Negotiating 4th grade

When asked in front of many strangers if I was a part of the recent success HP is now having, I replied "A large part. Yes." After this, I got lots of laughs and the questioner immediately went on to the next person. That was my first experience with jury duty. I am glad I did not get called, because I did not want to hash out the fight between two bitter old drivers who met in an unfortunate crash on the road five years ago.

In the first grade, I got a test back, and it had a 99 on it. Because the grade was written in pencil, I erased it and put 100. I knew I hadn't messed up so badly as the test reflected. After that we had to pass the tests back in, and I was caught. I just remember the T.A. telling me it was wrong and I shouldn't do it. I don't remember if she was polite about it.

In the fourth grade, I had a teacher who got me in trouble for some reason I don't remember. She had me write sentences many times on a paper for homework about what I will not do. I only wrote five sentences before I started crying uncontrollably. My mom said I could stop writing them, and it was OK. The next day the teacher took me aside in the hall in front of her class and she got her face right down in mine and told me if she had known that I wouldn't even be able to write five sentences, she wouldn't have asked me to do it. But in so doing I was forced to look her in the eyes while she told me how incapable I was. I broke down crying again.

I was moved to another class. The teacher in the other class was real nice. She even taught me and this other kid Nick (who was very big for his age) how to do shorthand division. She taught us it special because we were doing so well with the other way.

We learned squaredancing in the fourth grade. I still remember the name of my partner: Sheryl Bolton. I remember because I think she had Down Syndrome, but in "real" fourth grade terms it just meant she had twice as many cooties. Anyway everyone was quick to pick their partners so as to minimize cooties, but I didn't pick and was put together in the same group. I was afraid of cooties same as anyone, but I couldn't try too hard to run from her when she was right in the same group, because that was just mean so we were partners.

One day later in recess my friend Nick (same Nick), and my other friend with red hair were talking with me, and suddenly someone came up behind me and wrapped their arms around me. I thought it was just my red hair friend messing around (it was someone with the same hefty build), but then Nick started yelling and starting to run with my red hair friend right there with him. So I said to myself "Wait if my red hair friend isn't doing this, then who is grabbing me!" And I turned and wouldn't you know it, it was Sheryl Bolton. So I quickly escaped and ran away too.

I certainly was infected by cooties then. But it may surprise you to know that I didn't die. I think I got one of those cootie shot boosters after that to protect me, the kind only administered at recess by doctorate level fourth graders who knew the causes and remedies to cooties ailments.