VIEWS: 19 PAGES: 27 POSTED ON: 8/23/2011
Originally Posted by One Legged Cat (from SomethingAwful Forums) A few months ago, I was part of a team put in charge of grading the essay portions of a statewide standardized test for junior-highschoolers. In that time, I read and graded well over 25,000 papers, and they changed my view about the upcoming generation entirely. It let me know that despite all the horror this age group (13-ish) unleashes on the internet, they're still having experiences like we did growing up. They have the same fears and worries, the same daily trials we all had, and it reminded me that we were all young like them once. The way these kids write about their lives are examples of pure, undiluted humanity. Life and death of friends and family, things that could be written about in dramas and soaps, but written as innocently as they can be. For example, one writer writes that his older sister was sitting on the porch, crying. The family just found out she was pregnant. And... the kid couldn’t be happier! He always wanted to be an uncle. What they write is just so incredibly honest and blatant. I read countless heartwarming stories of picking up the pieces after tragedy strikes, of a recent Chinese immigrant who found a true friend that helped her adjust and learn English, of older brothers returning from Iraq, but all written without the intricate polish that we learn to build up our stories later in life. The vast majority were well-written for the age group, coherent and entertaining, and brought me genuine hope for the next generation. As you may have guessed, this thread is not about those papers. Every 50 papers or so there would be one that stood out due to its strange content, outright incoherency, or things that make me fear the fact that these people will be running the world when I'm old and grey. I took notes of these and put them into a thick folder, sorted by what in particular made them so horrible/entertaining. How I'm going to do this Rather than just copying them all at random into this thread, I'm going to make posts by subject, which I'll get into in a minute. There are just a few things to explain first. 1. These papers were scanned and graded electronically, and there was a fairly restrictive confidentiality clause in effect, so no cameras were allowed inside. Therefore, the most the employees could do was copy them down on notepads and stickie notes. For this reason, and the fact that I have so many drat examples to post that reading the whole papers would just get to be a chore anyway, I'm going to be typing them out, rather than posting photos of the papers themselves. 2. Names have been changed, and addresses omitted. Thankfully, this doesn't really matter when it comes to enjoying the actual content. 3. I won't be giving the name of the test, company I worked for, or state the test was taken in. This probably doesn't matter too much, as I was among 20-30 employees who the management obviously knew were also taking notes home, but I'm an incredibly paranoid individual. I will say, for the sake of understanding context, that the test was taken in the American Southwest. 4. I'll be copying these as closely as I possibly can, with all spelling and grammatical errors intact. When I use caps, it’s not to indicate large text, but that the kid actually wrote in caps. 5. A lot of these may make you think you'd need to read the full paper to understand the context of what makes it so terrible, but I've made detailed notes of everything that's relevant to them. If it isn't mentioned, the line/s quoted really just came out of nowhere. For example, take this ending sentence: "I think when people are going to do something stupid they would stop and think there greatest memory and say, “I would love to do that again” and instead of going to jail they go home." The paper was about going to the beach and their van’s battery dying, with no mention of criminal activities, or whatever the kid was trying to write about there. I have taken pains to include any and all details that are relevant to the understanding of what the kid wrote. If there is none, then I myself wondered what the hell the kid was writing about. 6. Anything directly quoted from the kids' papers will be in quotes and formatted, "Like this." With that said, here are the categories I've sorted them into: -Where the hell did that come from? Example: One girl spends nearly the full 2 pages given telling a long, loving recollection about the family dog, about all the things she did around the house, the special moments they shared, and all about the dog’s mischievous personality. Then it ends with this. “So a couple weeks later mom told me we were going to have to put her down. For the first few weeks we were all sad but we got over it.” -End of story morals/what I learned. Example: “You don‟t know what you got unless you find out.” -Titles. Example: My Donkey, José -Opening sentences. Example: “My favorite memory is when my grandma die.” -Kids have the most interesting way of saying things. Example: “Have you ever seen America‟s funniest home videos when the men/women drop a turkey in the pan and start a grease fire? Well that‟s not funny if it happened to my sister.” She then goes on to describe her sister’s horrible facial scarring and the excruciating recovery process. -What the gently caress were you trying to say? Example: “One day I was at school having a great time. Until my friend Maria had doin something horrible thing. That when very thing happen.” -Let us weep for our future. Example: One girl tells us that she was once a very bad girl, but has since changed her ways, and warns us against walking down the path she did. One of her pieces of advice reads: “...and don‟t let boys be sperming in you.” -Relative Drama. Example: One family’s method of punishment was to lock the offending child in “the punishment closet” and make them spend the night there. -Things that made me smile. Example: “I couldn‟t believe my eyes how fantastic the fireworks were from all the colors red, yellow, blue, purple and all the other colors of the rainbow. It look like a rain of metroids, but of all colors.” -Are you insane/What were you thinking? Example: “For starters, my name is Claire Martin (the “i”s in her name shaped like miniature hearts) and when I say I, I‟m referring back to my name.” -How once misspelling can change everything. Example: “An awesome reminisce is when I Went to the San Antonio Zoo it was stupendous so extrordinary place it had really big erotic wild felines so many animals of different pigmented skin I think it could cause a rainbow.” -How the young'uns are spelling these days. Example: Breakfast = breastfeast -Abuse of materials given (unnecessary thesaurus overuse). Example: Who the hell describes the sidewalk as “chartreuse?” -Adventures in experimental punctuation. No example here, let's just wait for it to come up. -Observations/The Miscellaneous Pile/A category of its own. These three I'm saving for last. Observations is a short series of notable things I noticed while grading these 25,000+ papers. The Miscellaneous Pile is an assortment of notes that I just couldn't place elsewhere, and is by far one of the better sections; I'll save it for last. The final one raises more questions than I care to get into here. I'll use it to finish off the thread. All right. Starting off, we've got: Let us Weep for our Future. One little girl starts off with an opening paragraph explaining that life’s not always been easy for her. She lives in an impoverished neighborhood and there’s a lot of crime, but ever since she got saved (religiously), she’s been full of hope. Well, good for her! I can’t wait to read what she has to say about how her life changed. Now comes the next paragraph. “The day I commenced lecturing in tungs was a cuple days after my nana‟s house burnt down. My father is in jail.” Lecturing in tongues. Well at least her life is returning to peace and normalcy. One kid spends one night with his friends throwing rocks at “the crazy lady‟s house” to get her to come out. Why? So they could throw rocks at her. This little waste of life starts off his paper with, “My favorite memory is the time me and my cousin beat up this kid named Roland.” The paper is exactly that. He and his cousin were in a playground, and when Roland approached, they made fun of his hat. The writer’s cousin smacked Roland in the head, and Roland pushed him in retaliation. The cousin then pushed Roland to the ground, and both he and the writer kicked him “until he stopped moving.” They took his hat, laughed at him and went back to whatever it was they were doing. A little later, he got up, limping away and crying while they pointed and laughed. “It was my favorite memory ever.” Thankfully this little poo poo didn’t write very well, so I was able to give him a low score. Hope he likes daily after-school intensive writing classes. One kid’s favorite memory was when his rottweiler attacked “this black guy” in his yard. The man was screaming, and his dad was watching through the bathroom window, laughing in the bathtub. The dog had a history of biting people. Their solution was to “hit him in the head with two-by-fours until he let go.” “My favorite memory was seeing someone cry when they fail and I pass.” You know that kid in elementary school that would willingly deprive himself from any form of fun after school just to study, and fed on praise from his teachers and honor society ceremonies? Well here he is, and he’s an rear end in a top hat. His whole paper is about how all the other kids went out to play sports and video games, and that’s why it’s their fault they fail and he doesn’t. Read the wording carefully here. “My favorite memory is when I had my first baby.” Her first baby. The paper briefly describes her pregnancy, and during the delivery, she was given some water to drink, but got some caught in her throat and started coughing. She “coughed hard,” and the baby shot out of her. The most unsettling thing about this paper was the way it was written; cheerfully and simply, like the kind of writing you’d expect from a Myspace full of pink backgrounds and sparkling text. It just made the subject matter even more surreal. ~Solitude~ I am bound to it... Bound to walk by the sea alone. Bound to reliving thoughts and creating memories... I am bound to darkness. I am bound to solitude. I am alone. God, they’re starting young these days. The younger of two brothers writes that one Christmas, he and his brother got 4 action figures, but he remarks that his brother’s were bigger. So in a perfectly reasonable course of action... “I got so mad that I beried them in the backyard. I would keep on berrying every toy I didn‟t like. I would take every toy my mom gave my brother and throw it away. And blame it on my brother, until I got caught.” “When this girl asked me out. She was the most hot girl in class. She had sandy brown hair, big red lips, and a perfect body.” A kid describing a “hot girl” would be fine, if he wasn’t talking about his first day of Kindergarten. And finally, “The difficalt thaning that I thought is geting in troble by my dad. One day my dad got me a new gun. Then I was relouding it. When I shot my dog in the leg. So my dad said wy is the dog cring becasce I shot it in the leg.” Are you insane/What were you thinking? “As my feet were so hot on a hot and Sunny Beach in South Pondra Inland. O‟boy was I haveing fun then frist we when‟t go play in the awter. Then we were picking seashells from the bottom of the ocean there was blue, white, red, and colorful. Then we bared my cusie in the sand he started yelling get off me but there was no one on him we told him it was the sand then we put a jellyfish on him.” “Have you ever seen a bottlerocket hit a person in the head? It‟s funny.” One kid writes about when his father drove to an empty parking lot, tied one end of a rope to a trash can lid and the other end to the back of his pickup truck, told his kid to get on the lid, then stepped on the gas. Admittedly this sounds like a hell of a lot of fun. It was a real joy imagining what this kid must be like in real life. He talks about having a party with his classmates, plain enough. But near the end, before talking about his friend Barnes, he takes the time to explain that he’s a “lying, cheating bastard,” and how he (the writer) passed out drunk after the party ended. Plus, in the space at the bottom of the page, he included this: “P.S. I‟m BIG hungry foos” “For christmas, I got an 360, a new guitar, and a new gun.” “The sound of Ms. Julies name just makes me want to stab myself in the chest.” On a rollercoaster, one kid threw up, which at the speed they were traveling, hit the man behind him, who threw up as well, hitting the girl behind him. “I know its kind of mean and really gross but that is my favorite memory. being able to spend a hole day with my dad and making all those people blow chunks.” A kid named Drex (only one letter removed to retain privacy, but yes, it’s an odd name) refers to himself in third person while writing a paper about having a “firework war.” Pretty self-explanatory, he and some other kids shot roman candles and bottlerockets at each other, and used M-80s as grenades. “And that was Drex‟s favorite memory.” One paper I got actually had a lot of promise in the beginning. It was about a tornado that destroyed a bird’s nest, and knocked the egg far away. But it was no ordinary egg- it was a phoenix’s egg! The baby hatched, but there was no mother or father to raise it. Luckily, a herd of unicorns walked by and adopted it. Okay, it’s a little hokey, but after 80-something identical stories about going to Six Flags, a little creativity is more than welcome. Well, the phoenix grew up, and he went off to fight the army of dragons with the unicorns. Honestly, he didn’t lose me until he wrote that the unicorns fought using “their sybeams.” “The battle was ragnarok, and the ethic battle lasted for hours.” We start off here with a trip to the zoo. The kid’s in the fish tunnel, one of those halls with a glass ceiling and an aquarium around and above you. His parents were taking some time to move on, so he fell asleep. When he woke up, he had tipped over, and his cheek was pressed against the glass. As he opened his eyes, he saw a big fish looking right into his eyes. “It was like we were ready to go to war. That would pretty much tell you why me no likey fish.” Aaaaand... “My favorite memory is my brain, because it let‟s me memory‟s alot of things.” Opening Sentences “My favorite memory is when my step-brother Ruben ran into a light pole.” “Once it was a time where I had a baseball game.” “I am going to explain, how my bruther‟s head was bleeding.” (Unrelated to #1.) “While standing there, I fanted from joy. Why did I fant? It was a shocking moment. The words that explains it are skills, good posture, and excellent vocals.” Only halfway through the paper did I realize she was talking about singing at a talent show. “I think the best thing that ever happened to me was, when I broke my arm.” This one makes a bit of sense, as the kid lorded all the attention he got over his brothers for many weeks afterwards. Titles The time a bug got in my ear My Donkey, José DAY I GOT COOKIE Flames of Heate (Written in flowery cursive) Sandals and a dumb hat! The day my mom YELLED AT ME FOR SOMTHING I DIDN‟T DO My Rifle End-of story morals / what I learned “The moral of the story is that my 5th birthday party was the best ever.” From “My Donkey, José “I want my reader to understand that it is not fun falling off something like a donkey.” “One thing that I learned is that being around all your family it is fun. And another thing I learned is that you should wake up early because your mom goes to the mall and she did not take you and she doen not tell you where she is going.” Guess what this paper was about? In this paper, the kid writes about how her mother got a bonus at work, so they went out and bought a DVD player, a new TV, and some other luxuries. “We went home to find our television from the living room, my DVD player, my DVDs, and my moms money, it was all stolen. That really burned my biscuits! Moral: Just settle for old stuff, so people won‟t steal it.” “The best time in your life always reflects on your worst it is complet opposite from your worst time so the best is yet to come.” So the worst is yet to come? Finally, I present to you the most misguided inspirational phrase ever. “No one is a failure unless you try.” With that, I'm off to work. I've got a short shift today, so I'll be back in 6 hours or so and see if I can't scrounge together another category then. Feel free to ask any questions, I'll answer them all when I get back. Well, everyone seems to trust me to pick the next category, so I'm going with Relative Drama because it's not as long as some of the others and is a good one to end the night with. This one's more interesting than outright funny, but still a good read. One little girl starts out writing about her favorite memory by describing her day at Church with mom, a few days before Christmas. They come home to find the dad on the couch in front of the TV, who has finished off half of a 32-pack of beers. Mom comments that she doesn’t like him drinking on “God‟s day,” and takes the remaining beer to the kitchen, opens them, and starts pouring them down the drain. The father walks over and slaps the mother “so hard she fell down,” then sets the Christmas tree on fire, along with the presents. Give that a moment to set in. He burned down their loving Christmas tree. But we’re still talking about the kid’s favorite memory, right? So what gives? “It was my favorite memory because that‟s what made my mom divorce my dad.” Well it’s a loving Christmas miracle then. God bless us, every one. This kid is a pitcher for his little league team. He strikes out all 3 batters in the first inning, but he gets struck out at bat. He throws his bat and helmet to the ground, breaking into tears. Next inning, he strikes out three more batters, but at bat, is struck out again. Here’s where things got a bit strange. “Then I got in the dugout I was so angry that I was crying to loud and I was even hitting the fence! when my dad heard I was yelling he came and said, “If you don‟t hit the ball next time I will never buy you nothing.” Luckily he hit it on the second pitch. But still, thanks dad. One dad used the “your mom and I gave you everything you have” argument to guilt his kid into washing his dumptruck. One little girl wrote about her trip to her grandfather's farm. She was afraid to ride a horse, but her grandfather offered to walk it around the yard while she rode it, to which she agreed. Still, she ended up crying the whole time. Then, a chicken ran in front of the horse, startling it, and it bucked her off into a mudpile. When she stood up, the horse kicked her in the back. Her grandfather sat next to her in the hospital room weeping for hours. “I remember the times he (grandpa) told me to jump off the edge in a video game and get a secret level, but all that would do is kill my guy." This is one awesome grandpa. Here, the writer’s older brother teaches him how to skateboard. Last paragraph: “At the end of the week, Jerry my brother told me I would be getting a surprise at first I thought he was going to hit me in the crotch. But insted he gave me a new skateboard (a complete deck) with gernade bairings with a world industries board, wheels, and tracks. Then Jerry hit me in the crotch.” One kid dreaded getting a shot because his older brother had convinced him the needle would take his soul. One family’s method of punishment was to put the offending child in “the punishment closet” and make them spend the night there. I used this one as an example, but found this extra bit as I was rummaging through the old notes; apparently the kids called it the "Suffering Closet" and would leave messes/break things and try to incriminate each other constantly. (Written in neat, flowery cursive) “I’m 8years old & my life was always good because I would run streets with my dad. He’s my heart. Hater’s called me a “daddy’s girl.” Our bond is as thick as a brickwall attacked by a bulldozer.” This story starts on an Easter afternoon. The kid and his family are outside, starting up the BBQ. As an Easter present, the kid’s parents presented him with a new bike, which also happened to be his first bike, but has no training wheels attached. Naturally, the dad starts teaching the kid how to ride it. He pushes the kid along, until they reach a slope in the road. At this point, the BBQ bursts into flames, and the reliable father dashes off towards the house, leaving the kid to careen down the road. After barely avoiding a collision with an old man crossing the street, the kid turns sharply and crashes straight into a large tree. A few seconds later, dad rushes over and looks down at his kid, whose head is bleeding. Then dad passes out at the sight of the blood. They gave the kid a couple of bandages, and took dad to the hospital. The kid finishes with these words of wisdom: “Moms don‟t leave a kid with a dad who is scared of blood.” In this one, there’s a BBQ party of some sort going on. I should note that nothing in this final paragraph was mentioned at any point beforehand. The writer walks up to his dad, who is standing by his truck... “Dad what are you doing with dose cokes. I‟am trowing them son. why and why are yoo filled that sand in the truck. Son you sayd that you wanted to stay in the beach. not anymore dad a promise is a promise. I‟am taking this sand and putit in your own bathroom so, you could do it like if you were in the beach. Thank you dad you are the best.” That's it for tonight. I've got some things to do tomorrow like taking my little sister out to fire her very first gun, but I'll still be able to update at least twice. I mean, I could update more than that, but if I posted eight categories a day, there wouldn't be anything to look forward to the next, would there? And considering the length of some of these, it looks like we're not even halfway done. I'll be up for another hour or so, so feel free to ask questions as always, I'd love to answer any. Moving on, we've got Where the hell did that come from? (Stuff from out of nowhere, the unexpected) One kid spends a page writing about how his dad and his brothers enjoy scaring him from time to time. On the second page, the dad walks in the front door and says he brought back food. The kid opens the box, and there’s a live crab inside. The dad yells and thrusts the box at him. Angry, the kid walks outside. “I just got tired of them scarring me so much that I got my basketball and went outside like I said. 2 hours later I walked in saw a dead body my brother. I fianted when I woke up I was in a hospital bed next to my brother.” This paper starts out like a typical surprise birthday party scenario. I honestly wouldn’t be exaggerating when I say I’ve read at least a thousand of these. It had all the markings of a surprise setup, with parents obviously hiding something, sending the kid out on errands while they prepare, etc. Then, during the actual party... “Then all of a sudden my dad whispers something to my mom and walks outside. So then, I just kind of ignored it and kept opening presents.” Buildup to a surprise that will be revealed later. I see this all the time. After dad comes back, there will be a new bike in the garage, or a puppy under the bed; it’s only a matter of time. “But after that whole party was over I was still wondering where my dad was because after all he hadn‟t come back. But later I would find out. As that year went by my dad got sicker and sicker. Until we found out that he had cancer and passed away that same year.” ...OH. And no, there was no mention of dad being sick before that. This one is a general recollection of a fun summer, going on about all sorts of things that happened. See if you can find what stands out. “We made a chocolate cake. Now all we needed was a toping and Denton had it on his face and had it on mine so Sarah took a picture. Like one month after Denton and his sister Claire died in a flood. Last summer during softball we had a good team and pitcher. Our team was called aftershock! So...” And it just goes on to talk about baseball and other outdoor activities. Full paper: “My favorite memory was when I would go to my ranch with my family and my paw paw he was one of a kind he loved all of us when we go to the ranch we would make forts and hunt for deer shoot guns and hide and seek man that was hard and four wheelers we would all come out to the ranch and have a great time- every weekend we would go to the ranch till my paw paw committed suiside now we cant go no more because they sold it” “When someone believes in you, it is a great feeling that helps you build confidence. A true believer puts strength in you, in your time of ambition. Many people were able to accomplish their tasks because someone believed in them. If it weren‟t for King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella some of us wouldn‟t be here today.” She goes on to talk about running for “Miss Junior Peach Blossom” at the Peach Jamboree. Royalty is not mentioned again. This section's a tad short, so I'll throw in How the yung'uns are spelling these days Dolphin = dolfing. Uncle = unclod. i.e. “My unclod was making hamburger” Uniform = younoform. Water = Warter. i.e. “Warter breake! Every one ran to get warter.” Breakfast = Breastfeast. Unforgettable (?) = nonforgetafal Incredible = Incredibable Solo = soul low Oklahoma = hoklagoma Airport = airplaine stageione Excited = ex?ted. You’re reading that right. He wrote a question mark in place of the “i.” i.e. “to sey the truth I was caind of ex?ted.” For = Fiancé = Feonca. i.e. “He and his feonca just had a chiled.” Ice cream = haysed krem What the gently caress were you trying to say? This is probably the "heaviest" section, as it takes some precise reading to get any meaning from these. Some of them have clear messages, but are just delivered as gracefully as a blind, dying rhinoceros trying to write an essay. Others I've given up on deciphering entirely, so by all means apply your own expert appraisals and try to figure them out. Here we go- the worst of the worst. One boy writes his paper about his summer spent on his grandfather’s farm in Mexico. That summer, someone had left a gate open, and the cattle wandered off. After a few days of searching, they find most of the cattle either sick or dead. He ends with: “Everything in Mexico was O.K. so cattle had died for a sickness but they were a lot better.” “One day I was at school having a great time. Until my friend Maria had doin something horrible thing. That when very thing happen.” “One time when I was little. I remember the my mom and my Aound tell me to stop yomping in the Bead Bed I did not listen to my Aeond and to my mom And I ckeep yomping in the Bead and I Fail down and bern my self. Because it was in the Bead one of dose things to do the hear. And I learn my self.” Ending sentence: “Show neuf I past the test with believe” Sho' nuff! “OOF! If I can get this hinderous thing called walking down. Life will be a snap. Yaa! Now that I‟ve got it. Time to get some food. MMM! That brown stuff in the bowl looks good. YUCK! This is so offensive that I bet that brown thing on four legs wouldn‟t eat this. Time to go see who that other kid is. Waa! Waa! Stop it I don‟t like that. I wonder if I can run as fast as that.” “the Pugolin the animale we that the one wah that has a strong chale cos it hard chale is strong lace a rak. A several murten is oFole colD a Amar ican murter severa a cool tupach up to 80 Degras pale o that a hue strong the rane Be ah the westrne west that or Bpel canD chiefly us a hill that rais abruptly surrounding that was so degras. Alarge a Ahimale that has broke strades weth whit lanes on leafe in mount as that we the calo Alarge.” The handwriting was actually very legible. And yes, those capital letters were clearly capitals, not just big. I think he’s talking about some kind of animal with a hard shell. Moreover, I can only guess as to why he is able to spell “abruptly surrounding” correctly, but not “shell” or “rock.” “My favorite memory was when my friend GOGO China, Taco Bell, and this girls house.” “My favorite memory is when I make the (test name) because we needed put attention in the introction to make the (test name).” He writes a page and a half on how important it is to pay attention to the question the test asks, to use his time on the test wisely, and talking about how he feels about the test, generally telling us what his teacher probably told him to do on the test... written in this odd form of English. I don’t think he understood what he was supposed to be doing. Talking about sledding: “I won more than every body because I had a bigger sled than me so it made me go faster.” “you know your greats-funs time. that going to be your favorite memory well be. I don‟t know completely. For me it was asking a gril out.” “then he said that if we were ready to leave and that he had already goting my clothes. After that I got sort of browhaha.” This was the entire paper: “Do you have a favorite memory is when I got togo to the party of my cousien so I got to go it was funny and cool they had girls food homeis and gun‟s, I got to shoot like 10 or more guns and I got to get on lowriders and it was all so funny” “4 years ago my cousin told me do you remember when I wanted to show you how to play soccer and I say, “yes.” I told my family that was the most difficult I ever had. I almost forget that I had the most difficult that I had.” “ZTahstekRlcotearvonkreten MNW Awathtevestwarm nkrssippq mtsothKcuterRkpestooterwamo” The first of 7 similar paragraphs. The above actually covered about 1/4th of the first page, as the writing was very large. On the 2nd page, he doesn’t even separate paragraphs. It’s just one giant regurgitation of letters. Ends with: “DontGoontotoTherstop we GTG Mater Morten wal to soTspertarten Ksto wHenyk Finish you comesiten Kovinolle mippissinotrterter kcsthcclcenkolahnonkert tennkoperten morterrte” What so incredibly strange about this one is that it seems perfectly normal to type a chaotic mess like this on a keyboard, but this kid went the extra mile and wrote it. “I go sow happy to see my big sister agei.” We need something lighter after that mess, so I'll follow up with Things that made me smile later. Next up, we've got another 2-parter due to length. We begin with: Things that made me smile Talking about how much she admired her English teacher: “She taught me how to have an imaginative mind. This is how I can be a convincing liar. I have the ability to look someone dead in the eye, tell them a complete lie, and they probably believe me. Is this positive or negative?” In describing a movie theater: “Theater shows are quite neat to go to.” Title: “Greasy Face.” The writer had a little brother who never washed his face, so it was rather greasy. One day, the little brother took a permanent marker and started drawing on his face. “I want to be the monopoly guy,” he explains. Their mom walks in and looks angrily at him. Lil’ bro says no problem, he'll just wash it off. Mom holds up the permanent marker he had been using and says, “Oh really?” Unfazed, the kid runs his hand over his face, and the marker smears and wipes off. A kid goes to Six Flags and sees a woman who he describes as "a big fat woman eating a hot dog and nachos" and "her face was scrunched and red like a rotten tomato" and "she must have weighed a million pounds,” and goes on about it for a half a page. A bit later, he gets on a rollercoaster. Who of all people sits down next to him? Yeah, the ogre lady. Halfway through the ride, he says her face “looked like she was angry and confused at the same time.” Then, in so many words, he describes how the cart took a sharp turn, and she vomited all over him. He spent the rest of the ride screaming and crying while slapping her. After the ride, as his parents were taking off his shirt, the lady walked over to him and started apologizing. He slapped her again and ran off. “I was happy with delight.” “The next day we ate hot dogs they were so good it tasted like we were eating joy.” “I remember when my father goo to see the fud boll.” One kid describing what his wedding will be like comments that there will be “100 bottles of whiskey on every table.” “He told me “I believe in you.” Because of those four words, I have made it through situations.” And next up to bat, we've got: How one misspelling can change everything. Read these carefully. “We worked slowly but surly.” “We watched Lord of the Rings, 2 Fast 2 Fours, and Gong in 60 Seconds.” I would pay good money to see Gong in 60 Seconds. Kid playing with a dog. “It was fun at first but then it bit me and I was crying alot because it made me bleed so I had to go inside and raped up my side with napkines.” On raising roosters: “The roosters also have some kind of lies that are very harmful. So you have to buy some kind of spray or powder to get those lies off them, or to kill the lies.” KILL THE LIES Ladies and gentlemen, I now present the most suggestive error I have come across. “They had lazertag, a train, boats, batting cages, videogames, and a rockclimbing mountain. It was like a playland or an erotic jungle of fun and amusement where anything could happen.” I'm back with Kids have the most interesting ways of saying things. This section is one of my personal favorites. “Have you ever seen America‟s funniest home videos when the men/women drop a turkey in the pan and start a grease fire? Well that‟s not funny if it happened to my sister.” She then goes on to describe her sister’s horrible facial scarring and the excruciating recovery process. “In my past life, the limbo between plants and humans, I was a cat, a puss, if you like. I was a siamease puss.” “I can still remember the eeeeccccchhh of the piñata as we tried to hang it.” Are you sure it wasn’t a live animal? In a recollection of getting a dog, the dad was taking her (the dog) home from the vet one rainy night. The car lost traction and flipped. “Well they should make seatbelts for dogs cause when our car flipped over her head was out of the window and when it flipped it got her head. I still miss her, but I know its know one‟s fault the roads were slippery; so yah my dog experienced expiration. I think it‟s kinda sad though she was still young in human years. I don‟t know about dog years I think she was still young probably a little old in dog years. I feel sorry for her head. Ouch!” Recalling an elementary school teacher... “I tell you she was the meanest teacher I ever had. She was the unfair thing. It was like a movie attack of the unfair monster. No wonder why she didn‟t have a husband.” Note: the word “unfair” was used 16 times in this paper. It helps if you read this one in a voice of unparalleled enthusiasm. “WOW I CAUGHT A FISH AND IT‟S BIG NOW ALL I HAFT TO DO IS GET IT TO ME SHAP!!! OWW THE LINE BROKE NOW WHAT AM I GONNA DO. WHAT DO YOU KNOW HEAR COMES GRANDPA TO THE RESCU WITH MORE BAIT AND SOME LINE.” “Voom! Voom! The car was finally turned on after all the luggage was aborted.” “My grandmother was always a helpful nice young lady.” “As we headed towards ohio, I tried to relax and enjoy the view. One of my favorite views was the cows masticating on the fields.” “On November 1, 2005 I turned 13 years old. For a present from my parents I had a party at a place called Stars. I went with my twin brother, four sisters, 4ourteen brothers, ten of my cousins, and twenty of my intimates. We all had an honorable period.” This kid was just going crazy with his adjectives, describing a hotel... “It was like a jungle, because there had been stunning flowers and heroic palm trees in the hotel.” “I could taste the smell of victory.” “It was a warm summer day the sun had seem to be on fire” “Last summer me and my family went to sixflags and we had so much fun that we didn‟t want to live.” On that note, another kid writes: “My family and I had so much fun enjoying six Flags our heads were blown off into the sky, with so much fun inside.” “My mom got pregnet she diren‟t want to tell me she diren‟t wanent me to nowrest ider.” “In the show ring at the District Stock Show, everybody‟s eyes watered for cud.” I can explain this a little if needed. “We‟ll it was Saterday for me baseball day.” It helps to read this in a comical Irish accent. Walking outside and spotting a tornado: “So I run in and tell my family “TORNATOR! TORNATOR!” ...which actually makes them sound a hell of a lot cooler. On a trip out with friends... “We started packing all or food eggs, Ham and cheese for sandwiches, drinks, and our four wheeler. When we got on the road you can see baby deers on the side of the road eating grass or dead.” “They were fighting like a closet full of fat people fighting over a bucket of fried chicken.” About a dog: “Ginger even had babies. In fact, she was pregnant.” “I learned so much the first time I baby-sat. I couldn‟t just warm up any old formula. She was lack toast and tolerant.” One kid was taken to a hospital at “5:00pm o‟clock,” where his sister delivered his baby nephew. Here’s what he had to say. “My sister Crystal she was back from the hospptol because she was going to have a baby and I saw the baby to. He is so pretty he he now has has 8 months old he had 7 months in thanksgiving day because Thanksgiving day was on the 24 of Novemberr and an Chrastmas eve day he had 8 months and he has 8 months in january the 24 he as going to be 9 months he is almost going to be 1year old. Even heis 8 months old the doctor told my sister that “Gordo” my nephew weight like a 1 year old kid. We call my nephew “Gordo” because he is fat. Gordo is a spanish name. My nephew Gordo he already stand up by himself, he says yes, he claps, he gives kisses, He already now how to dance, and he talks like this “ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah.” He kows alot of things and he is youst 8 months old.” Abuse of materials given The kids are allowed to consult a dictionary and/or thesaurus to make sure they’re spelling something correctly, or to spice up their papers with colorful words. The only problem with this system is that many kids would think “use of more complex words = higher grade,” and they would end up using words nobody ever would. Moreover, these same kids often fail to understand at just because similar words are listed in a thesaurus, they don’t mean exactly the same thing as the word they were going to use. Their papers end up sounding needlessly complicated and outright strange as a result. Talking about eating nearly his whole cake at his birthday party... “Later that night I said “never again will I have even the slightest appetite arousal for cake.” Some kids would be content to write, “(blah blah blah)...said my mom.” But this kid? “(blah blah blah)...vociferated my mom.” This kid was asked to close his eyes during his birthday party... “They started moving everyftting out of the way. I was getting prostration. I was fortuitous!” “One thing I thought was simple, was trying to master the computer. The computer wasn‟t effortlest, but it was rigor. The part that was arduously was when you have to install the internet so you can go on-line.” I've tried to install the internet. It's hard. “I had to put on my unpleasant uneform. I unpopularity it with all my orgines. I whent inside the truck my mom zoomed to school for I couldn‟t be deceased.” Talking about how well he performed in pre-Kindergarten... “I abominated pre-k.” Next up, we have Adventures in punctuation. I got a kid who hyphenated every word that approached the end of the paper and continued it on the next line, at whatever point it reached the paper’s end. Some offenses: inv- ited yo- u‟d m- y And he carried “we” across one page to the next. And on the opposite end... One girl didn’t understand the concept of page boundaries. She wrote lik e this throug hout the enti re paper with no hyphens w hatsoever. 1st sentence: “Intro. My favorite memory. I have to many. What‟s you faviorte memory.” Like “Intro,” he labeled his paragraphs “Main 1,” “Main 2,” and “Conclusion” at the beginning of each. “I‟t wase the 21ft of Disember...” “Well I‟m about to tell you about how life was. Rough for me at school you are going to read this and see how. Hard and painful it was for me getting and. Bringing home 0, 64, 70 making 1‟s in my family is „not‟ a pleased thing. To see how painful your peers look at this hurts so. Bad so I had to...” This doesn’t stop until the paper’s done. I woke up early today, so I have just enough time to post Mini-section: Entire papers before I head out the door. “I was so proud of myself. Because I showed people that if you try hard and pray you can do anything.” The only problem is, this is the entire paper. Written in erratic, seemingly panicked scrawls: “When I discovered in a book, that there were lizards with no legs and two legs I discovered that a white legless lizard has no legs. It‟s often mistaken for an earthworm. (you can find a rare, two legged lizard in the San Diego zoo.) “Once upon a time in Mexico I was taking a (name of this test) test when boom it hit me like a deer getting hit by a car. This was boring.” I'm back with the beginning of the end. The Miscellaneous Pile, Part 1 One kid was born in 1992, talking about his mom rushing to the hospital, giving birth to him, nothing out of the ordinary. But then... “The next day Grandpa came back from the World War II.” Gramps then tells the kid’s mother, “I didn‟t know you had a son.” It just stops there. One kid writes a long, exciting recollection of going to a Mexican rodeo, and is very descriptive and well-written. But here’s the ending sentence. “We went to where I remembered we parked but our truck was not there. For a moment there I thought I was drunk but them we realized we got robed" Lament of the benchwarmer: “After every game I went home crying wishing that my couch would put me in the game.” Maybe he’s ignoring you because you call him couch. In a paper detailing a kid’s baptism, he mentions he went to church with his mom’s friend who is named Omega. “I hope to do butter in school next year.” One paper describes a birthday party, nothing out of the ordinary except for this: “Then we played a game called tag. It was fun.” “We gat there so we went inside this big place called the mall where everybodys there 24/7.” This "mall" of yours sure sounds like a happening place! A kid had diabetes, and had to stay home for 3 days straight one week. To cheer him up, his parents bought him a puppy. The kid and the puppy had a great time for a few days, but then they found it laying down and refusing to get up. They took him to the vet, and guess what? The dog had diabetes. As it turns out, the kid thought it was awesome, though. “I was happy as Martha Stewart when she got out of jail.” “Then we were about 3 kilometers to get there and the police stop my dad and told him to lower the speed then my dad gave him 20 dollars and he went back to his police car.” Nothing in this paper indicates the kid knew that his father bribed the law. “Then, when my family and I arrived to Alanda Park. We started swimming in the huge lake. It is kind of a little pond.” Apparently the end boss of X-Men Legends is “Apolycolelips.” Try saying that aloud without grinning. Go on, try it. “I was a no good heathen before I Darren Lawrence Mabowski received Christ.” “Time. What do you know about time? Then let me tell you.” The paper is an explanation of the Dagger of Time from Prince of Persia. He never mentions it’s called the Dagger of Time, or is from Prince of Persia, but I knew enough about the game to understand that's what he was describing. Read this one carefully. “My 1st favorite memory is being in Mrs. Zachary‟s class because one day school was just starting and everyone was half sleep and tired so the teacher gave use a bag with a poem and stuff in side and she put on the poem it said chocolate was how much I‟m going to love you and a snicker is how much I‟m going to sneak up on you and that was all I could remember and some of ya‟ll might now her husband because he died sometime after Christmas and they had a little baby girl barly one years old so anyway she was the nicest teacher I have ever met and she would let you play game every Friday all day.” Next time, on OLC's thread: more of the same. Well everyone, we've arrived at the last big update in this thread. There's still A Category of its Own, but it's only one paper, so consider this the end, and the extra as the metaphorical cherry topping the sundae. The Miscellaneous pile, Part 2 “The girsls where so jelous at my because, they think Herold was my boyfriend but it wasent. The days past, and one of the girls invent she was pregnant of Herold, I was in shock I canot belief she in vent that.” 2 girls spent their summer stealing peoples’ hats. “I opened my biggest present and it was the newest edition of the Playstation 2. It was so thin you could put it ANYWHERE.” Intro: “Awesome! Their was a candycane of me a juicy one it was a very hapy memory with him.” Hold on. “Him?” “It was the best happiest candycane in my family. Stephen Harris a football player it was him my candycane cousin he never had problems with his family.” Oh. So “Candycane” is an affectionate term. Alright, but in an incredibly strange move, she continues to tell stories about him in candycane terms, like “He was the most juicest candycane I had.” Finally, she ends with this, read it carefully: “My happiest candycane had a accident that he broke a window got out yelling “help help” but never turn back it looked the red truck on top of him. “Never Never!” In my whole life Thought that would happen to my loveing red candycane.” Intro: “What is your favorite memory? I don‟t really have a favorite memory. What I do have is what you would call a favorite.” ...And he goes on to describe his favorite memory. In another hunting story, a kid shoots a deer, throws it in the pickup truck and drives home with his dad. Not uncommon, but this ending paragraph stood out: “The next day we‟re cutting the deer we cut the legs, head it was bleeding from the head to much. We ate it the next day with chicken and fajita and rips we‟re cooking the deer in the night.” A little girl and her older brother were playing pretend. She was a wild dog, and he was a hunter. It’s a pretty cute story until he starts shooting her with a BB gun. Title: Michael... what are you doing? This was easily the most surprising paper I read. The kid recalls a time he went to a Michael Jackson concert. At the end, he was invited backstage, where Michael tells him to follow him to his basement. MJ throws him against the wall, unzips his pants, and “pops his cherry... cola.” He unzips the kid’s pants and begins pulling them down, but a band member walks out from the shadows, pulls MJ off the kid and shoots him. He takes a sip of MJ’s cola, and shoots him again. “It was over... or was it?” At the bottom, he writes: “To be continued in part 2... THE CANDYMAN CAN” Oh, how I wish I could’ve copied it all. But there was only one copy of it being passed around, and my time was limited. “Mom went into labor, and 8 months later, she gave birth to my baby brother.” loving ouch. One kid writes a camping story. Setting up the tent, making a fire, cooking dinner, etc. In the last few sentences he mentions the location as if it were perfectly normal; the parking lot of a Wal-Mart in Las Vegas. This kid hates his grandma, writing that she hits him and yells at him when his mother leaves him with her. One day, mom tells him to pack his bags, because he’s spending the weekend at Grandma’s. When they arrive, they find grandma dead on the couch, clutching the phone in her cold blue hands. He was the happiest kid at the funeral. “Everyone was crying but me, I was smiling.” One kid recalls the most terrifying experience in his life: being chased down the street by 3 chihuahuas. Full paper: “One day my dad was having trouble. He told me to give him an idea. So I told him sure why not. I started to think for a long time. Till I though of something. I went running to my dads and told him I think I have something. So my dad said I think this could work. And we started to try it out and it worked we were trying it out for a pretty long time. When it got dark we were all so happy and my dad told everybody lets go to Pizzahut and eat.” “WOW! I yelled this is the best thing that ever happened to me! It‟s a XBox Nitendo that I got for christmas!” NINTENDO SIXTY FOOOOUU- oh wait, what? Finally, this paper details a boy’s tragic memory of his mother losing a four-year battle with cancer. I have done my best to recreate how he ended the paper: Well, it's about time to post the very last drop of content I collected from those 2 1/2 months of grading. Before I do, I want to thank every one who posted in this thread, short as it was. I never imagined it would get the kind of response it did. If I knew, I wouldn't have sat on them for half a year thinking, "Ehhh, I guess I could start it this week..." And to those talking about doing an mspaint/voiceover/etc thread based on these responses, go right ahead. The responses are public property now, so do whatever you want with them. Since I hate big goodbyes and wrap-ups, I'll just skip those and finish off with A category of its own. This is the paper, recreated as honestly as digital format can manage. Caps are not to indicate size, but that the kid wrote in all caps. MY FAVORITE MEMORY IS WERE IS MY GLASSES MY FAVORITE MEMORY IS WERE IS THE CUP MY FAVORITE MEMORY IS WERE IS MY WATER MY FAVORITE MEMORY IS WERE IS THE CHOOSE MY FAVORITE MEMORY IS WERE IS MY BIKE MY FAVORITE MEMORY IS WERE IS THE WANT MY FAVORITE MEMORY IS WERE IS THE TEACHER MY FAVORITE MEMORY IS WERE IS THE CAT MY FAVORITE MEMORY IS WERE IS THE SPOON
"Into the Horrible Minds of Children - Jigsy"