Posts Tagged ‘education’

School is back in session and I thought this would be a decent time to re-post something I wrote for Yahoo about my favorite teacher of all-time and how she completely destroyed my hope of ever having a positive adult female influence in my life.

I only had a small handful of teachers who had a positive impact on me. In elementary school, there was my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Trani, a woman who always praised me and how well-behaved I was. Mrs. Trani insisted there was something special about me. In fourth grade there was Mrs. Hartbauer, a woman who was similar to Mrs. Trani and actually took an active interest in my life. Mrs. Hartbauer also insisted that there was something special about me. It was not until high school when I would have another teacher attempt to make a positive difference in my life. This woman was my 10th-grade English teacher, Mrs. Hill.

Tenth grade was the pinnacle of awkwardness for me and I think that was why Mrs. Hill tried to help me so much. My quiet demeanor and obvious social flaws made me an easy target to get walked over by other students. Mrs. Hill wanted to do whatever she could to limit the torment from life I would inevitably receive.

The English class I took with Mrs. Hill started off normal. It may have been after a field trip where she noticed I was sitting by myself that Mrs. Hill began paying closer attention to everything I did.

The first assignment Mrs. Hill took special interest in me was a brief one about what we wanted to do when we grew up. I forget specifically what I said, but it was something about comedic writing. Mrs. Hill stopped me on my way out of class and asked if I had heard of a local comedy club. I told her I had never heard of it and figured she was nothing more than a senile old woman asking strange questions. Mrs. Hill was in her mid-50s so it wasn’t such a preposterous proposition for me to believe. The next day, Mrs. Hill came in with a phone number for me to contact the comedy club about getting on stage. At the time I had no interest in ever doing stand-up comedy, so when she asked if I called, I told her the phone rang and nobody ever picked up. Two years later I actually did do stand-up comedy for the first time, possibly subconsciously thanks to Mrs. Hill.

For the rest of the year Mrs. Hill and I continued to have a very strange relationship, not one that ends with her in an orange jumpsuit. We bonded over the fact that I lied to her about having been to Buffalo. I owned a Buffalo Bills t-shirt for some reason and since Mrs. Hill was born in Buffalo, we became friends who would talk about different places in Buffalo, none of which I had ever heard of.

One of the final assignments we had that year was an oral report. The goal of the report was to teach our classmates how to do something. Lacking self-esteem in my bloodstream, I had no clue what I could have taught my classmates. The most beautiful girl in school sat two seats behind me. What did I know that she didn’t?

Mrs. Hill asked me what I would be doing my report on. I told her I had no idea and she suggested I do one of the examples, how to make a BLT sandwich. As a fat kid I took offense to this. I didn’t tell her I was offended though. Instead I said it would be tough to get the materials needed. My parents had separated a year earlier and even though my dad was around a lot less, I could have easily asked him to get me the ingredients for a BLT sandwich.

Of course as our relationship was, I lied to Mrs. Hill. I told her that my parents would not buy those foods for me. I think at that time Mrs. Hill believed I came from an abusive home where I was given a box of crackers to eat each day to survive on. Mrs. Hill was kind enough to offer to actually buy me the ingredients I needed. I told her not to because I have always been someone not to ask for favors. If Mrs. Hill had gotten me the necessary foods I might owe her something. I would be expected to help her move a dead body somewhere down the line.

I ended up doing my report on how to get rid of a stuffy nose. It was actually pretty good and a lot different from the others. Mrs. Hill had a big smile on her face during my report. Even better, the prettiest girl in school was leaning forward against her desk, unable to take her eyes off me throughout. She was amazed that sniffing salt water could clear out your nasal passages. For a few minutes, I had earned her attention.

My favorite thing about Mrs. Hill was how much she encouraged me to continue with my writing. My ninth grade English teacher Mr. Kane told me I was good, but Mrs. Hill practically begged me to join the school newspaper. I had no interest writing stories praising the corrupt high school government or doing coverage on how the cafeteria tater tots were no longer poisonous. Her encouragement of me meant a lot and I was lucky to have her as a teacher.

Unfortunately the story doesn’t stop there. The next time I would interact with Mrs. Hill would be two years later in twelfth grade. My English teacher that year was out sick so they had Mrs. Hill come in and babysit us for forty minutes. I had not seen her in quite some time and I knew she would be a little curious how my life had been going. I looked drastically different by then, having dropped a ton of weight, but I was still clearly me. Mrs. Hill would have so many positive things to say to me. She would have herself to partly thank.

An assignment was given to us and since it was late in the year and most of the class had committed to going to the local community college, we had little reason to care about our GPAs. Instead of doing our work for the day we goofed off. Mrs. Hill thought she would authoritatively walk around the room in hopes it would get us to do our work.

I was seated in the second seat closest to the door. Only a girl with the last name Adams came before my name, Tim Boyle, alphabetically. Mrs. Hill made her way across the classroom and over to me with her familiar friendly smile. We made eye contact and her smile grew even larger.

“Are you finished with your work, John?”

There was no mistaking it. She was looking directly at me. My favorite teacher had just called me the wrong name.

My eyes puffed out. My bottom lip dropped. For a few seconds my heart stopped beating then spun around in a circle. My name wasn’t John. In fact, it never has been. I have always been a Tim, Timothy, or Timmy; among other more insensitive nicknames.

“My name’s not John,” I said a little disappointed.

Mrs. Hill’s mind crossed over itself. Then she remembered who I was, “Matthew?” she questioned.

I shook my head. This guessing game would have gone on forever. Mrs. Hill, the one teacher in high school who made a positive difference in my life, forgot who I was even after two guesses. She walked away to the next aisle, never to interact with me ever again.

Out of all the things Mrs. Hill taught me, the most important was that nobody cares about us as much as we may think they do. Thanks for the terrible revelation.

peggy hill

My apologies for sticking with the theme of educate themed lists and why childhood is awful. This just happened to be the next on my list of things I originally posted and I’m not about to change!

I attended Community College and during that time I stayed in touch with a few friends who went to four-year colleges. Many of these friendships continued through broken promises and consistent lies. I’m not sure what happened to most of them. My guess is they never existed and I’m nothing more than a dying war veteran living an illusion.

Ten Lies University Students Tell Their Community College Friends

1) “We’ll still hangout a lot.” – Half of my friends went to a four year school and half went to community college. I didn’t see a single one of my four year university friends after they went left town to continue their education ever again. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. I saw one or two of them and it was only because they ended up dropping out. The rest of them disappeared off the face of the earth. These were really good friends of mine too. My guess is they have high security government jobs. There’s no way they stopped talking because I have personality flaws, right?

2) “I’ll be home every weekend.” – Do you know what the only thing worse than a friend ditching you for a new life is? It’s a friend ditching you for a new life and still living five minutes away. Coming home every weekend changes to once a month and then it changes to only coming around on holidays. Then when you ask them to do something they are too busy with their family or worse, they actually do hang with you and they don’t shut up about college.

3) “The people here are great.” – I may have never attended a four year university, but I have begged for change on campuses enough to know a bit about the culture. College kids are not any better than anyone else. I think as a freshman it may seem like you are meeting a lot of diverse personalities. Reality is you’re meeting a lot of the same people who just have a different hometown listed on their license. By the time a college kid becomes a junior, they start to realize their friends aren’t as cool as they once were.

4) “It’s a lot of work.” – Is it? College seems to be 30% drinking beer, 30% sleeping around, and 30% cramming because you spend 60% of your time drinking and sleeping around. As for the missing 10%, I think that’s spent on the phone with your friends at home telling them lies.

5) “You wouldn’t understand.” – When a university student becomes an elitist it’s time to cut them off. College seems to either help people appreciate things more or it turns them into real life Lisa Simpsons. Unfortunately the latter seems to happen a lot more frequently. Sure, a lot of university students are more intelligent than their community college counterparts. That does not mean I am incapable of understanding metaphysical science. If there’s a Wikipedia page for it, there’s a chance I can learn it.

6) “This is a great story.” – No great story ever starts off with those words. Did the opening text to Star Wars have those words in it? Nope. That carefully chosen opening text was placed there for a purpose and was incredibly helpful. I’m not saying community college kids don’t lie about stories being great. I do believe stories about community college are better though. Community college students fall down a lot more often. A story about falling down is closer to greatness than a story about getting accepted into a graduate program. Who wants to hear about other people succeeding?

7) “The living arrangements are comfortable.” – Sleeping in a small room with someone of the same sex is comfortable? Sign up for the army if that’s your cup of tea, the Danish army. I’m not sure why I have it out for the Danish. They make a great breakfast treat. The college living arrangements could make a cockroach leave town. Communal bathrooms, shared housing, and lack of privacy are all human rights violations. While all of my university friends were sharing a room with someone else I had my own room with an empty bed and no one to talk to. Okay, this one might be a draw.

8) “I’ve hooked up with so many people.” – I don’t doubt university hooking up is a lot higher than at community colleges. I believe the average age for a community college student to receive their first kiss is 34. Still, I find it unlikely that some of my friends made-out with as many girls as they claim. The closest I came to kissing a girl at community college was the time when I was talking to a girl who spit when she talked.

9) “I’m going to get a job right after I graduate because I worked hard and am qualified.” – And then they see the equally as qualified and experienced millions competing against them. That’s the moment they text me for the first time in four years asking how I am and if I know anywhere hiring. I wish this one was made up. I hate that guy.

10) “You didn’t miss much at college.” – Are you kidding me? The way people I know who went to four year schools talk about it I would swear my life will always have that empty void. I mean, it’s great not to have any debt. At any moment I could go live off the grid. When you pay to go to college you aren’t just paying for the education. You are also paying for the experience. I’m not sure you can put an actual price on an experience. I missed out on fraternities, pranking the dean, legendary red cup parties, tuition meetings, pregnancy scares, and everything else that makes up the college experience. Don’t patronize me. Community college was delightful for what it was, a cheap alternative. Community college is like the direct-to-video film Snakes on a Train while a four year university is like the cult classic Snakes on a Plane. Both have a lot of awful things about them; one is just a little bit better and more rewarding. Will I send my current non-existing kids to a four year college? You better believe for my wallet’s sake I am going to do everything I can to make my kids outstanding athletes or vocational school bound.

commuity college map

(According to this chicken pox inspired map, there are more community colleges in Alaska than Nevada. I’m not surprised either. People in Nevada actually invited Carrot Top to go there and perform every night)

Mentioning how all of the Gifted and Talented students are whores who pleasure the principal in a backroom during my last post reminded me of the time in third grade I was denied entrance into the Gifted and Talented Program. I’m not bitter about it or anything. It’s not like they got to go on field trips or had better college resumes than me or anything, right? Fuck I hate losing.

Third grade was a big year for me. I made new friends, broke my leg, and offered a kid hockey cards in exchange for erasing a mistake I made on a test to help me get a better grade. The teacher had us exchange our tests with other class members and we’d grade them. This pussy said it was important to follow the rules and did not accept my barter. Seriously? You’re 9 years old and you’re going to pull a morality card on me? A square could not be drawn with angles 90 degrees enough for me to describe this loser.

square

(See, it’s more of a rectangle to describe that dumb classmate of mine. Ugh I hate nerds)

This same year was one where I was recommended by my teacher to try out for the Gifted and Talented program. I didn’t like my third grade teacher much but she thought highly enough of me. I had some probably with motor skills or so I was told. I was a little too ambidextrous and this was apparently a problem. My mom told my teacher I was always doing things right and left handed which has never been true. She said I was even a “switch hitter” referencing baseball where a player will bat righty and lefty. I’m pretty sure my teacher didn’t get the baseball analogy and thought my mom was calling me bisexual. That’s why she sat me in between a boy and a girl to see which one I’d pick. I picked the boy because girls used to scare me.

Two businesspeople shaking hands.

(Attractive, owns a suit, shakes hands, and seems to be employed. I’m fucking terrified)

The day for me to test for the GT Program arrived. I was whisked away by the GT Teacher into a computer lab. This was probably around 1996. Back then all computers could do was turn on then white text would appear over a blue background or green text over a black one. We’ve come so far.

I sat at a table with the woman. She had a puzzle for me to do. I’m not sure what the puzzle was because I didn’t even come close to putting it together. The next test was a word association game. We made it through about 5 words before she gave up and decided it was time for the final round.

The teacher slid me a piece of paper. On this paper were about 30 different squares. She handed me a pencil and said “I want you to look at the squares on this paper and using them draw a picture with each.” I’m a really bad artist. I couldn’t draw to save my life. I couldn’t draw to save someone else’s life. Really. One time I was in a situation with a friend. A guy held a chainsaw to the friend’s throat and told me to draw a smiley face. That friend of mine, he no longer has a head. This was rough territory for me. If I was going to get into GT I would have to find some artistic gifts and talents deep in my colon.

I was timed by the woman for what I think was 3 minutes. When the buzzer rang she told me to go over each square I had turned into something else. The first was a house. I got that out of the way easy. The second was a baseball diamond. Okay, a little more creative. Next was a hamper. All I did was write “Hamper” on the square. After that was first base. Again, all I did was write “First Base” on it. The teacher said “You already did a baseball one. Let’s not count that.” Second base, third base, and home plate were not counted either. I drew a few other things that got little to no reaction. I remember her looking at me and saying “You really didn’t come up with too many ideas. Half of the squares are still blank.” She said it nicer because she realized she was dealing with an idiot.

squares1

(Given this test again I would probably just draw a stool for me to step onto then off with a noose around my neck. I really blew my chance at getting a slight educational advantage)

I was sent on my way. A week later my teacher said I was not accepted. She was actually really nice and even said to my mom how a lot of really smart kids don’t get into the program because it’s more focus on a specific kind of thinking and not so much on where my talents were. She said another smart kid in the class didn’t get into it either. That kid happened to be the one who refused to help me cheat. If I had to guess what he would have drawn on those squares it would have been his own face. Damn it I hate him and damn it I hate gifted and talented children.

Ever since my last post you have been sitting in front of your computer wondering why I was never in a relationship while in middle school. I was not always so incredibly cunning, articulate, friendly, or other things for which I am not but could probably convince someone online that I am. I have decided to make things clear, to all of you wondering, because I know you cannot sleep because you are wondering oh so bad, what the problems I had back in this time period in my life and why even the girl with scarlet fever thought me asking taking her to the 8th grade social would have been a downgrade.

(My old classmate Helen Keller who once said I ‘felt so ugly I could be confused for a dog.’ In this picture she thought she was touching my face)

Fat: What 13 year old girl wants to date a fat kid? None. Even the world’s fattest 13 year old girl has standards and Bieber Fever. She needs to be careful though, her heart is not strong enough to survive sick too long. I was so tremendously fat in middle school that some people thought I was off-limits to make fun of. That’s when you know you’re a mess, when people won’t tease you. Plenty other bullies picked up the slack. Several of them were fat fucks too which always threw me. Of course I turned my life around since and I am the well-adjusted adult you all know and love today who holds no ill-will against anything from his past.

Facial Hair: My parents fought about a lot of things. The silliest was about how my dad never taught me how to shave. I guess he was too busy or would be too tempted to slice my throat. My mom would shave my facial hair for me up until 10th grade when I finally decided I should do it myself. Before I was shaving though I had grown in some neck hair. This hair grew so long it almost became pubic. It was certainly fun to play with and no joy to stare at. I had this gross hair hanging from my neck for a year because my parents were too busy having emotional breakdowns or affairs to take notice. Like I said, no ill-will.

(Don Imus used to refer to me as a nappy neck haired ho)

Silence: I was and still am a pretty quiet person. I won’t say something for the sake of saying it like some assholes will (women). One time a kid told me I looked like a turtle. Instead of telling him to die or pointing out that he had a mole on his face I stared at him and get a little teary-eyed. Girls like a guy who has witty comebacks. I had none. You need to be quick on your feet to impressive girl in middle school. Why do you think they all have pictures of Don Rickles in their lockers?

Weird: I have faced facts; I will always be a little odd. This is a good thing sometimes. In middle school it’s a death sentence to loneliness. I can’t think of anything particularly weird I did in middle school that completely turned girls off. I had crust on the side of my nose a lot and I always did my homework. Seriously, I never once didn’t do my homework in 6th grade. I was such a goody-two-shoes you’d think I would have some positive goal in my life like curing racism. Instead my only positive goal is not leaving this world with a bomb strapped to my chest. Again, ill-will.

(Jesse Eisenberg about to blow the bomb strapped to his chest. He’s angry about all the pressure he has on him and the lack of talent he has to meet this pressure)

Fashion: When it comes to fashion I am not as lost as some other guys. I don’t shop at designer stores or anything but I think I dress myself well enough where personality comes through and I don’t look totally ridiculous. Can you really go wrong with jeans and a black t-shirt? Back in middle school my clothing choice consisted of overly baggy jeans to compensate for my very large waist, t-shirts of obscure minor league baseball teams that when told to people what they were only ever got an “oh” response, and worst of all was my gym clothes selection, cut-off sweat pants. My mom said wearing normal sweat pants for gym would get me too hot. She took an old pair of sweats and cut them off at the knee. Did she not realize a boy should never show his knees in public? I blame this attire for always being last picked. Although when I think about it being fat, weird, quiet, and having disgusting facial hair probably didn’t help my case either.

How disgustingly strange were you when you were younger? Do you think you ever had a teacher who wanted to kill you for being such a loser?

This is not a post about how much I hate to leave my apartment. If you’ve been to my apartment you’ll understand why I hate to leave it. My walls are completely barren and white, except for the one black stain from when I was wearing a black shirt, sweating, and leaned against it. My apartment always smells like whatever I had eaten for breakfast. Today it smells like warm milk. The greatest thing about my apartment is there’s always something to do. There are so many dog hairs everywhere sometimes I lie on the ground and count them. None of what I will write about today has anything to do with that. I would rather focus on something even grander. The places we have potential to go in our lives.

My idea on this theory came during the middle of the night. I also had a dream about a movie where Joseph Gordon-Levitt played a character named “Ugly Nick.” I’m not sure what my subconscious was saying there. Rarely do I ever think of JG-L. I could have sworn he was on Roseanne and he wasn’t. The idea I had was that each of us has three paths we can go down. There’s the path going downhill, the path going uphill, and the path leading to a dead-end.

(I always thought the fat guy on the right was Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I feel like an idiot now)

The path going downhill is very obvious. These are the people we look at knowing they’re in a downward spiral. They’re drug addicts, alcoholics, people who watch PBS, sexual deviants, anyone who puts on 30 pounds a year, and so forth. Basically they’re anyone you see headed into a worse direction than you might be used. This is where we hope all the popular people from high school end up. If you were popular in high school and are reading thing then I really don’t understand how you got here. You’re in the wrong place. I think we all know someone from high school who still relives their glory days. My mom’s boyfriend used to tell me about how he was a world champion wrestler in high school. By world he meant Middlesex County. He was reliving his past triumphs from the early 1970s. To give you an idea how long ago he was traveling through time, the third Austin Powers movie took place around the same time he was wearing a leotard and getting ringworm from a wrestling mat. Sorry I don’t have any other idea what else was going on in the early 1970s. Wasn’t there a war?

(Nevermind no war took place. I was confusing it with a song by Martin Luther King Jr.)

The path going uphill is also a very obvious one. There are the people we look at knowing they’re going to go someplace in life. They’re hard-workers, loving, confident, not me, sexual deviants who happen to know the correct rich businessmen to approach, and probably not you. This is the path we all dream about going down. It’s the basic American dream underdog story. Rise up from the bottom to the top. I like to think I’m on this path. I do whatever I can to not be self-destructive. I eat healthy, I exercise, I ask old black people for advice often, I don’t burn my bridges, and I keep bad people out of my life. The problem is most people think we’re on this path. It’s a very thin one and the further along you go the thinner it gets. What we have to understand is not everyone can be successful. It would be great if we all grew up to be movie stars with large genitals, but our DNA is not Communist. Things are not even. So keep going to those Tuesday night acting classes and buy that penis pump you’ve been eyeing online. The path uphill cannot be accomplished alone.

(An official Dr. Seuss penis pump. It also plays music and makes your balls grow as big as the Grinch’s heart)

Finally there is the path leading to a dead-end. Oye vey this is a wide asshole path. Lots of people fall here. They’re not bad people by any stretch. They take care of themselves as much as they have to. In a way they’re defeatists, something else I have to write about later on. I would say 90% of people are on this path to a dead-end. Crazy isn’t it? People without hopes, dreams, motivation, or anywhere to go. Saddest thing about this is a lot of the time it’s not their fault. They’re content with where they stand in life. I know the combination of words “big dick fucking black pussy” might offend some people. The word content does the same to me. How are you content? You’re waking up every morning thinking everything is fine and dandy? Don’t get me wrong, a positive attitude is wonderful and I would love to have a stronger one. These dead enders are different. They fall into a trap where they believe this is what life was supposed to be. They use words like karma, destiny, and fate to justify how their lives didn’t turn out the way they wanted. It’s sad to me other people can think this way.

The scariest things that could ever happen to me are 1) I am kidnapped by cannibal rapists (it doesn’t matter what order they do it in) and 2) I end up with a job I get nothing out of and I have to wake up when it’s still dark outside to get there. Those are my two biggest fears in life. I really don’t want to be eaten then raped or raped then eaten and more importantly I don’t want to wake up when bats are still outside fellating each other. To me, this is a dead-end path. I will know my life is going nowhere if I have to dread waking up for work in the morning and once I do the moon still shines down. It has been decided. Whatever I can do to get on a path going uphill I will do. If I fail on my way up, at least I get to fall rather that putz around on a hypothetical dead-end street.

We all make mistakes. Even Michael Jordan. He gambled. He got a woman who wasn’t his wife pregnant. He never came out with Space Jam 2 despite leaving the original on such a cliffhanger. He is the greatest basketball player of all time and yet he even screws up. What’s that say for the rest of us? I shoot bricks into the toilet with my used toilet paper. One mistake we all make are typos. They’re newer mistakes. We have a love/hate relationship with these errors. Let’s dive into the bigotry and stupidity behind them.

A typo is when you want to type one word then a demon crawls up your ass and makes you type another. Or so says my crucifix wielding grandma. I make typos a lot. Far more than I ever notice. I’ll go through things I’ve written that are important to me and find a ton. Rarely will I go through and edit anything I write for this blog. What do I care if some housewife in Missouri is upset about my inability to use original wording? I feel typos make us human. Some argue the soul, the ability to think and feel, or our desires for relationships and connections with others is what makes us human. I’m still pretty sure it’s typos.

(“I make typos, therefore I am. If I didn’t make typos I would lose my identity as a real human being.” – Rene Descarte was too stupid to ever come up with this quote)

The first typo in history was in the first book ever written, To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus boringly rambles for 30 pages then says to his kids, “their over they’re.” This is a common typo a lot of idiots make. Memes are created making fun of people who do not understand proper grammar with these words. I will explain it simply below:

There-Use as in a position of where an object might be. Think “Right there!” when your parents point at you while discussing location of their least favorite child is.

Their-This is possessive. When something belongs to someone, you use their. Think “Their dumb child does not know they’re disappointed in them for not knowing a simple grammatical mistake.”

They’re-This is the easiest to not fuck-up. Did you know the contraction means the word can be separated into two words? They’re means they are. Think “They’re horrible parents for murdering their child over there for being so incredibly dumb.”

Understand it yet? The same goes for your and you’re. “You’re” is only ever used when you are too lazy to use you are. Think “You are a waste of human life if it took reading this blog post to finally understand something you should have learned years ago. If your teachers were not good then you should have done it on your own instead of sitting around wasting the first quarter of your life.”

With the invention of iPhones you see a lot of typo jokes. There’s this thing they have called Autocorrect. I think spell checks are great and all, but I know even myself sometimes will handwrite a word and stop in the middle. I’ll look up lost. Can I right-click the word to make sure it’s spelt correctly? A red line didn’t pop up underneath. It must be the right way. These typo jokes people post never amuse me much. Oh look, somebody meant to say I love you and Autocorrect made it say “I love poo.” Or the other way around. Depending upon what circles you run in. This is all part of everyone trying to be clever and famous. There’s a reason why you have to sleep with a football player or Jersey Shore cast member to be famous nowadays. There needs to be some sacrifice.

(Even the word “Lucky” cut itself off because it knows being anywhere near Snooki means you’re probably not)

If typos were a Medieval Court, Jay Leno’s Headlines would be king. I’ll admit, Monday nights for me used to lead up to Headlines. I wanted to see what errors the editor at the Raleigh Sun Times was making. The beauty with this humor is there needs to be no joke. Leno simply reads the headline and everyone loves at the absurdity. A Chinese menu has cat on it? Whoa! Somebody needs a better copyeditor. Leno even spends most of the bit looking at his producer saying “One more.” I think he’s tired of it. Millions of highlighters and hard pieces of black oak tag have been wasted on this bit. What’s with Jay Leno bits and how they all are about stupid people? Jay-Walking involves asking people on the street easy to answer questions. Then we all laugh as they think Osama Bin Laden is actor Omar Sharif. Silly Sunset Strip tourists. You’re so caught up working 16 hour shifts to know the things we know.

Making fun of typos is almost an elitist thing to do. English is such a strange language itself. The rules are so vague and often contradict each other. So really when I think about it, you’re damned if you make the typos and damned if you make fun of the ones who cannot grasp the one language they have ever been exposed to. One thing I can always appreciate is someone who spells something wrong during the heat of the moment. When they go on a poorly worded Facebook rant about “idiets.” I know I get really ecstatic whenever I see someone spell a name wrong. Really? You’re a fan of Koby Brian? Who the fuck even is that?

(Here’s Koby Brian. He may not play basketball, but he gets good grades and has a sweet orange wristband)

Be smart. Be informed. You’re going to make errors. Don’t make the ones you can prevent. People who continually spell things wrong are the same people who can never solve the other things wrong in their life. It’s a good representation on what you care people think of you. You may say you don’t care about making a spelling mistake, but it really makes you come off as untrustworthy and unable to properly work an elevator. And please, do not get me started on people who write words in ghetto speak. I tried that one time. It took me an hour to “tell dat mami shorti she be waggin dat tale down her and gots to be got.” I think that’s ghetto for “don’t bother trying to teach me anything, I am a lost cause.”

Adults used to ask me what my favorite subject in school was. I would say “Recess!” with a big smile on my face. This was cute until I was in college and it was my advisor asking me this question. But really, what was better than recess? You could play football with a soccer ball because they didn’t allow footballs, you could watch a kid get pushed off a slide then see a helicopter lift him off to the hospital, and you could break your own leg imitating the American Gladiators. My favorite thing about recess through all of the horrors was finding something new. The best place to do it, the baseball backstop.

 

 

(I don’t think my elementary school playground had nearly this much grass. Must have been salted over during war)

 

The baseball backstop was located as far away from authority as possible. I don’t remember when I started hanging out there a lot during recess. Sometime around when I realized I was too slow for things like hop scotch or sitting on the swings. Luckily my friends enjoyed hanging out there too. If we knew what drugs were we would have been doing them. But we didn’t know what drugs were. We’d have to make do with talking to the dog that lived on the other side of the fence. Someone named him “Doggy” and it stuck. It was simple enough to remember. Doggy’s probably long dead now. I like to think he still haunts the playground and occasionally eats a kid.

 

One game we’d play back there was called “Bench Wars.” At least that’s what I call it now. It involved standing on the tiny wooden, splinters poking out like Vietcong bamboo spikes, bench alongside the field. If you sat on the bench it could fit maybe 5 asses. Easily a safety hazard. The most memorable game of Bench Wars took place when I helped my friend Rob (I’m just going to name you from now on so you become some sort of underground legend here) win by hitting him. His opponent, our friend Matt, was twice his size. I knew Rob would lose due to the size difference and his incredible ability to never win a thing in his life. To this day he’s kept it up. I couldn’t be more ashamed. Anyway, my hitting Matt got him disqualified. That meant that Rob won. We paraded around the baseball field chanting “Rob is the Champion” to the tune of “We are the Champions.” This got Matt very angry. He started to whine saying it wasn’t fair. We had cheated. Matt calmed down then showed us how he could take kicks to the nuts without feeling any pain. I bet he’s gotten a few free drinks out of that.

 

 

(Matt is a multiple winner on America’s Funniest Home Videos. Golf club to the nads version 781-9783 was him)

 

One of the strangest things I have ever seen was the inside of a mouse. I was at my babysitter’s and a kid cut a dead mouse open with a stick. Even stranger than that was when I was at the backstop and saw the insides of an animal all sprawled out. Organs were everywhere. One of my nerdy friends said that a cat cut open a rabbit and put them there. I am still shocked how he could have come up with such a logical statement about dead animal parts on the grass while I was standing there thinking it was food. Being curious and hoping to impress girls by being as sadistic as possible, I picked up a large rock and dropped it on what was either the heart or stomach. I was hoping for a huge explosion. Instead it kind of fizzled out the way an air mattress is properly deflated. I would have to live another day to show girls that I could destroy things with rocks.

 

My favorite find ever at the backstop was a beer can. Like every fifth grader would do, I picked it up. I knew this would make me popular, at least for the day. I decided that I wanted to see something explode. Not having access to dynamite or large rocks above rabbit stomachs, I started to shake the beer can. Stealing the idea from the April Fool’s episode of The Simpsons, I would cause a massive beer can explosion. I shook and shook and wondered what the aides on duty thought I was doing. Finally time came. I opened the beer can slightly then tossed it up into the air. I made a run for it to clear ground zero of the explosion. The beer can hit the ground and shot beer out all over the place. It was epic. If you were a grasshopper, it would have been like it was raining Budweiser. Since were merely boys, it was just kind of cool. My hands smelt like beer and I cleaned them out in a puddle of water. This made them smell really bad, but at least I didn’t smell like beer. A classmate came up to me and said “that was cool.” Finally I was popular for a moment.

 

 

(The Holy Grail of backstop finds. I don’t think it was a Pabst either. Teenagers in my town were not quite sophisticated for a beer which has earned the right to call itself Blue Ribbon worthy)

 

The last time I went to the backstop was around 3 years ago. I was bored one night so Rob and I went there. I had heard that an Indian kid we went to school with went there a few months earlier and peed on the slide. I did no peeing. Instead we joined in on one last lap around the baseball field chanting about how he was the champion. I drove him back to the Retarded Person Daycare he lives at. He thanked me and I told the doctor to kill him afterwards. I know wherever he is (probably reading this) he’s wondering why I killed him off and made him retarded. Needed a closer, that’s why.