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Chapter 4 --1st grade
Home Arts & Entertainment Humor
By: Mark Sweeney Email Article
Word Count: 745 Digg it | it | Google it | StumbleUpon it


For First grade I had Mrs. Enke, I have no idea who she was or what she looked like. I do know she thought my handwriting needed a lot of improvement. She also thought I had a problem with respecting authority, following directions, listening effectively, completing assigned work and effectively using my work and free time. Letís peruse her comments about this particular first grader.

"Mark is overcoming his shyness. He seldom contributes at Share and Tell time or in Science or Social Studies. He seems to know his reading words quite well, but often refuses to share them."

Iím overcoming my shyness am I? Maybe thatís why I donít participate, hmm? Did you ever think of that Mrs. Enke? Did ya, huh, did ya? Iím too shy to contribute my thoughts? I wonder why this wasnít a problem in kindergarten? Whatís up with the reading thing? Maybe I felt that reading was a personal matter not to be shared with classmates. Trust me lady, Iíll be sharing enough in the upcoming years. If youíre still around, youíll get yours. Youíll be praying for me to shut up.

"I feel that Mark is getting lazy. He has not been finishing his homework assignments. He has not been learning his reading words. He has the skills to be at the top of his class, but heís just not using them. He often fails to hand in his papers. I hope this will improve next semester."

I donít think I like this lady. I think sheís coming down pretty hard on the oleí sweenzster. Iím "lazy?" What the hell does that mean? If I donít do "homework" Iím lazy? Hey Mrs. Enke, thatís why I go to school. I do my learning at school, not at home. Youíve got me all day long, teach me what you want but Iím not taking it home with me. Iíve got a full plate as soon as that bell rings, and doing "homework" isnít one of the things on that plate. Letís see if anything improved in the third semester.

"Markís reading comprehension is improving but he can still improve. My main concern is Markís attitude of being so defensive in most areas. He doesnít take interest in many things. He wastes so much time instead of doing constructive things. I marked him on respecting authority since he is defiant and disobedient most of the time. This hopefully will be changed the next quarter."

Well guess what sister? Nothing did change. As a matter of fact, not much of this has changed in the last forty years. Why should I feign interest in something that doesnít interest me? Have you an answer? I thought not. I love the way so many teachers "hoped for a change by next quarter." Itís a phrase weíll see again and again. She also thought "I wasted time instead of doing constructive things?" Isnít that what Iím in school for? For you, my teacher, to give me constructive things to do? You want me to come up with constructive things to do during free time? Why are we even having free time? Arenít we supposed to be learning? If youíre concerned about me doing something constructive, quit giving me free time. If my free time isnít mine to spend freely, then itís not really "free time" is it? This isnít the school for the arts, itís first grade. Give me something to do, if it doesnít interest me I wonít do it, but at least make the effort. Defiant and disobedient? What the hell? How does a 1st grader get to be defiant and disobedient? Was no one in control? What else happened?

"Mark will be ready for second grade next year. He should continue reading for his enjoyment and practice number facts through ten. He has been more cooperative this quarter. I hope Mark has a happy summer."

Whew! Iím glad Iím done with Mrs. Enke. She seemed glad to be rid of me. Curious.

Mark Sweeney is a 20 year comedy veteran and a former Marine. He's been seen on Comedy Central, Short Attention Span Theater, Days of Our Lives, Boston Public and Third Rock from the Sun. He's worked his magic for audiences from Duluth to Belize to Kandahar.

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