Monday, August 28, 2006

First Grade Nightmare, Continued . . .

After posting my recent First Grade account regarding the potato fiasco with the notorious Mrs. Wells, I did what we all do with significant figures from our past . . . . I googled the dear old lady.

. . . . Oh! My! God! . . .

Mrs. Wells is still living!!!

She seemed like this big, dreadful, sweet, old lady back in 1965. Really, I didn't mean to portray her as this old tyrant, quite the contrary. When I was six years old, I really think she was near sixty.

It was soon after the potato fiasco, that incident where I went nuts smearing the drawing of the potato with the brown crayon. We were supposed to cut out but my best bud, Johnny, ratted me out for coloring outside the lines. After that, I was then a six-year-old renegade in the eyes of Mrs. Wells. (I'm joking here. She really liked me)

I progressed with good grades. Each printing example or piece of artwork was acknowledged with a "check-plus" or a "check" or a "check-minus".

As the eldest son, I was so proud to bring home a continual array of first-grade productions with a big red "check-plus" across the top from Mrs. Wells for my parents to see. (Aside from the initial potato debacle)

Then, one day, the inevitable happened. . . . .I received a big, red "check-minus" on a spelling test! My post as the best-little-boy-in-the-world was about to come crumbling down!
My younger brother was in pre-school and there was NO WAY I could present such a failure to my parents.

So I did what any clever first-grader would do. I took my big, fat pencil, and shakily made the red "check-minus" into a sad little "check-plus" to present to my dad.

"Son, I'm just not sure about this grade," Dad said. "Doesn't Mrs. Wells usually use a red pen?"

(Picture Andy Griffith with Opie, okay?)

"Um, I think she lost her red pen, Daddy."

"Well, I'm a teacher too. I'd think she'd use a blue pen instead, don't you?"

(I can still remember this line of questioning and feeling myself sink in deeper)

"Um. Maybe she lost the blue pen, too."

"Now, why do you think Mrs. Wells would grade your paper with a pencil? Can you tell me that?"

"I don't think she had any pens. She had to use a pencil."

"You know, son, Mrs. Wells lives right down the street. How about we take a walk and just ask her what happened to her pens?"

I was caught. Trapped by the Parental Supreme Court. . . .
I can still remember looking down at that paper and seeing my sad little squiggly pencil trying to make the big red check-minus into a check plus.

I was caught in a lie. Tears would appear shortly.

I 'fessed up and had to show Mrs. Wells my altered, counterfeit handiwork.

Do you think she'd remember that after all these years?


At 9:52 AM , Blogger Lorraine said...

Gee whiz. Makes me wonder if my 1st grade teacher is still living...she seemed awfully, awfully ancient...

At 11:26 AM , Blogger Jon said...

Hop onto google.
Get creative with it.
You never know.

At 3:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You were clearly the devil incarnate. How much prison time did you go on to serve in your adult life?

At 5:14 PM , Blogger Jon said...

JP - when I was thirteen, I tied my little brother to the side of the house so he couldn't get away, climbed on the roof and spit on him.
Prison ensued . . .


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