Revisiting Ninth Grade

One of the things I love about Twitter is the things you can learn and the people you can meet (one of the things I hate is that it inevitably also sends in the clowns, but that’s neither here nor there).

One of the lovely people I follow on Twitter, Ms. Pink Funk, tweeted the following and inspired this blog post:

So, I couldn’t even do that NOW.  Let’s forget the fact that I can’t name an endangered species off the top of my head with 100% confidence, but when Melissa invited a bunch of us over to help with her centerpieces for her wedding earlier in the summer, it quickly became apparent I could not be trusted with anything more difficult than putting the gift bags together, because I am not artistic or good at anything in the realm of that.  So.  Yeah.  And this project is for first graders?  Really??  That seems extreme.

But, that did remind me of two ninth grade projects I had that my dad flat out 100% did for me.  Why, you ask?  Why would he offer to do so or why would your mother allow such a deplorable act?

It was because of Mr. Salmi.

Ahh Mr. Salmi.  He taught Accelerated Physical Science, which my mom forced me to take (something about challenges being good even though I am inept at math and science).  But, I use the term “taught” loosely.  Our notebook organization was, no joke, 50% of our grade and we spent each and every class answering chapter summary questions, which we then had to file behind “double zero pink” (our notebook sections had to be separated by color) – anyone from Rundlett with me here?

Anyhoo – project #1 rolls around and it’s something about having to create a water tester (I was in 9th grade 10* years ago, bear with me here).

*=not really

I can’t remember the specifics, only that we had zero practical knowledge of how to do this – how could you possibly after reading irrelevant book chapters?  So, my Dad made it for me.  And I got a 100.

Project #2 was even worse and more asinine, considering, again, all Salmi cared about was fucking double zero pink and if it was filed in our notebooks correctly.  He asked us to make a brick powered car.  Yeah, you read that right – a brick powered car.

First of all – fuck you, Salmi!  If you had given us a MODICUM of practice on how to do this it wouldn’t have been as unreasonable.  I should have somehow powered the brick power car with “double zero pink” rather than an actual brick, you know, to really stick it to him.

Anyway, I got a 100% on that, too (thanks, Dad) – and Salmi was none the wiser.

It’s not that I am not willing to work, either.  It was just that he gave us projects with no foundation whatsoever and just sat back and watched us suffer.

My junior year of high school, we had a huge project in my English class.  Something about reading someone’s biography and then completing one of five project choices.  Well, it’s maybe a month-long project or something and the night before it’s due I realize I hadn’t started.  Soooo, one of the options was to write a short story.  My subject was Charles Lindbergh.  So what do I do?  Whip up five pages of bullshit about him and Amelia Earhart falling in love, which garnered a 97.  My mom was FURIOUS that I waited until the last minute and got such a high grade to therefore reinforce my behavior – but at least I did it myself.

Parenthood – the older I get, the harder I realize it is.

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5 thoughts on “Revisiting Ninth Grade

  1. I suppose I lucked out in the sense that Mr. Salmi was absent for about 3/4 of the year I had him, but I still remember my water tester and “Double Zero Pink.” My 8th grade science teacher, Mr. Angwin, always lamented to me how he wished I didn’t get stuck with Salmi. I suppose Salmi was the beginning of the end of any potential career in science…having MacMahon the following year sealed the deal…as he was fired after about a 1/3 of the year…

    1. I think I had Mr. Angwin, too! He was good, I just never LIKED science, so it was hard for me to be very enthusiastic about it.

      1. If you had Angwin you would remember…”Angwin’s Rules of Life”….”Don’t Con a Con.” “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.” “Everything is Small Stuff.”

      2. Yeah I definitely had Angwin – don’t sweat the small stuff – so much easier said than done when you’re a 13 yr old girl!

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