I was a stinker the year I was in 5th grade. I’m not really sure what was going on in my head that made me act out so dreadfully, but I did some really awful things that year. I’ve already talked about my refusal to do homework and my perfecting “the sick voice” when I was in 5th grade. But it’s even worse. Funny, but worse.
I forget what I did wrong, but my teacher gave me a punitive assignment to look up, oh, say 20 words in the dictionary and write down the word and definitions. I started doing the assignment (why, oh why didn’t I just do my bleeping homework??), and when I was partway through, my friend came over. I told her I couldn’t go outside, and why. She commiserated with me, and we talked about how rotten the teacher was to give me such a stinky assignment, and that’s when I came up with my brilliant idea. I’ll give her definitions of bad words! My dad used to be a sailor, I know from bad words. So I started looking up all the cusswords I could think of. The definitions sounded relatively tame, and I was disappointed. And then I had another idea. Hey! I’m smart! I know what words mean. I’ll just write down my own definitions. I did that for a few words, giggling madly at my ingenuity as my friend egged me on. I finished the assignment in short order and headed outside to play.
I don’t remember showing it to my parents or telling them about it. Perhaps the teacher called them. Anyway, they found my assignment. Let’s just say that when they were finished with me, I was no longer impressed with myself. And I wasn’t mad at the teacher anymore–I was mad at them. (I was 9, okay? Everything was someone else’s fault.) All those cusswords I had previously written or made up definitions for? I was muttering those probably not so much under my breath while I redid the assignment.
And when I had to take a test in 5th grade, chances were I probably didn’t study. I mean, I didn’t do homework, why the heck would I study? So when I was writing out my responses to short-answer questions, I would start writing the sentences somewhat legibly, letting my writing get less and less clear, trailing into a row of scribbles. I was convinced that my teacher would think that my hand got tired, and she just couldn’t read my writing, and would mark that answer as correct.
My theory now? Space aliens. They removed my brain while I was in 5th grade to see if I could survive without it. They concluded I could, but returned it because I was driving everyone around me utterly insane.