I had a dream about this last night for some reason. I hadn’t thought about it in years.

This happened around the late fall of my junior year in high school. I’d just turned 17 the month before. We lived in a northern part of New England, where I grew up. Both of my parents were very conservative, religious types. My father in particular.

I attended a private boys school in the area. It was fairly standard for schools of that type in the area. We wore uniforms, adhered to a strict dress code and the like. Everything was very regimented, structured and strict. I wasn’t one of the resident students. Like most who lived nearby, I lived at home with my parents.

The school required that every report card and progress report had to be acknowledged by parents. This was one of the earliest online progress report type setups. Basically what would happen is that our grades would post online and copies of our progress reports would be emailed to our parents. There was no way to interfere with this.

Since I was in elementary school, we had a policy in the house that if you brought home inferior grades, punishment would almost certainly follow. The particularities changed as my brother and I got older, but generally less than A’s would have involved a belting of between five and ten licks, and if there were C’s or D’s involved then my brother and I would get weekly ‘maintenance spankings’ until our grades returned to the level of my father’s expectation. This was his primary method of discipline, and as you can imagine both of us made considerable effort to avoid it.

I hadn’t had maintenance spankings since I was in middle school. Almost without exception, I was a straight A student, even though classes were challenging and my schedule was always full.

On a Saturday morning after fall/winter term grades had posted, my father called my brother and I into his office, which was located on our house’s main level. It was essentially an old bedroom that had been converted into a place where he could work from home, when not at our townhouse in the city.

My brother, 4 years younger, was 13 at the time.

I didn’t realize it, but my grade in biology had dropped significantly. My biology instructor refused to curve the class grades, so most of the class got between a high D and a low C. I had a B+, the second highest grade in the class. And that was satisfactory, as I’d explained to my father how difficult the class was and the instructor, who my father was in communication with, confirmed that I’d truthfully explained the situation.

Yet, on the final test, my grade was still higher on a percentage basis than many others in the class, but significantly lower than past test grades. I forget exactly what it was, but it dropped me down overall to a C-. It’s the lowest grade I got in high school.

My father had a long talk about responsibility and the importance of trying our best. But, even if I had given that class all I had to offer, he went on to note how, “Sometimes, your best just isn’t good enough,” and how, with the proper motivation, we can sometimes come to realize that we had a lot more to give than originally thought.

I assumed my father was talking about my brother, who routinely got maintenance spankings over the course of school terms. But he was not. He was talking about me.

He explained that after carefully considering the situation, it was only fair that I get the same treatment my younger brother did the last time he brought home a C+, without regard to the class’s difficulty or how unfair the instructor’s grading policy was. The grade I earned was the grade I earned, and more often than not life just is not fair. Impressing that upon me was important, in his view, and so he indicated that every Sunday night for the next term I would be spanked with the belt just as my younger brother had until my grades improved, presumably at the end of the next term.

My brother’s report was mostly B’s and a few A’s with one C. Mine was mostly A’s with one B+ and the C-. My father determined that I would get 15 licks with the belt, weekly, while my brother would get 10.

I sat in silence as he announced this, totally stunned.

We were always spanked in front of each other, as well. Whether one or both of us were being spanked, the other watched. The idea was that punishment for one was a visual reminder to the other of what the standards and expectations were.

That next Sunday night, at about 9.00 pm, my father appeared, belt in hand, in our doorway. My brother and I shared a room.

My father gestured for me to go first, and instructed that I, “Take the position.” That meant to pull down my underwear, and spread my feet shoulder-width apart while holding the wooden rail to the poster-bed’s frame. If you moved or kicked your feet, your count started over. Every lick had to be counted, followed by “sir.” If you broke the count, you started over too.

My brother sat on the other side of the room while my father put his hand on the small of my back and I felt the belt come down.

“One, sir.”

It was absolutely humiliating.

“Two, sir.”

This went on until I counted 15 licks. And then afterward, my brother got his. I remember watching but I wasn’t paying attention. My backside hurt so much.

Of course, I didn’t have that instructor next term, and my grades would have been better anyway. But that didn’t matter. I got spanked weekly until the end of the spring/summer term just the same.