Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Declutterization discovery #527: I wuz robbed of an edumication.

Perhaps the only reason I saved so many of my high school term papers wasn't to revel in the good grades I received, but to marvel at how undeserved they were. This one, entitled "Mark Twain: Fathoming America", somehow impressed my 11th grade English teacher -- a notorious curmudgeon and martinet -- enough to land me a perfect score and to get him to reconsider ol' Samuel Clemens.

Thing is, I didn't read a single book. I skimmed the novels (Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court) and a biography the night before it was due, stayed up 'til 3 in the morning, composing a first and final draft on an electric typewriter.

My mom, then going for her PhD in American history, rolled her eyes and said that my procrastination and last-minute bullshit would make me flunk for sure. And she wasn't gonna drive me to summer school, dammit.

When I showed her my rave review and score of 100, she couldn't believe it, and insisted on grading it herself. Mom found lots of awkward phrasing and several forced, unsubstantiated conclusions, but still, she admitted it wasn't that bad. She gave me a B-. And a warning that while high school teachers may just steamroll their students through, this crap wouldn't fly in college.

Being a smug teenager, I reminded her I was gonna be pre-med and taking mostly science classes where you didn't need to know how to not write real dumb or nuthin'. Of course, now I'm employed as a writer -- ain't life funny? Then again, it's just for TV, which is pretty much bullshit anyway.


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