__________________ ____________________  

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

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 New York
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

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


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