, whatever.

endured several unpleasant seating arrangements over the years: front and center facing the teacher’s podium for five straight months, behind a strange dude who would turn around and yank my pen out of my hand while I was trying to take notes, in front of a guy who would sometimes run his fingers through my long hair for a good portion of the class period. (Um, awkward.)

The worst, though, was when I made the mistake one year of taking a seat in the second-to-the-last row on the first day. The boy I thought I loved—who had broken up with me just two days prior—sat behind me, surrounded by his friends who had never liked me. And then! The teacher announced that the seats we’d chosen were going to be permanent. Every day, Ex-BF and his friends made jokes at my expense and/or carried on loud discussions about allllllllllllll the (probably invented, I now realize) girls he’d hooked up with after dumping me. Every day, I hated my life and wished that I’d had the foresight to choose another seat when I’d had the chance.

My awful-seating-arrangement story has a happy(ish) ending, though. When the semester was finally over, I transferred out of that class and away from those jerkwads forever. Hooray!

Does anyone else out there have a story to share? Please tell us! What was the worst assigned seat you ever had to endure?


Christine Fonseca said...

Dude! Love this post. Seating arrangements can make or break a year for some kids.

Kari (Flamingo1325) said...

Pretty sure the worst assigned seating arrangement I had put me by all the cheerleaders who I just did not get along with... Those days sucked. But the most amusing was high school bio, where our teacher had our names on a deck of cards and would shuffle them every 6 weeks and then go down the rows laying them out to determine a random order, and EVERY time, I ended up with my friend.... and then we passed notes all class.

Lindsey Leavitt said...

Yay! My upcoming contemp book, SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD, is all about the boy alphabetically connected to my MC. They've sat by each other again and again, but THIS is the year she notices more than just his head :)

kristen tracy said...

This was a great post. Stories where people are trapped by their own chairs interest me. Okay. My story. I lived in the country, so the drive to school was a long one. And we had assigned seats on our bus. And I got tormented in 7th grade by two girl bullies who sat next to me and in front of me. But then one of the bullies grew a conscience by 9th grade and apologized to me and she admitted that she thought I was cool and we ended up becoming friends. But her family kept seven vicious dogs, so the friendship didn't develop, because I was afraid to go to her house.

Micol Ostow said...

I never had any horror stories regarding assigned seating, believe it or not! I think it's been more of an anxiety-provoking issue now that I'm an adult -dinner parties and things like that. Is it possible I'm getting LESS mature as I grow up?

Lydia Sharp said...


I was hoping someone would cover the assigned seats thing. That was SUCH a HUGE deal for me in school. The novel I'm currently querying starts out with the MC's frustration with a certain annoying someone who had to sit behind her in every single class all year because of their last names being next to each other in the alphabetical order. SO not fair.

word verification: clepoo

Pretty sure that's not a real word but I'll find a way to use it in something. It just rolls so nicely off the tongue, doesn't it? ;)

Mandy Hubbard said...

OH Mindi *pet pet pet*. Poor you!!

I am trying to think of bad seating arrangements and all I can think of is the BEST seatting arrangement. ha.

In 8th grade, my math teacher used a random computer program to assign seats. And right from the get-go, I get seated next to THE PATRICK THOMAS, hottest boy in school. So I am happy for a month. Then we get reassigned. And we both move. Together. To a different table. Then a month later, again, we move, together.

That seating program moved us FOUR TIMES and we sat beside each other every time. It was playing cupid, i'm sure. Not that it worked. I think he went on to marry the homecoming queen and have an adorable baby boy.

Joann Swanson said...

Awesome post! Some of my squirmiest memories of high school have to do with unpleasant seating arrangements. Well done.

Carly Reads said...

My 11th grade American History teacher carried a baseball bat with him at all times while in the classroom. The sole purpose of this baseball bat? He slammed it on the desks of the students sitting in the front row when he got excited about a point or thought that the class wasn't being attentive enough. I wish I'd known that before I elected to sit in the front row in that class ... and then found out seats were permanent.

Jami said...

Great post!

Worse seating arrangement for me was when I had to sit by the class clown. Only because he would joke, then I would laugh and be the who gets in trouble.

Becca C. said...

In grade 7 my teacher made me sit with this, ah... guy who was not very socially adjusted, so say the least. He was hyper and crazy, apparently I calmed him down. It was awful, though. He smelled really bad!

Claire Dawn said...

I don't remember having assigned seats, but our seats were pretty much always permanent.

In 5th form (sophomore year) I sat mext to Damian, who'd just gotten braces. He spent his entire day talking about hte germs he could fell salsa-ing across his teeth. I brushed my teeth about 12 times a day that whole year.

Melissa Walker said...

Love this post. And I'm with Mandy--sometimes you get a crazy-good seating assignment, like in 8th grade science when I sat next to a certain JG. I'm still too immature to write out his name b/c I think he'll see and he's now married to one of my friends. But man, that 8th grade science seating chart was pure glory.

Mindi Scott said...

Ha ha! Leave it to me to not even CONSIDER the potentially awesome side of assigned seating arrangements!

Thank you, Mandy and Melissa, for sharing those. And thanks to everyone else for the great responses as well! :-)

elissa said...

It was rumored when I was in high school that my American History teacher never passed the kid sitting next to the window. It was assigned seats for the whole year, and sure enough the year I had her, the kid by the window (who just happened to be the boy I was dating) spent time in summer school to pass history! but, um...he couldn't really blame his seat for that!

As a teacher, I assign seats for behavioral issues and to make attendance quick and easy. I do always feel sorry for the "good" kids that I always have to use as spacers for the...uh...wingnut-types. :)

danya said...

Wow, that sounds like some awful seating arrangements you had to endure! Have to agree about front & center in front of the teacher's podium...you never want to sit there.

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