Remember when we used to write notes, fold them ten times and send them to each other during class?

It was one of the most adrenaline rushed experiences of my time. The feeling that the teacher just might catch you… The feeling that you have a supposedly juicy secret to tell… The anticipation of your friend's response…

I LOVED passing notes. And I wrote them by the dozen. By the hundreds even! I was always one of the tallest girls in class, so I always sat in the back. My best friends were short and sat in the front so that they could see the board. Therefore passing notes to them was the ultimate Mission Impossible feat (accompanied with the theme song). The note had to be passed through a gazillion hands until it reached its destination! And there were so many risks like the chance of the note being read by some nosey classmate or, worse, being read by the teacher!

So why did we pass notes? Because they were fun!! And because we always thought that what we had to say was so important that the friend had to read it NOW. We couldn't wait until lunch, or until after school. It had to be "right now".

I had so many great experiences with notes, because what's better than having someone agree, or better yet, be excited about something that YOU were the first to discover. I remember so clearly many of the notes my friends and I wrote to each other during class. It was more fun than talking to each other on the phone. At least it seemed like it.

Passing notes was not always as fun as I mentioned it to be. It was also one of the scariest. One of my worst note-passing experiences was during Middle School. A friend and I were passing a note back and forth to each other and gossiping about a classmate. I hated that person back then, so our notes consisted of making fun of him (including illustrations). My friend wrote me a note teasing me about him, and saying how we were going to get married… you know that sort of silly stuff. And because I hated him so much, I wrote back something along the lines of "Eeeeeww, I don't want my kids to be ugly and stupid like him". I know, that was harsh. Then she drew an illustration of me and him and our future babies complete with descriptions. Just as I was gasping at the audacity of the idea, I looked up to see the teacher standing right in front of my desk with his hand outstretched and awaiting me to put the note in his hand. I froze in my seat, and could do nothing but plop the note in his palm.

He went to the front of the classroom and proceeded to read the note out loud! I wanted to die of shame, but thankfully, he got to the embarrassing part and started laughing! He realized that if he continued to read the note, he would embarrass our poor classmate, so he folded it and put it in his pocket. Thank God our silliness humored him because he didn't punish us. But for a minute there, my heart almost stopped!

That experience didn't stop us though. In fact it made us invent crazy ways to pass notes. For example: Stick the note inside a pencil cap and give it to my friend who 'needed' a pen. Hide it between a calculator and its cover. Walk as if to throw something into the rubbish bin and then casually drop the note into the friend's desk or lap. Crumple the note, hide it under your shoe and, when the teacher isn't looking, kick it underneath your friends desk.

Those were just some of the many ways we passed notes. I'm sure the generation that succeeded us came up with more brilliant ways to pass notes. It's too bad that this activity has probably ceased to exist, especially since the kids these days most likely text each other during class. It's just not the same!

Note writing was so much fun. I hope everyone got to experience this when they were in school. What's your best and worst experience with passing notes? Or did you just not do it?

– Alya Al Othman.

Image: Jimmy Vivino

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