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Category Archives: Humor

Memoirs Christmas Excerpt- Father of the Bride

Here’s another holiday excerpt from Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl: Fresh-meat Year.

Family of the Bride

Not since National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (still my family’s favorite holiday film) had my family attempted to go see a movie together, and that had been two years ago.  This Christmas, however, we were not all going to be together, so my parents wanted to make sure we got in some quality time before we flew Angela off to California to spend the holiday with her soon to be in-laws.  So what feel-good, yet funny family film could we see?  The Father of the Bride.  Of course.  After all, Angela was getting married and it was all she had on her mind. There were no Griswold moments, but Steve Martin was a funny guy, too.

Of course, just preparing to go to a movie as a family was an event.  We had to stop at a grocery store on the way to purchase affordable candy bars and cans of soda.  Winter was the best time of year for a movie because all of these snack items could easily be stashed away in our winter coats.  My parents (and Han Solo) taught me the value of smuggling.

The only theater we had around at that time was in Remington, at the mall.  My dad’s patience was thin when it came to dealing with the mall, and we were there the last Saturday before Christmas, so we drove up and down every row in search of a parking spot.  My dad was pulling into one when we all realized it was already occupied by a motor scooter.  I heard some indecipherable mumbling coming from the driver’s seat, and we remained paused halfway in that parking spot for at least thirty seconds or so while I’m pretty sure my dad contemplated running over the scooter. Fortunately for said scooter, someone a few spots down was leaving, so my dad threw it into reverse, almost giving us all whiplash and snagged the spot, much to the chagrin of another circling family in a minivan.  A grin of satisfaction spread across my dad’s face.

The content of the movie was too much for an emotional bride, and when we walked out of the theater people were confused as to what we had just seen because Angela was crying uncontrollably, and quite vocally.  I cried a little to myself, only because we had been surrounded by people with popcorn, but we had none.  Even if we’d popped it at home and found a way to stuff it in our coats, it wouldn’t have been fresh by the time we got there.

The next day was a day of snow flurries and we had to drive through it in order to get Angela to the airport.  Nothing was sticking, but people panicked anyway.  Passengers were still allowed to have their loved ones escort them all the way to the gate to see them off back then, and Angela cried the entire way through the airport- while walking, riding the moving walkways, checking her suitcase- the whole time.  She calmed down a bit when we sat and waited with her.

“I left presents for each of you under the tree.  I won’t be there to see you open them, so take pictures, Mom, please,” Angela said.

“Hope you don’t want to see those pictures until next Christmas,” I joked.  My mom was notorious for not getting around to dropping off the film for development.  Thank goodness for the more recent advent of the digital camera.

“Drew, that isn’t funny,” my mom defended herself in a playful way, knowing I was, in fact, correct.

Angela was laughing a full belly laugh when her boarding announcement was made, and she immediately snapped back into a sobbing mess.  “I can’t believe I’m missing Christmas with you.  I’ve never missed Christmas with you.”

“Honey, sometimes you have to compromise when you get married,” Mom said.

“I don’t even like Ryan’s family!” and she sobbed harder.  “What if this whole thing is a mistake?  I don’t really want to be related to them for the rest of my life.”

“Now is not the time for this, Angela.  Your plane is boarding,” my dad said, and she sobbed even harder, then she threw herself onto my dad and wept into his chest.  My dad was a loving man, but he never really knew how to handle emotional, girlie moments, so he just stood, eyes large, deer in headlight look on his face, and patted her back for a few seconds, his arm bent stiffly.  My mom saw his need for help and gently stepped in, slipping her arm around Angela and scooping her away toward the gate.

“I love you guys, even you, Drew,” Angela called back as she moped down the gate hallway to the plane, glancing over her shoulder several times before she went around a curve and we lost view. Soon after, the doors closed.

“Can we stay to watch her plane take off?” I asked.  I always loved watching the planes when we went to the airport.

“I think we’d probably better, just to make sure she doesn’t come back,” my dad said, and we watched until the plane taxied away and then rose into the sky a distance away.  It was going to be strange having Christmas with just Mom and Dad.  We all sighed simultaneously, and then Dad said, “Well, we better get going.  It looks like the snow might start sticking and we don’t want to be stuck driving in that mess.”

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved

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Memoirs Christmas Excerpt- Wonderland

Here’s another little sampling of Drew’s life at Christmastime from her awkward freshman year. If you enjoy this, check out the link here.

I couldn't stop laughing. Drew could have had this poster.

I couldn’t stop laughing. Drew could have had this poster.

Another Trip to Wonderland

During the week of school right before a big holiday break little happens educationally, except tests.  Teachers figure kids will forget everything over the break, so they pack in the tests while it’s all still jammed in their flighty teenage brains.  Or they have parties.  The last few days before Christmas break were a confusing mix of both.  The worst thing was crashing from a party in one class when there was a test looming in the next, such as I did in pre-algebra.  It must have shown on my face because Chip even offered to share his test answers with me, but I knew I would have a better score even if I just made something up about a, or b, or x, or whatever stupid letter I was supposed to find a number for.

Chip was still hobbling around, but it didn’t stop him from giving me a bear hug as we parted ways that day.  “I’ll see ya nixt year, little buddy, cuz we’ll be havin’ New Years and all.  Git it?”

“Oh, Chip, you are clever.  Have a good and safe break,” I said as we parted ways.  Apparently, we had become quite good friends since he broke it off with me, or whatever it was. Chip even gave me a Christmas card with Rudolph’s head mounted over a fireplace. Classy. But at least he wasn’t flirting with me anymore.

Chorus put me back into party mode, but then again, that was usually all we did.  Of course, we had done some Christmas songs and caroled around one of the elementary schools earlier in the week.  Mona and Violet had made dozens of cookies and put them into little goodie bags to give out to everyone in class.  I overheard Mona laughing to Violet and Julia, something about plumping up all the other girls so they’d be fat in comparison.  I should have known there was a sneaky evil agenda behind the cookies.  The three of them made a pact against all holiday temptations.  If they wanted to sweeten up their celery sticks, they were allowed a small dab of peanut butter only. Interestingly enough, I felt no guilt over my plans to eat all the sweets I could acquire.

When class ended, I bid goodbye to Anne, whom I was fairly certain I would see over the break at some point, and Ally, whom I probably would not see.  Her parents were planning to send her away to a boarding school because her grades were so bad, and because, according to Ally, her stepmom was evil. We hugged and exchanged Christmas cards, in which we had each included our addresses, hers being at the new school. “Bathroom breaks from photography just won’t be the same without you.”

“I know.  Take care of yourself, and make sure you kiss Dustin today.  Seriously, he needs something to think about over the break…you.”

“Yeah, sure thing,” I lied with a smile as we parted.

Adrienne met me in the hallway before photography.  “We need to miss the bus today.  My mom already said she could pick us up at Dustin’s at five.”

“Uh, ok, but we don’t even know if we can go to Dustin’s.”

“Yes, we do.  We talked earlier when I caught him staring at Alyssa in the hallway.  You need to make an impression on him before the break.”

“Weird.”

“What?” Adrienne asked.

“You’ve never met Ally, right?  But she pretty much said the same thing.”

“She’s obviously very smart.”

Dustin approached with a smile.  “Hey.  So you ladies are coming over to hang and play some Nintendo today?”

“Sure.  You really know how to kick off a holiday break,” I teased.

“I know.  But I might also have some mistletoe around if you get bored,” he replied with a smirk as he passed us and walked into the classroom for another holiday class party.

When the bell of freedom rang, Dustin said he had one thing to take care of before we left and that he’d meet us at the corner down from the school.  Dustin had a real eye for photography and he had made some great prints earlier that week.  One was of Alyssa.  I had seen him pull it out of an envelope for a few seconds earlier, when he thought nobody was looking, and he wrote her name on the front of the envelope.  As Adrienne and I walked down the hill, I found Dustin in the crowd, slipping the envelope into Alyssa’s book bag right as she boarded her bus.

A small, thin woman in red was heading out the front door of Dustin’s house when we arrived.  I could see him tense up as we all approached each other.  “Dustin, Sweetie, I’m off to run a few errands and then to my work Christmas party, after I pick up your father.”

“It’s not an open bar is it?”

“Dustin, now is not the time,” she said, almost under her breath. “Who are your friends?” she said more loudly and cheerfully as she smiled at Adrienne and me.

“Adrienne and Drew,” Dustin replied as he gestured towards each of us.

“It’s very nice to meet you girls,” she said as she limply shook each of our hands. “Don’t mind the mess.  I haven’t had much time for tidying up lately.”  She reached up a hand and touched Dustin’s cheek.  “Be good.”

“Yeah, you too, Mom.”  We watched her climb into a large old blue station wagon, start the sputtering engine and drive away.

“She seems nice,” Adrienne offered as we entered the house.

“Yeah, but she’s not the problem.”

In the corner of the living room was a sad looking Christmas tree.  It wasn’t one of those charming Charlie Brown trees or anything either.  This had been a nice tree, but a large chunk had been chopped off one side of the tree, ornaments scattered on the floor beneath, where not a single present sat.  I tried to act like I hadn’t seen it, but Dustin caught me looking.  “My father used part of the tree for kindling to start a fire last night.  We had kindling wood, but it was out back, and the ax was closer.  I hid the ax this morning.  Good thing he wasn’t drunk.”

“So your dad is a drunken douchebag?  My dad sucks too.  Drew’s just about the only person I know with two good parents,” Adrienne said.  It was true too.  I tried not to take it for granted and sometimes I even felt guilty because most of my friends had weird parental situations of some sort.

We managed to escape the world where parents mattered while attempting to rescue Princess Toadstool, later known as Princess Peach, in Dustin’s attic bedroom.  Guns N’ Roses blared from the stereo.  We stopped between levels as “Don’t Cry” came on.  “I love this song.  I know it’s a released song and everyone knows it and all, but it’s still one of my favorites on this album,” Dustin admitted, and we listened without speaking, all the way until Axl Rose held out the final note, his voice wavering up and down, and then we resumed the game until Adrienne’s mom showed up.

As Dustin walked us toward the door, he caught me gently by the hand, letting Adrienne walk out ahead.  “I couldn’t find the mistletoe, and I couldn’t afford to get you a gift, so I hope this is ok,” he said as he leaned in and gave me a quick, soft kiss on my lips. His hand let mine go, he smiled, his beautiful dark left eye showing more of the green flecks than usual, and wished me a Merry Christmas.  I turned and walked into the wall.

“Yeah, Merry Christmas,” I said as I corrected my position and practically ran out the door.  How clumsy!

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved

 

 

Memoirs Christmas Excerpt- Deck the Halls

I have decided to post a few Christmastime excerpts from my second book (Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl: Fresh-meat Year) this week. Please follow the title link  if you are interested in more.

My favorite Christmas movie...

My favorite Christmas movie…

Deck the Halls…and Everything Else Too

My favorite time of year had arrived and I was prepared.  Mom had a habit of getting tired of old home decorations from Christmas to Christmas and would decide to restock with a new theme every few years.  I was surprised so much of our old stuff had made the cut to travel when we moved, but she’d had a year off since we didn’t really have Christmas that year. However, she’d seen it all again last year and it was now time for a change.  I scavenged most of the stuff she set aside to donate or toss out and used it to decorate as much of my bedroom as possible.  Most of it no longer matched, but I didn’t care.  It was festive.  It was one of the only times of year when the creepy red carpet in my room actually wasn’t so creepy.

As I Scotch taped a string of colored lights around one of my bedroom windows, I could see the Phillips’ car driving down the cul-de-sac with an enormous tree strapped to the roof, which I thought was strange since I remembered seeing them bring a tree home sometime earlier in the week.  In a few minutes, while I was wrapping blue tinsel garland around the ends of my curtain rods, they left again, treeless.  Then, about an hour later, when I walked out to get the mail, they drove back home with another huge tree.

It was the Saturday a week and a half before Christmas.  Mom always wanted to wait as long as possible to get the tree so the needles didn’t all fall off too soon and we could leave it up through New Year’s, but we were pushing it this year.  I was afraid all the good trees would be gone, so I’d begged to go that day and it was time.  My mom knocked on my door.

“Come in,” I called.

“Ready?  Angela just got home from work and your dad says it’s now or never.”  She took a look around my room and shook her head.  I knew the haphazard array of colors was not quite to her liking, but it was my room, so she didn’t say much, just, “The red carpet seems appropriate now.”  There were a few ways I could take that.

We sifted through the selection at the make-shift tree lot for at least an hour before we found the right tree.  My mom had brought along a couple of her more heavy ornaments to really test out the tree’s branches, and she had re-measured the spot where we would place the tree so we knew how tall and wide we could go.  A man dressed as an elf prepared our tree for travel.

As my dad was paying for our tree, I spied the Phillips talking with another elf at the tree lot.  “Ok, so you will hold those three trees for us?  I can take the big one now, and I’ll be back for the rest tomorrow.”

“Yeah, sure.  Phillips, right?”

“Yes.”

“Writing it down now.  I’ll put reserved tickets on them for you.  You need help getting the other one loaded up now?”

I walked back to my family.  What the heck did the Phillips need so many trees for?  How many did they have and where were they putting them all?  So weird.  Then I noticed that the Christmas sweater and dog lady was with them.  Of course.  That made perfect sense.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved

 


 

No Hablo Español Porque…

Jajaja! Lo siento.

Jajaja! Lo siento.

I took three years of Spanish in high school, and four semesters in college, yet I retained almost nothing, something I now regret as I attempt to relearn the language. But why? ¿Por qué? Realistically, it’s likely because I never found reason to use it earlier in life, and that saying, “Use it or lose it,” truly applies when learning a foreign language. However, there may have been other contributing factors that should fit nicely in the retelling of Drew’s high school experience. After all, she is the fictional version of me (Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl series). Here are some samples:

1- The girl who sat behind me in Spanish the first year, the one who didn’t even know who the current president was during the elections of 1992, sucked it out of me by the vacuum of her empty head. That year I usually made hundreds on all my quizzes, so she attempted to copy my answers.  Once I caught on, I would purposely write the wrong answers, give her plenty of opportunity to copy them down, and then change them quickly before turning in my own work. Maybe playing stupid for so long actually made a more long-term impact of irreversible damage than I was aware.

2-Spanish III could be a whole book on its own.

  • Or teacher was an older woman who had taught elementary school for years and just switched to high school. She talked to us like children. High schoolers do not appreciate that sort of thing, so we began to call her by the wrong name.  To this day I am not certain if she was Ms. Thompson or Johnson. Apparently, she had a much worse class than ours, and after having us answer inappropriate ads from the classifieds of some Spanish language newspapers, it is rumored she had a nervous breakdown and left with no warning after just under two months.
  • We had a substitute for another two months (one who did not know Spanish).
  • My friends and I played card games, such as “Ochos Locos” (Crazy Eights) and listened to Beck’s “Loser” for our Spanish practice during class.
  • During our time with the substitute, we were expected to take a midterm exam. The sub felt sorry for us and left the room during the exam while we all looked up the answers and helped each other cheat.
  • We suddenly had a retired military man as our teacher. He was not sympathetic to our plight.

 

Oh, high school.  You ruined me…or did you just give me fun material for my writing ventures?

 

 

My Banned Book List: an Update on Living with a Four Year Old

I was an English major in college with an emphasis in literature, so I’ve never really been one to support banning books, but I may have found a book no longer welcome in my home.

It seemed innocent enough…

ban this book

Today, Linnea asked me to read this book at naptime, one I had never seen or read before. It even started out with a child and a dog who grew up together.  I have two beloved dogs, so I thought it would be a cute tale (or should I say tail?- sorry, bad pun).  I should have known early on when it was mentioned that the dog grew faster than the child… but I kept going. I will leave out the devastating details, but will just say I had to pause to suck up some tears (and probably some snot) as I drew close to Elfie’s death.  I didn’t think I would be able to continue after that.  Fortunately, Linnea could not see my face as I read to her, but I had trouble getting the quivering out of my voice.

I guess this book was meant to prepare kids for the death of their dear Rover, Fido, or even Whiskers, and to emphasize telling them you love them while you have them, but I am not ready yet to accept that my two wonderful Australian shepherds will ever leave me in any way, let alone prepared to explain this to my grand niece. A warning on the cover of this book is all I would have needed, but NO, I was taken completely and vulnerably off guard!

I tucked in Linnea, went into the living room with my doggies and hugged and loved on them so much even they wanted me to stop after a while (that NEVER happens).

Just be warned, if you see this book, you should be prepared before reading aloud to any child (or even silently to yourself).

Ok, so it really is a nice book in many ways, but seriously, read it yourself first so you know what you’re in for. Yikes!

TBT:The Middle-ish Ages excerpt

Today’s TBT is such for two reasons:  one, I wrote this about five years ago now; and two, this part is fairly close to how it actually happened to me when I was actually in middle school, not just in my fictionalized life as Drew. Here’s an early chapter from my first published book Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl: The Middle-ish Ages.

School’s Out Forever?

Sixth grade ended with me telling the few people I actually spoke to goodbye. I was going to be in a new school next fall and would never see them again. So long, farewell, good riddance.

Belle and I spent as much time together as possible. We usually ended up at her house, since mine had to look perfect at all times, just in case the realtor called to show it. Every once in a while, the phone would ring, and a few minutes later, my mom became a cyclone, circling the house with a vacuum or worthless, pre-Swifferduster, yelling up the stairs for me to make sure my room was neat, and to hurry up so we could get out of there for a while. This usually meant we would go to a movie, or off to window-shop somewhere. I think my mom even saved certain errands for such occasions. It was easier to just not hang out at home too much, and Belle’s family didn’t mind if I was there. They always welcomed me in with open arms… another daughter almost.

Summer went on like this, and on and on. No bites on the house. It was a gorgeous, spacious home with more land than most places in the area, but homes weren’t selling. My parents were getting restless and their realtor wasn’t working hard enough for them. When my parents got restless with situations, strange events could happen, and their behavior became suspicious. Usually quiet whispering was the sign of something good to come. If it was a quiet whisper on a Saturday morning, we were about to get the world’s best maple doughnuts for breakfast. If there was a suspicious whispering, mixed with quiet moments of exchanged smiles and glances at us kids after finishing dinner, we were in for a trip to the ice cream parlor.

This morning was not a Saturday. It was a Tuesday. Not just any Tuesday. This Tuesday was the last Tuesday before Labor Day, which meant I was about to go back to school with all the people I had bragged to about moving away. I wasn’t thrilled about that. Once the idea of moving had time to settle, I was all for it, with the only regret being leaving Belle behind. I even had an understanding that I would need to move on from Jason and accept that it was not meant to be. But as I staggered down the stairs and shuffled into the kitchen that Tuesday morning, my parents were plotting something. They had smiles on their lips and stopped whispering as soon as they saw me.

I scratched my head and yawned. Mornings were a particularly hard time for me to focus and make sense of my surroundings, and something was not right here. Why were they looking at me like Cheshire cats? “Whaaat?” I questioned in another drawn out yawn, irritated by the situation. I pulled a glass out of the nearest cabinet and a spoon from the drawer below.

“We were thinking about taking a little vacation this weekend. Do you want to come?” my mom asked.

“A vacation? I start school next Tuesday. Where?” I pulled the milk and Hershey’s chocolate syrup out of the refrigerator.

“We just wanted to go out to Virginia and check it out.”

“Uh-huh?” Their blank looks must have been in response to my confused look. I closed the fridge.

“We just want to look into our options.”

“Options for what? Isn’t Virginia on another planet or something?” Thick chocolate fell in a stream into my milk glass. I actually had a fairly educated knowledge of the geography of our country, and we had traveled quite a bit, but I’d never seen the East coast.

“It’s exactly across the United States from here. Anyway, we thought it would be interesting to see what it’s like there.”

“I’m sure it would be interesting, but why now?”

Their looks said it all.

I hope you don’t think I’m moving there!” As the last of my desired chocolate dangled and dripped into my glass, I stirred my milk with rage and large swirls of chocolate were desperate to mix in and avoid further abuse.

“So, you don’t want to come on the trip?” my mom asked, a somewhat hurt tone in her voice. Greeeeaaat… they wanted to uproot me from all things familiar, and I should feel guilty?

I slowly put the milk and chocolate away, halfway closing, halfway slamming the refrigerator door. “I’ll go,” I huffed. “It’s probably like traveling to a foreign country, which I’ve always wanted to do. But I am not moving there!”

“We’ll take a long weekend. We’ll leave Friday and come back Monday evening, so you make it to school on time.” At my father’s response, I trudged back up the stairs with my nearly black chocolate milk. Large chocolate swirls had already begun to comingle at the bottom of the glass. Virginia? Really?

“You might want to think about having some milk with your chocolate,” came the snotty taunt from Angela as we passed on the steps. I wondered if she knew yet, but I really didn’t feel like asking.

Throw Back Thursday: Research Paper Woes Part IV

I promised one more post of student quotes from the research papers I painstakingly and frustratedly graded during the last few years I taught sophomore advanced level English.

First, I thought you’d enjoy a visual of an unrelated quiz, just as a warm up to get you in the appropriate mind frame.

Wrinkle in Time quiz

Wrinkle in Time quiz

Now for paper quotes and commentary:

“So of course children should come to Boot Camps so their lives can change and not only will yours, but also the family structure change also.” This was about sending troubled kids to intervention style boot camps.
 
Here’s a good one. In a paper about spaying/neutering pets, this sentence appeared: “Some people still give reasons as to why they should not go through with the procedure, even with all of this evidence to support why they, by all means, should.”
 
Uhhh…I thought we were talking about the pets, not the people. That does change things! Given the new light shed on the subject, maybe I should reread this paper.
 
“Lastlly [yes, student used two l’s, and one really should not even add -ly to last anyway], unclean or too clean water could decrease life expectancy in captivated whales.” Are the whales captive or captivated?
 
A thesis statement: “Think of the endless possibilities for the limitless knowledge possible to learn online school has many benefits for all students’ elementary school, middle school;, high school, and college absolutely should have the capability to attend their academic classes online.” Remember that the thesis statement sets the tone for the entire paper. Yep, the rest was pretty much just as bad and confusing to read.
 
I don’t even know what to say. “The head of Flagler county school boards along with different branches along the United States for schools online or public must make more acceptations to those who wish to enroll”
 
“As a catholic, I know it is wrong to believe in capital punishment, but also you are to treat others like you want to be treated, and if that means you are killing someone, then well why should they not be put to death.” Does this mean you should kill people if you want to be killed? I’m a bit confused on the wording.
 
For any of you out there who are against Welfare, one of my students assures me that, “Welfare also provides jobs for more people because it requires people to feel guilty that they become dependent on it and rely on it.” Apparently when one applies for government assistance there must also be proof of guilt provided.
 
“In an economy like the one today, a job sustains one’s basic needs.” I want to go back to live in whatever economy it was where people didn’t need jobs, because apparently this need of a job thing is unique to our current economy. I wouldn’t even need to grade these stupid papers if I lived in that fantasy world!
 
“If a smoker loses an arm of a leg, they might also not be able to live alone, and function on their own without the help of another person.” I don’t know how I would get through my day without my leg arms.
 
“If a smoker does not find a job, they don’t have money, no money, and they can not get what they need to survive.” Nice emphasis on NO MONEY.
 
“People who die of cancer, die slowly, and knowing that their day will soon come, but knowing exactly when. They also hope for the end to come soon, but for them, it never does. Smoking may cause death.” This is how I feel about these papers.
 
“Juveniles do a very adult-like crime…Young adults remain killing people; committing murder. Juveniles will kill their friends, strangers, and even their own family members.” Dang! I’m glad I’m leaving the high school classroom, or I could be next. It seems they’re all doing it these days. Maybe it’s peer pressure. It is so important to limit generalizations with words like “some.” If you have teens around, you are warned.
 
Research paper quote: “This takes censoring too far because in America we have the right to bare arms.” Tank tops for everyone! Rage! Rage against long sleeves!
 
The solution to all our gun issues: “The best thing to do would be to raise the prices of firearms so that for criminals to buy weapons, they have to have a lot more money than they can make, being criminals and all.” After all, criminals aren’t in it for the money or anything.
 
An example of a student trying to add to the lacking word count in a paper: “Criminals already are not following laws. That is what makes them criminals. If criminals did follow laws, they would not be much of criminals now would they? No, they would not. If they were, we would just call them people.”
 
Research paper quote of confusion: “Should the American government enforce gun control? Would crime in the united states?” Would crime in the United States (let’s capitalize that proper noun bad-boy) do what? That’s all there is about that, and it moves on.
 
And now we will just let all juveniles off the hook for whatever crimes they may commit because, “Being charged as a juvenile, let alone as an adult will serve no purpose for a minor because they will get nothing out of it,” which is a bad idea according to another recent paper that informed me all juveniles are criminals…violent criminals “with darkness in their hearts.”
 
Huh? “For example, say a minor, the age of 13, and a teen, the age of 21 [I’m lost already] were both charged with rape. The 19 year old [wait, where’d he come from?] would have to suffer a more severe consequence (an adult sentence), while the 13 year old could get out with simply serving a few years in a correction facility.”
 
Now, just to show it wasn’t all bad and the students often made me laugh on purpose, not just inadvertently through bad writing,  this was a response on a peer evaluation sheet I had my students fill out after a Julius Caesar project:
List each group member and a brief description of his/her contribution. Rate His/her contribution on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being “I wish I had worked alone,” and 10 being “I will name my first child after my awesome group member.”
Sir Lukas: 5+7/2-1×2
Austin: 20/4+18-3/2

Do I miss this?  What do you think?