The Sixth Grade
I was about twelve years old and in the sixth grade. It was
near graduation time and I felt like I was on top of the world. I remember my parents running around doing this and doing that to prepare for my graduation. About two weeks before the great event my and I parents were sending out invitations, making phone calls and making orders. In school all of the kids, their parents, and teachers were also running around making last minute preprations and grade changes. I remember my teacher Mrs Cammel asking some kids to help her put away the text books we used over the year for the summer. My best friend Louis was sitting in the back of the room starting a spitball fight. When the teacher left the room everybody started to shoot spitballs. Then instead of hitting each other we hit a picture of George Washington that was above the blackboard over and over. When the teacher returned to the room everybody hid their straws and started to laugh. The teacher could not figure out why. No matter how hard we tried we could not help but look at the one big spitball in old George's eye. The teacher looked up and her mouth dropped to the floor. I almost fell out of my chair laughing so hard. My friend Louis was laughing so hard he could not even breathe, Mrs Cammel thought he was choking on some food which made him laugh even harder. She sent us to the principals office to get sent home. My mom was mad as hell and thought that my graduation was going to be ruined. I always thought that my mom was a worry wart. I assured her everything was fine. When I got home and my mom cooled down she thought it was pretty funny herself. Later on that day when my dad came home I was waiting for my dad to yell at me for what I did. My mom never told him what I did that day so I can keep out of trouble before my graduation. The next day of school my friend Louis was waiting outside infront of my house for me. This made me very suspicious, because I knew that he was up to something because he never waited for me at my house before. Once we turned the corner out of sight from my house he showed me some big firecracker he called an M-80 which I would later use at many fourth of July parties. I asked him what he wanted to do with it, he said that we are going to light it and flush it down the toilet. When we got to school the teacher was asking kids to bring stuff in so we could have a little party in our class at the end of the year. Little did she know that we were going to have our own party, a water party when the toilet blew up. The bell rang and it was time for art class the only reason I went to school. My art teacher announced that there was an art contest for a scholarship to be awarded for the best work of art. It was for an art school in Manhattan. Louis and I were the best artist in the whole school and were now working against each other. We asked to go to the bathroom and our art teacher did not think anything was going on which was her mistake. We got to the bathroom and Louis said here light it. I said I will hold it and you light it. He lit his lighter and I was so scared that every time the light came near the huge firecracker I thought it was lit and threw it. We finally got it lit I was too scared to move. At the last minute I threw it. It went out the window instead of in the toilet. We ran back to the classroom sat down and then heard a big boom that echoed in the empty schoolyard. Everybody jumped about fifty feet, I thought that my teacher was going to have a heart attack. We were too scared too laugh. The teacher thought it was a gun and called the principals office. It was lunch time and I brought a pinball game to school so I would have something to do during my lunch period. This kid Alex took who was in the sixth grade and had a beard if you know what I mean. He took it from me and poored milk all over it. I started to fight with him which was stupid because he was going to kick my ass. One of the lunch ladies saved me and said that Alex started it. Her name was Pat and we became very good friends after that. It was two days before graduation and I wanted to wear a whole suit But my mom said it was going to be to hot. I argued and argued but she didn't give in no matter how hard I tried. That night she was ironing my pants and the phone rang she ran to get it and left the iron on my pants, the iron burned a whole in my pants and it was to late to get another pair. My mom blamed me and my sisters. We were not allowed to use the phone because we would call the operator and make fun of her. So she had to answer it and left the iron on my pants. I got real mad at my mother for doing that. She was starting to feel real bad about burning my pants and fixed them so it wouldn't show. I said that I did not want to wear them because I was afraid that somebody would see them. I went to bed that night having nightmares about huge holes in my pants and that scared me to death. It was even more scary when I realized that I had to walk down the isle next to Michele Mendez who I thought was the best looking girl in the whole school, and she hated my guts. Louis always made fun of me about that. After that dream I was up almost that whole night. I was up thinking how I am going to be a man now going into junior high. I also kept thinking about that scholarship I would get if I won the contest. That would make my parents very proud of me, they would probably say "Wow only in the sixth grade and already getting a scholarship". When I finally fell asleep again I had a better dream. I dreamt about getting that scholarship and becoming very famous. I felt like Doogie Howser. In my dream I was an artist making millions of dollars at the age of twelve. Not only did I have millions of dollars I had Michele too. Louis was my financial advisor, my sisters lived in the basement, and I lived in a huge mansion. My parents always told me "You live under my roof you live under my rules". Now it was the other way around they were living under my roof and by my rules. My dream seemed so real because that is what I have always wanted except for the part about where my sisters and parents are going to live. The only other change now would be no Michlele. That morning seemed to have went on forever getting dressed combing my hair which I never did before since I started the sixth grade. My mom and my dad were also running around trying to get ready for my graduation. See the thing was I was not even fully awake yet when my parents were all ready were rushing me around. That made me mad because it was only 5:30 in the morning. My graduation was at Ten O Clock PM. I was farting around until I felt like getting ready. Then it was about 9:00 and my parents were having a fit because I was not ready. I told them that I was not old like them and I did not need near as much time as they did to get ready. My mom screamed "WHAT DID YOU SAY"! The next thing I know I was in my room getting dressed after taking a shower. Then I looked at my clock and it said 9:10. I was finished getting dressed and I layed back down. Back to dreaming again I dreamt that my mom was banging at my door saying get up get up. I came out of my room and walked around the corner to my school. When I got there it was an old and abanded no one was there. I turned around and went home. I asked my mom and dad what happened to my graduation they said I over slept. I looked into the mirror after I noticed I was taller than my dad and I saw that I was Rip Van Winkle. I closed the bathroom door and I heard my mom yelling get up get up. I said I am up I opened my door and my parents were there telling me it is time to go. I thought it was still a dream but I was quite awake. I still could not believe I was graduating the sixth grade. We went around the corner to my school and there were hundreds of people there I was glad to see them after that dream I had. We had to line up to get inside of the school that seemed to have taken forever. Once we were inside my parents started to take some pictures. I saw some of my friends around and they were stuck in the same position as I was. Now I felt safe because they could not make fun of me. I looked at my dad and his pockets were bulging with film for his camera. We headed for the auditorium and waited to be seated. My teacher came and got me to sit me up front. That was the only time I was glad to see a teacher. I was sitting up front with Louis. When we looked at each other we realized what was really going on and we started to laugh. My teacher told us to cool it before we into any trouble. I said all we were doing was laughing. That made her mad an she walked away. Louis said you should not of done that. I said why not, there is nothing she can do to me it is my last day in this school. It was about that time and the principal got on to the stage and asked everybody to be quiet. While she was talking my teacher took the class into the hall. She said wait for the music to play and then come in. The music started to play, and as we were walking in Michele said she was glad she did not have to see me anymore after this day. We walked down the isle and I couldn't see a thing because of all the flashing from the cameras. When we got to the front of the of the auditorium we sat in front of the whole school and sang songs for an hour. When we were done the principal thanked us for singing and the parents applauded for ten minutes straight I said to Louis I thought we sucked and that they were just being nice. Mrs Petito the principal calmed everybody down and started to announce names so they can come up on to the stage and collect the award they earned. This process took about an hour and I was about to fall asleep. They were handing out awards for not missing a day of school who sold the most candy. Then came the time for them to announce the award for the best artist to come and recieve his scholarship. As she opened the envelope my stomach tied up in knots I looked at Louis and he was green. I looked back at the principal and she did not have the envelope anymore she dropped it (the cluts). It fell behind the curtain somewhere and they could not find it. She said she knew who the winner was and I put my hands on my face and she said my name. I sprang into action and went onto the stage and collected my prize. I looked down at Louis and he was breathing again. I heard some one scream my name and I thought that it was my mom I later found out it was Pat the lunch lady. That made me feel good. I went off stage and back to my seat and Louis congratulated me. I got a medal from the city of
and I also had my sixth grade diploma. This made me feel great but I did not feel like a man, like I thought I would. When I look back at that day I feel real good. I feel it is the only day in my life I accomplished something that is worth mentioning. Now I am about to graduate high school and I am starting to get that feeling again. The only difference is that now when I graduate high school I will be a man. I am going to go on and follow my own rules under my own roof. This is what keeps me going day after day because it is the first part of my dream that I want to achieve. There was a time in my life where I would not of even cared about graduating high school because I never went. I was out of school for three years I just did not go. When it all finally caught up with me I was sent to Mount Pleasant Cottage School. It is a group home for kids with problems like I had. I am still there now going on my third year and I hate it more than anything on this earth. The food is bad the kids are bad and I am living under someone else's roof and by their rules. This eats my insides up and all the more reason to graduate high school. Right now I am doing pretty good there and most importantly i am not getting into any trouble. I am attending an off grounds school named Briarcliff Manor. I only did this to get off grounds for a couple of hours and I did not want an IEP diploma. The work is much harder but I am off grounds. That is why it is so important for me graduate high school be on my own and get that feeling again like I had when I graduated grammar school. A lot of things in my life were pretty messed up and graduating high school will give me a chance to start over. Go to a college and have them look over my school papers and not have them ask me about the cottage school and why I was there. I just want a fresh start to prove to my self that I can make it again like I did in the sixth grade. When I stepped up on that stage that day nobody said I know that kid he is from that troubled family across the street. All they knew was that I was a winner someone who has a chance out there without someone throwing me to the back of the line because I was in a boarding school or because I used to get in trouble. They only saw me as an achiever. That is what I and everyone else will see when I am on the stage again collecting my high school diploma. That diploma is my ticket away from people who shut me down because I am from the cottage school. It is a new start, another sixth grade graduation.