School is over today for both my boys and my wife. She is more than ready to relinquish her teaching duties for a few months and they are eager to spend their days chasing lizards and swimming. I'm happy for them and I will get to spend more time with my family which is a good thing, but my writing time will suffer as it does every year when the days get longer and it is much easier to hang go fishing or hang out outside.
Yesterday, I went to my boys school awards assembly. That got me to thinking about my old school days. Particularly when one boy got an award and the teacher joked that he would be the perfect student of only she could read his writing.
No one ever confused me for the perfect student, I found my way into too much trouble for that to ever be the case, but I did make good grades throughout and I think most of my teachers liked me. Of course one or two did not, and the most adamant of those was my forth grade teacher, Mrs. McCarthy. Given the laws of nature I feel fairly confident she is no longer with us so I don't worry too much about her reading this and tracking me down to stand above me with that disapproving frown I saw so often my fourth grade year.
Even in Mrs. McCarthy ... (oh, how I wish that would have been Jenny McCarthy) Sorry got distracted. Anyway even though Mrs. McCarthy found fault with my tendency to talk in class or clown around with my buddies I still made all A's and B's, mostly A's I might add. Except in one subject -- Handwriting.
Now I'll be the first to admit, a recovering heroin addict in day three of the shakes, could write more legibly driving down a pothole-filled gravel road than me. Doctors look at my markings and ask, "What the hell does this say?" I haven't written a word in cursive in years since I can't even read it, but all that aside most of my teachers in the past would give me at least a B- so that I could attend the A/B honor roll functions. They basically threw me a bone since I kicked butt in my other subjects. But not Mrs. McCarthy. She gave me a big fat C every six weeks so as we were approaching the end f the year I had not attended a single pizza and coke party with the other burgeoning geniuses of my school.
I lobbied my position and cruel Mrs. McCarthy said, "I'll give you a B when you actually deserve a B."
That's when fate stepped in and helped me out. Or so I thought.
My mom was and is a hairdresser so I spent lots of times in the presence of gossipy old ladies, hairspray and perm solution fumes, and bobbie pins. A young boy can oly watch so mnay ladies get their hair curled before he looks for diversions. After a while even Red book and Better Home and Gardens start to look good. One day while flipping through the girly mags (no not those kind, actual mags that pandered the the thoughts and ideas of middle aged women -- maybe that's where my whole thing with women's fiction started?) I'm wandering again so back to the story.
I don't recall the magazine but I came across an article that said a recent study claimed that those with high I.Q.s often had losuy penmanship because their brain worked faster than their hand. I snuck over to my mom's station, nabbed her hair sheers when she wasn't looking and clipped the piece out. Not even Mrs. McCarthy could doubt science.
I presented the article to her the very next day. A B heck, I figured she woud be duty bound to give me an A after reading the info. I had the worst handwriting in the class that had to mean I was the smartest kid there, right? Of course, Mrs. McCarthy had the prettiest handwriting I'd ever seen. That could only mean she wasn't all that bright, right?
Actually, I think that's where I went wrong in my presentation. In hindsight, that last little bit of logic probably wasn't the best thing to close my argument with. That six weeks I got my first ever D.
So tell me what kind of student were you? What is the story behind your worst grade ever?