Monday, April 2, 2012

Wow. Totally nothing to report.

I often wonder which is worse: Go many days without posting OR cobbling together a really pathetic post that's totally dumb and boring and just getting it turned in? (God help me: Can I ever NOT talk like a teacher? PLEASE?)

Thinking of it that way reminds me of this REALLY awful summer reading assignment I had when I was going into 9th grade.  (Erin, Ama, Megan, Sarah, and Laurie: Can I get an Amen?)  We had signed up for the hardest level of freshman English (I guess because we hated our 14 year old selves very badly?).  Apparently, a lot of us signed up for Seminar English and to weed out the weaklings from the worthy, the teacher made us read three trillion books (ok, only four: To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies ... I forget the other two. Help me out, Erin); we had to write some stupid paper on the books; AND, worst of all, we had to fill an ENTIRE single subject notebook with "writing." You could write whatever you wanted, but the whole notebook had to be filled.

I wanted to kill myself.

That being said, I loved To Kill a Mockingbird so much that I wrote my undergrad philosophy thesis on it.  And I reread it four summers in a row because summer wasn't summer without TKAM.

I guess it wasn't all bad.

Most of my other friends had it worse that summer because they had to do this monster geometry packet too.

(WHY AM I TEACHER???  I hated school so bad ... why am I still  here??)


Anyway.  The single subject notebook: You had to fill THE WHOLE THING.  There were no rules about writing on both sides of the page. Also, no rules about "big handwriting" or illegible writing.  The first full week of August, I went to the Outer Banks with Erin and the new school year was looming on the horizon.  Fourteen year old kids didn't have texting, IM, Facebook, or email back then, but word was zooming around that EVERYONE was in panic mode about this assignment.  (I guess we passed the word on the telephone? Like, actual land line telephones?)  One night, Erin and I sat down to just WRITE whatever we could before we went to bed.  Erin was determined; I was just angry and totally pissed.  In complete desperation I wrote a story that went like this:

"My mom has an herb garden.  All of us love the herb garden, but it's basically totally ruined because my mom didn't realize that if you plant mint in the ground and not a container then the mint will take over the whole garden. Every year, we pull it out and it grows back and we pull it out and it grows back and we pull it out and it grows back and we pull it out and it grows back ..."

I repeated that for two full pages.

Erin said, "I really WOULD NOT do that. Tear it out.  What if she thinks you're being a smart ass?"

People: I was beyond caring.  The only person who's more of a goody-two-shoes than me is Erin, and I really was not hearing her that night.

I turned in the journal the first day of school--I can't even IMAGINE what I filled it with ... CAN'T EVEN IMAGINE!!--and I kept the mint story right where I left it.

When the journals were passed back a week later--HA!! A WEEK LATER!! Do you think that lady read FIFTY journals in ONE WEEK??--I immediately ripped it open to the mint story ... and I saw this comment: "Ha! My garden is the same way!"

Oh. So I'm not in trouble?  You don't think I'm a smart ass?  Oh. Well that's good!  And out of class I skipped.

For the record, if not for that SAME specific teacher, I NEVER, EVER would have learned how to do college level research and I would have bombed out on most of my college papers.  No way would I have figured out how to write a college thesis or organize a grad level paper.  Basically, I owe that woman (and one other) my career.

But, I still think the entire summer project sucked and was totally unnecessary.

There. I said it.

And I even came up with something to write about for this post!  (Maybe that's how I filled the journal?)

(Would I be allowed to submit this blog as the same project today? Probably not. That's way too easy.)


Laurie said...

I was just thinking about that journal the other day. I procrastinated that project the whole summer and wrote the whole journal during the last 2 days of summer break (of course I used 5 different pens so it didn't look like I wrote it all at once). I didn't learn my lesson. Remember those hundreds of note cards we had to fill out for that HUGE research paper? I wrote them all on the last day of winter break :)

Cat Lady, Esq. said...

Luckily she ditched that journal idea by the time my class came up. Still had to do the note cards and totally waited til MLK weekend to do them all - the last weekend. Went to see Catch Me If You Can in theaters as a studybreak....And just realized my life hasn't really changed since 9th grade.

Jo Harper said...

I remember those 100 notecards! Laurie, I'm right with you: the entire last day of winter break was those 100 damn note cards. I did 94 and received 94% because all she did was count them. That was THE WORST. The Honors kids only had to do 50--I was so jealous.