Monday, November 23, 2009

I've Been Bestracked Lately

Hubby was grading papers from his 8th grade history class today. Among the papers was one written in second-grade scrawl ending with a huge "RIP." Oh lawsy I thought, another death threat. He gets them often and we have amassed quite a collection. Why is it that the kids with poor penmanship always write the death threats??? Hummmm....

Anywho, Hubby didn't seem overly concerned about it so I picked it up and began reading. I quickly realized it was just the top paper in a stack of writing assignments. I read through the stack and by the end I was laughing so hard I was crying...and peeing my pants just a little. They were too good not to share.

I would post scans of the actual papers but I thought I would be kind to my dear readers. All but two were practically illegible even though they were all printed. None of his students can write in cursive. Most have second grade penmanship. One kid even drew lines on the paper so he could write on it.

The assignment:

Hubby read a story to his class about Jayhawkers and Scalawags during the Civil War. They would raid isolated farms taking possessions, food and livestock, then kill the occupants. The writing assignment was, "What would you do if a band of outlaws tried to raid your farm and kill your family?"

Before we get to the responses, I have to post a few entries from the Southern Arkansas dictionary for clarification:

bepens - to be determined by something else; be contingent on.
bestracked - drawn (the mind, etc.) away in another direction; diverted.
bie - to stop living
nun - no thing; not anything. (See also nothing) Alt sp. none
war - past subject of be
will - during the time that

These responses were transcribed exactly as written. All spelling, capitalization and punctuation is as it appears on the page.

1.) The French Descendant reaction:
I wood cry and hide and stand up and be kill if it take it and I wolid problem bie or not it bepens. RIP

2.) The False Sense of Security reaction:
If one day someone or a group of people came to my house and were trying to kill me and my family I would be very shocked and scared. I wouldn't be able to do anything because that would just get me killed. The only thing I could do would be to try and run away and call for help. But, if it war only one person I might have a better chance of surviving if I tried to fight back. Overall, I would not be able to think straight if it war a real-life situation. So that is how I would feel if someone tried to kill me and my family.

3.) The I'm a Helpless Victim reaction:
If I was in that position, I wouldn't do nun but be scared. I would just let them take the things, because I wouldn't have no weapons, or anything to use, nor I wouldnt want anyone to get hurt, but if it was different, I would shoot them and take the things that they took from me, and then make sure I lock up my place, so It want happen again. What I would do is kind of be scared because theres none I could do, and they would could shoot me.

4.) The I Hold a Grudge reaction:
I would feel sad. I would think of ways to get my stuff back. I would hide and run. I would think of ways to get back at them. I would feel bad for my grandma. I would be mad at whoever did it and never forget who did it to my family.

5.) The Doormat reaction:
If I was happening to me I would have to watch whats happening. I would probably do nothing to do for my family's sake and Jus listen. I would just have to take the pain. And goion with mY Life. Maybe move to another contry and start over.

(This kid will need years on the psychiatrist's couch)

6.) The ADD response:
I would be horrafied. I woul go get help if I could. Than if they wer there

("Somebody is raiding my farm???? Oh look! A Shiny Thing!" This kid needs to stockpile Ritalin.)

7.) The Woe is Me Victim reaction:
If i was in that situation i would be scared. I have never been in that position before, and i hope i dont because I do not want anyone harmed. This is similar to a tv show i watched. This woman was young. She had a husband + 2 kids. She had trusted this man, to take her and her family to the border. Instead the man was a nazi soldier that was disguised and took them to a place, and hitler shot them all in the head! That is horrible. I would be scared for months after.

("Hitler shot them in the head." Either the TV show used revisionist history, or we need to do a bit better teaching World History in our classrooms.)

8.) The Pacifist Tree-Hugger reaction:
If could see my family get beat down I would be Depress. I will feel Preety sad cause sonething like that is just cruel. It's not right to just beat and kill people for know reason. I would be mad and sad at same tine cause that's just not right.

9.) The Passive-Aggressive approach:
If something like that hapend to me like that I waod have told my sister to run + get help will I went in to help my grandmoma. I wad have bestracked them will Sunny ran for help, but I wad not fite back.

10.) The Budding Armageddon Conspiracy Theorist approach:
I would try to make the remaining animals mate. I would spend most of my time digging and eventualy it would make a small bunker. I would round up all my guns and supplies and make an under ground armmory. Id buid several ware houses to keep the food.

11.) The Future Homeless Shelter Inhabitant reaction:
I would feel bad. I would cry and wish I could do something I would hide and hape they didn't find me. I wouldn't be able to sleep. I would problub probley probobly probley starve if there wasn't any neibors around.

12.) The No Grip on Reality reaction:
I would be real scared and hide. and when they leave I would help my grandmother then get the sheriff.

It's nice to know these kids think highly of their grandmothers. I guess grandpa is SOL.

I found it interesting that only two of the twelve responses were proactive. Ah ha! - signs of critical thinking in the group. This quote came to mind:

"To be prepared against surprise is to be trained.
To be prepared for surprise is to be educated."
--- James Carse

I have hopes for these two, although one needs a dictionary and the other will probably end up on the FBI's Domestic Terrorist watchlist.

"Bestracked" is our new word around the house. Hubby keeps yelling, "Mommy! Kitty is bestrackeding me!"

Edited to add:

These kids are 13-16 years old. They will be driving in a few years if they aren't already. In four years they will be able to vote. They are the future of my state and our country. I find that more than a little scary.