Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Good Plan Gone Bad -- REPEAT

While I am away fishing I thought I'd bring back a few of my previous posts that you may have missed. The date below is their original publication date.

Friday, May 30, 2008

How I came to C the light ...

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 only watch so many 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 lousy 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 would 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?


Cloudia said...

My hand writing is horrible; I must be a GENIUS! LOL
Aloha fisherGuy (isn;t lake Travis dry? ;-)

Aloha from fishy Waikiki-

Comfort Spiral

Anonymous said...

I was fine up until my third year of college when I met my wife to be. And after hanging around pretty much every day and working like 30 hours a week, I earned my first D in a pretty easy class basically for never doing homework, and then I got my only ever F in "Professional Selling" (wow...come to think of it, maybe that's why I hate sales jobs). Anyways, I was late for class almost every day, did pretty well on tests and quizzes, but it was the two projects that killed me - the first was a sales presentation, which I thought I aced but my prof said I bombed. Then I had to do a field trip with a sales guy...well the day I went he had no sales calls to make, so I got a big fat zero. The prof said I could take an Incomplete and do another trip within a month, but then he said "on second thought, I don't think it's going to help you - just take the F and retake this class when your schedule allows you to be on time". I did retake the class, got an EASY B, won the favor of the prof, and I think he was one of my favorite teachers for it.

sybil law said...

I got great grades and have (still) excellent handwriting. In fact, I've been hired for my handwriting (and would love more jobs like those!).
Anyway, grades weren't my problem - my mouth was, and for it, I was suspended regularly.
Those teachers were idiots, anyway.

Rebecca said...

I have to say that my 4th grade teacher was also one of the meanest teachers I ever had (is it a 4th grade thing?) And my handwriting was so bad that she took me and a few other sloppy writers down to the wall outside the 2nd grade class to show us how those 2nd graders had better handwriting than we did...

Lauren said...

Hahaha! What a mean old teacher. Funny how kids often don't think conversations like that through. :)

the walking man said...

Naww...I don't like telling that story because that was when the old man punched me in the head and told me I was "too goddamned stupid to go to school." 'nuff said about that eh?

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