Sally slid silently onto her desk seat and let her feet dangle. She wore a soft violet jumper, with a white T-shirt. Across her T-shirt’s back, black marker lines made a licorice smelling, spider-web pattern. Her curly blond pigtails floated on either side of her head and tickled her cheeks. She was seven, smart beyond her years, and determined to get ahead another grade before the middle of term. She sat with her hands folded in her lap, while Miss Willis took attendance.
Miss Willis peered out over her glasses and squinted at each child as she read the names. When Sally’s came up, she arched a bushy eyebrow before proceeded with the lesson. One might think the teacher would be glad to host a child who’s already blazed two grades ahead. However, Miss Willis was no fool. She knew well enough a child known for debating theories of Darwin and Socrates with the class goldfish, meant trouble.
And trouble came, in geometry.
Miss Willis had just begun describing a hypotenuse, Sally nodding at each point, shoulder twitching periodically, when Miss Willis heard an ominous giggling. She turned sharply, just in time to see Sally looking quizzically bright eyed, her desk surrounded by a snowfall of black and white cloth shards. Her shirt’s back now lace-like in appearance.
Only in the principal’s office did Miss Willis learn that Sally T-shirt snowflakes had been a favorite with the children. Every day parents, in progressively worse moods, picked up their children early. Every afternoon another pair of scissors clinked into the scissor drawer in the principal’s office. And every half year or so, Sally got bumped a grade, for her own safety. That’s how she learned the game, and she kept up with straight A play.
She made upward mobility as simple as dot-to-dot. Hello university!
Photo Credit: flickr, my_southborough, Dec. 7, 2008