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6/29/07 The Bad Apple

If you've seen my sister's confessions of a 4th grade sociopath, then you'll realize that it's true that she is the "bad" sister. I can honestly say that I've never deliberately snapped a pencil in half. In fact, there's only been a few times that I EVER got in trouble in school (because I am the good child, and have a healthy respect for the rules). The only big time I ended up on the wrong side of the law was in first grade. Ms. Davis had a poster that had a picture of an apple on it for every student in the class. Everyone's name was printed neatly on their picture of a shining red apply with obligatory smiley face on it. Every week, you started out with a clean shiny apple. If you were bad, then Ms. Davis would glue a Styrofoam "worm" (aka packing peanut) onto your apple. (I'm guessing the point was that you were now a "bad apple"). If you made it through the whole week without a worm, then you got to get a prize out of the "treasure chest" (which consisted almost entirely of shiny new pencils). I had quite the new pencil collection because I am, of course, the good child. (It's a good thing that Steph hadn't gone through her pencil snapping phase then, because heads would have rolled!). Anyway, one day Ms. Davis had to run up to the office, so she assigned a class monitor to take names. (Ohhhh, the power of a name taker! No talking or you got your name written up on the board! Repeat offenders got a check mark! A check mark! I am still convinced to this day that a check mark by your name on the board practically guarantees that you are going to grow up to be a criminal). I, of course, never got my name on the board. (And was smugly superior about it too).

Anyway, the problem started when Ms. Davis left the room and the name taker announced that he did not care if anyone talked, he was not going to put anyone's name on the board! Can you imagine! A complete disregard for the rules! Not taking names AND allowing talking! (That never would have happened if Ms. Davis had put me in charge). The class in general, however, thought that this was a wonderful idea, and the noise level immediately skyrocketed. I knew that when Ms. Davis came back, she would be mad. And I wanted to make it very clear when she did that I was not part of this rule-breaking foolishness! So I left the class, and waited for Ms. Davis outside the room. Unfortunately, Ms. Davis neglected to mention on her list of class rules that leaving the classroom and loitering outside was also not allowed. And she was not at all pleased to come back and find me waiting by the door. Not. At. All. And then...SHE GLUED A WORM TO MY APPLE! My apple! My beautiful, shiny, clean apple! Marred by a worm! Worse, I was now a bad kid! Destined for a life of crime! Never to amount to anything! Forever going through life with a scarlet worm sewn to my chest. Oh the humiliation!

I couldn't even bear to look at my beautiful apple anymore. I was sick to my stomach the whole week about that worm. The worst was on Friday, when it was time for the "good apples" to go up to the treasure box to get their pencils. No pencil for me though. I would just sit in my seat and quietly die of shame. There is a happy ending though. Amazingly, Ms. Davis called my name to go up to the treasure box! I couldn't believe it! I was frozen in my seat! The kid behind me quickly (and loudly) pointed out that I couldn't go up; I had a worm, but Ms. Davis answered that because I was being very good now, she would let me get a pencil. Cheating, I know, but I believe that it was Ms. Davis's way of admitting that she may have come down a little hard on me for breaking a rule that technically wasn't ever made clear to us. What she just didn't understand though was that it was never about the pencils...it was about being proud of my apple, and that apple died a little bit the day I got the worm. Of course, as soon as I came in Monday morning, my apple was clean and fresh again along with everyone else's. But I never left my seat again without specifically being asked.

And to this day I still despise those little worm shaped packing peanuts.

1 comment:

erin said...

know that you and your sister brought humor to my sunday morning...before i even had my second cup of coffee! i often can't find humor in anything until a sufficient amount of caffeine is flowing through my veins.
thanks should go to jack lail from knoxnews for putting you in his blog roundup.