Being bad at a lot of things is getting to be a real problem in my life. It has gotten in the way of everything at which I once was good. Each term, poor performance swallows more and more of my life, and if I can’t stop this, then by Senior year, I’ll just be a whole pile of unrealized potential. Seriously, my grades are slipping, I play for JV2 lacrosse, I am worse than first graders at the piano, and don’t even get me started on Chem. The one thing I have left to enjoy in the world is Latin 300, and that is only because of my new friends Marissa Hudson ’04 and Kinnon McCall ’04, whom I met through the window of Pearson. This term, however, my worst fears are more frightening than ever. No, not the fear of being exiled from the library by Mr. Sprattler and the rest of the library goons, the other worst fear: report cards (or as I refer to them: toilet paper). You see, ever since sixth grade, when I flunked a D.A.R.E. test and attempted to flush it down the toilet after ripping it into hundreds of pieces, I have been afraid of grades. But more importantly, I’ve been afraid of my parents finding my grades. So every term when that awful note arrives at home, I must either find a way to break the news to my parents, or destroy the note altogether. After a total of 17 report cards since sixth grade, I’ve developed a list of the best ways to ensure you don’t get in any trouble. 1. Buy a mailman costume, break into the back room of the post office, and steal your report card before it’s ever sent home. Remember, you’re a minor, federal offenses are only 2-3 years max. 2. Tell the school you’ve switched addresses. Then just print yourself out a new one and send that to your home instead. 3. Tell your parents that the grade system has been reversed; now a 1 is the best and 6 is the worst. When they ask why it says you’re on restriction, pretend that you are a five-year old and have no idea what they said, then run away laughing. Poop in your pants for added effect. 4. Get a tattoo, and tell your parents that as long as they don’t freak out about your grades, you’ll get it removed. If the tattoo is in a scandalous place, remember to show it to me first. 5. Remind Mom and Dad that President Bush flunked out of the school, and see where he is now. WARNING: This excuse does not work on your parents if they are Democrats or the Dixie Chicks. 6. Destroy the evidence. Don’t use a paper shredder, because they will be able to piece the card together. Don’t flush it or it will clog the toilet, and it is worse if the plumber hands them a dirty, floppy report card. Instead light it on fire. Sure, you run the risk of burning down the house, but your parents would much rather collect the insurance money than see you fail. 7. Fake your kidnapping by sending home a ransom note demanding that your parents send your unwritten report card to a certain address in order to ensure your safe return. Be careful with this one: your parents might respond by saying they don’t want their child back, and then you would be heart-broken and grounded. 8. Contract a mysterious case of the flu. No self-respecting mother can get mad at someone crying out for ginger ale and maternal care. 9. File for divorce from your parents, and at the settlement case, say you’ll drop the charges as long as Mom and Pop do not punish you for bad grades. If they don’t give in, have fun living in a cardboard box. Hey, soup kitchens aren’t so bad. Well, there you have it. I don’t expect anyone to use the “I’m grounded so I can’t come tonight” excuse on me ever again. After seven years of high school, I encourage you to follow my advice and use your acumen when making decisions. With that having been said, I have just enough room for a haiku that summarizes my article: A brief summary: PA is so hard; I often receive bad grades; and everyone should burn his report cards. Holla to my seventh period Pearson friends.