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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Memoir, excerpt #2

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I remember very little of second grade. The twelve of us were shoved into a third-grade classroom, and I simply cannot remember the teacher’s name. Each of us second-graders was assigned to a third-grade student who was supposed to help us with our work. My third grader couldn’t be bothered, so I floundered, especially in arithmetic. Moreover, we didn’t get any crayons! I did enjoy using skinny pencils and learning cursive writing, especially when the teacher handed out ball point pens for us to use, once we were acceptably competent writing cursive with our pencils.

But most of the second grade is completely gone from my memory, aside from those “special assemblies” when the graduate students were testing us. Fifteen or twenty students from different grade levels would meet in the auditorium or the cafeteria and take tests. I’m sure that one of those tests was the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). The researchers were two young men in business suits and a woman in a B-line outfit. I did not like the woman, and I remember her yelling at me that I was deliberately giving the wrong answers on the tests. She was right. I did not like the tests and I did not trust those people. I just sat there in silence until one of the men told her that it was enough.

They must have thought that we were psychic because they kept asking us things like, “What’s in John’s pocket?” and “What’s behind the curtain?” and “What’s in a box at the bank downtown?”

~~~

You can pre-order a signed copy from me for $25, to be delivered in March 2011. (I have bills to pay now.)

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