Friday, April 15, 2011

Good stories needed, I mean, really, really needed.

  • Well, today, for about the millionth time in Mrs. Simmons English class, we had to write a story about a time we had to "overcome our fears." Seriously, though phrased differently, we pretty much get this same topic every time - "When I faced my fears", "When I didn't think I could do it, yet did", "A time when I had to use Tae-Kwon-do and defeated 18 ninjas." (okay, we've never had that last one, but it would be so cool if we had.) Anyway, adults seem to think future adults - we are taking their jobs soon, and probably be better at them, so they may be transferring their fear to us-that we live in constant fear on ahourly basis.

  • "Oh my gosh!!! There's a squirrel on the sidewalk. It might rip my throat out!!! No, Thaddeus, just face your fears and step into the grass to skirt this killer tree rodent. Hooray, you faced your fears! "

  • My thinking is that we need to take back our story telling. So that's what I'm doing. We kids should start trading story ideas, fear involved or not, and actually write about something. So if you have any story ideas, post them here. I've got all kinds of great advice and comments that your teachers will never tell you, and other kids with constructive criticism or positive feedback can help also. I'm figuring we know good story telling better than these freaked out adults. C'mon guys, let's take back good story telling!!!

  • The adults may have messed it up, but we can show them that life doesn't have to be all boring, full of lessons that can be stated in a thesis statement, and involving fear. Looking forward to hearing your story ideas (except Billy Cunningham - A story about a kid who has a possessed arm that is "always punching yourself" is not a story)

  • Thaddeus A. Ledbetter, Editor and Chief (self appointed)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Seems pretty cruel to me

Today, Mrs. Kimbrough was mispronouncing "nuclear" as "nucular." When I corrected her, she said "You say to-may-toe, I say toe-mah-toe," trying to say people can pronounce things differently. But no one says toe-mah-toe, except maybe beginning speakers of English as a second language or those with speech impediments. So I don't see how mocking those with physical problems as an excuse for your ignorance is helpful at all.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dumbest Game Ever

Again, I would like to thank you adults for misleading us kids with your dumb games. Having us decide disputes with "Rocks, Papers, Scissors" just messes up how we see the world.

Let's look at the rules

"Paper covers Rock" - Really? I guess the laws of physics don't apply to this game. I know when my mom opens the window, not wanting my rock collection to blow away, I put a nice sheet of loose leaf paper on it. I've misunderstood "paperweights" all this time.

"Rock beats Scissors" - Maybe if you have anger problems. I, for one, have never seen a pair of scissors and thought, "I am so angry at those scissors I'm going to smash them with this rock!" And if your in an alley fight, I'm thinking the guy with the scissors is going to beat the rock guy. After you throw your rock and miss, you're going to be stabbed repeatedly by sharp steel.

Scissors cut Paper" - At least this make sense in the physical world, but is the paper really bad off afterwards? Maybe you cut it into a nice snowflake or happy face. That's not a loss.

Seriously, don't mislead us with your shananigans.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Deranged Mother orders son to spit on all his possessions!

Get this. My mom told me today that I can't leave the apartment until my room is "clean as a whistle." Whistle. Apparently, my mother doesn't understand how a whistle works.
The only people I know who use a whistle are traffic cops and coaches, and Coach Wolverton can't even speak without spittle flying everywhere, so I'm pretty sure his whistle is awash in saliva, which is really gross. So when I point this out to my mother ("filthy as a whistle" is more accurate), she has another one of her freak-outs.
No wonder I'm always in trouble.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What's the deal with graduation speeches?

My neighbor three doors down graduated from high school last week and my mom made me go to the dumb ceremony. Nothing like hearing 500 names of people you don’t know called out while sitting on a metal bleacher bench in a million degree heat. My neighbor’s last name is “Best,” so he was called early, so I really didn’t have anything to look forward to the rest of the way.
But what I really hated was the old guy who gave a speech. I think it was supposed to be inspirational, but it was really just a bunch of nonsense. I took a few notes on the most glaring problems:
-This class is the future? Wow, that’s a lot of pressure. What about last year’s graduating class? I guess they were just a bunch of losers. I guess the junior class can just take it easy since the future is all taken care of.
-These graduates are a gathering of the best and the brightest? No, they all happened to have been born the same year and share geographic proximity. Move the district line over a quarter mile and half the class would be going to the rival they hate so much.
-He expects great things from this class? Statistically speaking, with 500 people here, it is inevitable that at least one will go to prison, several will have drug abuse problems, and the number of had hair cut choices will be numerous . If he calls that “great,” he needs a new dictionary.
-“To thine own self be true”? – What does that mean? And why are you using the pronoun “thine”? How about joining us in the 21st century, gramps?

Friday, April 30, 2010

Standardized Test Improvements

Today at school, we took the state mandated minimum skills test. Yes, we are tested on the minimum we can do. Really setting our sights high, aren’t we? “Let’s see if you can walk three steps without falling down. Hooray, you did it! Congratulations, you can go to the next grade.”
So how do high achieving students like myself, who are rare granted, get rewarded? By being bored out of our heads with dumb tests and poorly worded questions. Being the kind of guy I am, I took the essay writing portion as an opportunity to help the testers with a few suggestions. The following is my response to this year’s expectedly stupid prompt : “Who has had the biggest impact on your life.”

The person who has the biggest impact on my life is my mom. Basically all kids should answer their parents. See, we’re 12, so we can’t get jobs, so if our parents didn’t pay for us, we’d be down at the hobo camp eating cold beans out of a jagged tin can, trying to pretend a rat can be a pet, and getting a nick-name that reflected our poor hygiene, like “Stinky Pits Sam” or “Halitosis Hal.”
Duh. Who comes up with these stupid prompts? Have you all ever met a kid?
Since your questions are so lacking, I’m going to use the rest of my space with some suggestions. Your welcome in advance and feel free to acknowledge my contributions to future test takers.

- Why are we still being asked questions about trains leaving and arriving on the math test? First of all, the schedules are always posted. Secondly, this hasn’t been relevant in about 8 decades. Come and join us in the 21st century.
- And what’s with the safety questions on the science test? If someone hasn’t enough sense not to look into a beaker being heated, maybe we should let him have a little peek, you know, for society’s benefit.
- Finally, wouldn’t it be a good idea to have someone familiar with the English language write the directions? Maybe send him down to a basic grammar class at the Adult Continuing Education courses they have at the “Y” on Saturdays. Here is an actual testing manual quote read to us before the test : “Does anyone have any questions about bubbling in their answer document.” Wow, and you are testing us.
o First of all, how could anyone have a question about bubbling? The only prerequisite is having an opposable thumb, which includes most humans and primates (see drawing)

o Secondly, “anyone” is singular so needs a singular antecedent, “his or her answer document. Geesh, this is pretty basic stuff, state mandated minimum skills test writer.
Yet when I point these problems out during the test, I’m the one who gets the “isolated testing” accommodation. I’d like to see in the manual where that is described. I think Mr. Cooper just made it up. You might want to investigate him.
Thus concludes the most helpful standardized essay ever.
Thaddeus A. Ledbetter esq. (soon to be)
(all rights reserved)

Friday, April 2, 2010

April Unpractical Liars Day

Well, I think April 1st is another holiday terribly misnamed. Actually, I guess it's not a holiday, more of a day where it's socially acceptable to lie and mislead.

Yesterday in my math class, Mrs. Dixon (who had some doughnut glaze on her chin, which really isn't part of the story, but, geesh, it happens so often it's becoming her signature look) came in and announced that we were having a major test on calculus, and if we didn't pass, we couldn't go on next week's field trip.

Of course, I pointed out that we had not been given worksheets for calculus yet (Mrs. Dixon thinks teaching is handing out worksheets) so the poor test results would reflect her bad teaching, oh, and that she had doughnut on her chin.

After rudely ignoring me, Mrs. Dixon shouts "April Fool's Day! There's no test. I fooled you all with a practical joke!" and started doing that creepy squeal laugh she does.

What? How is lying a joke? It's just bad information. How is that funny? Where's the punchline or witty observation? Aren't joke supposed to make people laugh, not worry unneccessarily?

And how is it practical? Doesn't "practical "mean "useful or capable of being done"? A big fat lie isn't useful. A good practical joke would be cleaning my room while telling amusing anecdotes. That would be useful and funny.

Another example where I have to clean up the mess you adults have made.