Reminder to Self and Reminder to You

Be brave. Do it scared. Refer to the sections “Scary, Scary, Scary” (page 12), “Defending Your Weakness” (page 16), “Fear Is Boring” (page 19), “The Fear You Need and the Fear You Don’t Need” (page 22), and “The Road Trip” (page 24) in Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Story Time! One Year, I Was a “Bad” Kid

The school I attended for fourth and fifth grade has recently been starting to be demolished after sitting there unused for at least six years now. It's sad and exciting all at the same time. Seeing the school I attended for fourth and fifth grade being demolished made me think about how part of my history is gone, and it had me reflecting on what I did those years at that school. I posted not too long ago about being an over-achiever and a people-pleaser—definitely not two traits you’d associate with a “bad” kid—and I put bad in quotes because most people who do bad things are just that—people who do bad things, not bad people, especially when we’re talking about nine- and ten-year-olds. I was always your typical good kid—did what I was told (At least at school—I misbehaved at home. Ask my mom.(-: ) and was most afraid of getting in trouble. I don’t know what happened in fifth grade, but I went from a perfect disciplinary record to something like five recess detentions and an after-school detention. I believe it was separated as three recess detentions for my first offense and then two recess detentions plus the after-school detention for my second offense.

My first offense was when I wanted to play with a certain toy at recess—a big, red, bouncy ball. And I don’t remember having anyone I was going to play with either, so I don’t know what I was going to do alone with that ball that was worth three recess detentions. Well, another kid got to the ball first, and I wanted it. So I found a girl from my class and asked her to annoy the kid so that I could take the ball. I didn’t know she had done this until after I got in trouble, but apparently, her idea of annoy was to take the ball from the kid, push him on the ground, put the ball on top of him, and sit or jump on the ball on top of him. So I got recess detention for essentially hiring a ten-year-old hit man.

My second offense was doing somebody else’s homework for “pay.” I say “pay” because it wasn’t money. It was tickets because at my school that year, we had this ticket system to reward good behavior where at the end of each marking period, we got to auction our tickets for different rewards. My reward of choice that I had in mind when I started doing homework for someone else was being able to get a can of soda that the teacher gave us the money for from the teacher’s lounge and that I got to drink during class. The only thing better than that was eating popsicles in class, but that wasn’t part of our ticket auctions. That was part of our reading program if we were even still doing that that year. So I would do this kid’s homework on the bus in the morning in exchange for tickets, and someone else who rode our bus was in his class and told his teacher, so I got in trouble. My favorite part of this story was that my parents weren’t even mad when they found out. I don’t remember how they acted toward me when I got home, but my mom told me she was proud of me for coming up with a system like that, lol.

Bonus story: I got in trouble “a lot” (for someone who never got in trouble at school before) in fifth grade, but I actually did something bad in fourth grade, too, and lied about so that I never got in trouble. Part of me can’t believe I’m admitting to this publicly because I share these posts to Facebook where I have the teachers who questioned me as friends! But I was ten, so I’m sure it’s not as big a deal as it feels. Sooo in fourth grade, I think it was the first year we had different teachers for different subjects and switched classes. I didn’t like the other students I “shared” my desk with in my homeroom class, so I wanted to get them in trouble, so I would write curse words on my desk in what I thought was a different handwriting. Well, my three teachers questioned me one day, and it was SCARY. I cried a lot. But I lied enough so that they couldn’t get me in trouble apparently. Now, my teachers who read this will hate me and think our entire relationship is a lie. But it was worth it for the blog!


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