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05 March 2009 @ 12:57 pm
How I got in trouble in second grade #14  
I was always a big reader back when bookworm was an insult. By second grade, I had read the book, "Jaws," which I will admit I bought because it had a cool shark on the cover. By the time I had finished it, the Spielberg movie based on the book had been released. Naturally, during my book report, the teacher was very skeptical whether I had read the book versus just seeing the movie. So she asked me to open to some random page, read it aloud, and then explain the passage in my own words.

In a moment of cruel fate (for me or the teacher, I am not sure which), the passage I flipped to was where Hendricks had found the half-eaten body of the missing girl. The moment of my book report went something like this:

Teacher: Mr. Larson... that's an awfully big book for you to read.
Me: Uh huh.
Teacher: [looking at me sternly] Are you sure you didn't watch the movie instead?
Me: No, ma'am. It was rated R. My mother was scared to watch it because she heard it might scare her from every swimming in the ocean again, and she likes the ocean.
Teacher: Uh huh. Well, that is a book for adult readers.
Me: It was in the science fiction rack at the library.
Teacher: Okay, so you said you can read and understand this book?
Me: Yes.
Teacher: ... really...?
Me: Yes ma'am.
Teacher: Okay, do this for me. Pick a random page and read it aloud to the class. Then explain what you just read in your own words.
Me: Okay. [flips to book, starts reading blindly] "Suddenly he stopped. For a few seconds he stared, frozen rigid. He fumbled in his pants pocket for his whistle, put it to his lips, and tried to blow; instead he vomited, staggered back, and fell to his knees." See, this guy was from a search party looking for the missing girl. In the beginning of the book, they said that the girl had been eaten while skinny dipping, which means to swim naked.
Teacher: Er...
Me: "Snarled within the clump of weed was a woman's head, sill attached to the shoulders, part of an arm, and about a third of her trunk. The mass of tattered flesh was a mottled blue gray, and as Hendricks spilled his guts to the ground into the sand, he thought--"
Class of sheltered second graders: [gasp]!
Teacher: Okay, that's enough.
Me: "... he thought -- and the thought made him retch again -- that the woman's remaining breast looked as flat as a flower pressed in a memory book."
Class: [giggles at the word "breast"]
Me: That passage means that he only found the top half of the girl because the shark ate the lower half.
Teacher: I GET it, PLEASE sit DOWN!
Me: And she was a mottled blue due to rotting on the beach. Her flat breast was probably due to loss of blood or guts. Hendricks is vomiting because the sight of only half a body made him sick.

She did, and my mother got a big kick out of it. I did not get in any more trouble and my teacher didn't doubt my reading skills anymore.
rmartin_justmermartin_justme on March 5th, 2009 06:26 pm (UTC)
That's hilarious! I try to remember never to challenge a student like that in front of the class. Then again, I teach music, so the kids can either play it, or they can't. It's hard to cheat on a playing test.
ravyn: devil ratravynmaniac on March 5th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
i just discovered that my throat is too dry for me to laugh. i discovered this, of course, by having a coughing fit caused by laughing. BWAHHHHHHH
Ron: applausemighty_rontor on March 5th, 2009 06:42 pm (UTC)
I love it. Kids like you were around the world are my heroes.

Don't these over-educated and dogmatic idiots know how to recognize exceptionally bright students? I HATE teachers like that: condescending, self-rightious dim-wits. Man, they get me really angry!

Hey, how about Ellen Brody fantasizing about Hooper? Boy, that would have gotten your teachers panties in a knot! HA!
wolfdancer on March 5th, 2009 09:19 pm (UTC)
most of the trouble that I got in in cath school was my reading books.. from the librie .. theres. there started pulling books that I started taking a intrest in. One was "the art of love" a book on religon and belive and god love.. but oh well.
nuns have dirty minds
Daehithdaehith on March 5th, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, in 3rd grade I was in the "advanced reading" group - we had a different reader than the rest of the class. Partway through the year the teacher took me aside and asked if I had copied the answers to the little chapter quizzes out of her book (which was usually open on her lap with the answers visible if you could read upside down - and what kid can't?) because she had noticed that I had filled out some we hadn't gotten to yet. I explained that I had already read the whole reader. She was at a bit of a loss for a moment and then decided to start letting me check books out and read on my own at reading time instead. She was a really nice teacher, as I recall... :)
DP Twisteddptwisted on March 6th, 2009 12:33 am (UTC)
I went to Catholic school on Guam when I was little. I took home the reader and finished it on the first night. Yeah, Guamanian schools are a little behind. Bored kid, nuns, do the math. Maybe this explains my irrational fear of penguins.
kenalephakenalepha on March 7th, 2009 06:38 am (UTC)
I can recall the "Run, Dick, run. See Jane run after the dog." sort of thing in school and going home and reading my brother's Superman and Batman comics, and borrowing his Tom Swift Jr, and the Juvenile Heinlein's books to read. I think I had been reading the Alice in Wonderland and thru the Looking Glass aloud with Mom and Dad before that.
I know that the Walter Farley books were some of my favorites when I was in 3rd or 4th grade and I can remember being challenged by librarians about whether they can let me borrow 4 books for the week, But I needed that 4th book, because I was finishing 3 over a weekend.
malle_babbemalle_babbe on March 8th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC)
This reminds me of that scene in "To Kill a Mockingbird" when Scout gets smacked with a ruler by her teacher because she knows how to read already. Granted, Scout kind of blurts it out; remember, this is Scout we are talking about, she's a good kid, but didn't have a lot in the tact department, but still...
(Anonymous) on March 9th, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
Grig, Myself and Andy O got in trouble for making up our own books. It worked out fine for a report or two, but soon we were found out.

punkwalruspunkwalrus on March 9th, 2009 08:42 pm (UTC)
Hah! Clever idea, though.