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At my elementary school, the teachers were fond of assigning essays as punishment. Now that I'm on the other side of the desk, I think it's a bad idea. I can't think of a better way to permanently implant the idea of writing as a negative activity in budding young minds, which is exactly the opposite of what we should be doing as teachers. But as a grade schooler, I thought it just sucked.

I'm sure I was the world's biggest smart ass back then, utterly convinced of my own genius at such a young age. I was smart though, and I was on my way to becoming known as The Smartest Kid in School. (It was a small town, so it wasn't that big of a deal.) So my ego knew no bounds.

For some minor infraction in fourth grade, I was assigned one of many, many punishment essays I would write at that school. The usual length was 500 words. Smart ass that I was, I thought of what I thought was a brilliant loophole. I wrote one sentence, something like "I'm sorry for what I did," and planned to fill the rest of the page with "etc." to fulfill the word count. Unfortunately, I spelled it "ect." I was such a fucking little idiot.

The teacher was not too pleased, but I didn't have to write another essay, so I guess it worked.

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