Young Mei Goes On

My 11th grade American history teacher would often look around the room, shake his head sadly, and say, "I should have been a lawyer."

Sometimes I feel the same way. Not because I hate teaching not every day, anyway, but because I am so clearly qualified to argue about stuff, no matter what the topic is.

I've had this talent for a long time. For example, my Eighth Grade Self got in trouble one time for doing something deceitful (it might have been calling a boy; I don't remember exactly). I'm sure I got a doozy of a punishment--which I also don't remember--but one part of that punishment has survived, and that is the following essay on deceitfulness.

I don't know why my mom and dad insisted on my writing essays to atone for my crimes; I probably enjoyed writing them, even though I had to pretend that I didn't. They certainly gave me the opportunity to step on a soapbox and/or express myself with absolute clarity.

................................................................Mei Flower*

Deceitfulness is very, very bad. It's like, when everybody is out of the dining room except you and your sister, and you say, "I won't tell if you won't tell," and then you dump your beets into the garbage.** Or you say, "I'll eat your carrots if you'll eat my chicken," and you swap plates.***
Deceitfulness is doing something you know is wrong and you lie to get away with it. You can lose the trust of someone who it would do good to have their trust.****
If kids get busted for being deceitful, why do grownups get away with it?***** Take politicians, for example. At election time they're all smiles and kiss babies and say how they're not going to raise taxes. Then after they're elected, they suddenly change their ways and raise taxes by ten thousand dollars****** and throw their kids in the trash. So why is deceitfulness just a label for kids, and not grownups?*******

* proper eighth grade heading
** possibly the finest-crafted sentence ever written
*** loosely based on actual events; although, one time my mom made fish for dinner, and I hate fish. So I rolled it up in a napkin and excused myself to go to the bathroom, and then I dumped the fish in my sister's trashcan. Deceitful!
**** nice grammar, dummy
***** WARNING: soapbox ahead
****** that's ALL?? Eighth Grade Mei and Current Mei have such different ideas about what the word "rich" means.
******* Mom's response: [written in margin] good point! However, your parents are not politicians.

I find it hard to believe that this genius Eighth Grade Mei has yet to make her way into a courtroom. Probably she is looking around my classroom, shaking her head sadly, and saying to herself, "I should have been a lawyer."

1 comment:

Joon said...

I was in the same room with you and heard you say, "I should have been a lawyer" after you read that essay out loud the other day. Good times,


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