Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sixth-Grade Notes With My Barely Literate Friend.

I'm doing more transcribing these days than actual writing, thanks to my ongoing efforts to whittle down the trove of papers sitting at my parents' house, to which I have confined my hoarding habits.

I saved birthday cards, doodles, passed notes, Santa lists and anything else that was ever was written down in the history of my life, apparently. The following is an exchange I had with my friend Stefanie. I know that it is from sixth grade because that's the year that my coterie of friends all decided to shorten our names to make them cooler (so I became Chrissie and Stefanie became Stephie), and also because that was the year I renovated my handwriting to look more edgy (check out those super-stylin' 'a's and 'g's).
Dear Chrissie,
What did you put for number 6?
Love Stephie
PS. Write back!
PSS My address is the one next to you!

Stephie,
You blundering idiot! It is plainly B.
P.S. No!
P.S.S. What the !?*"" are you talking about?

Dear Christina Bruce Nuenez,
I'm very sorry you got so hiped up about everything. I was saying I'm sitting right near you.
Love always
Stephie
PS. Don't write back.

Stephie,
You still can't spell my last name after 3 years? for your practice, it's N-U-N-E-Z. The word is hyped.

Dear Chrissssiiee (ronda)
I acept you apalogie.
Love always
Stephhiie (wonda)

Stephie,
What apology? And what is the word after chrisssieee?
Chrissie

Dear Chrissie
The apology you gave me. The word after chrissie is Ronda you bluntering idiot
Love always
Stephie
PS. Don't write back

Stephie,
You're such an idiot! You still can't spell blundering and Rhonda. Also, do really think I'm not going to write back?
Chrissie

Dear Christina Bruce NUNEZ (Rhonda)
You shouldn't have written back because I told you not too. You BLUNDERING IDIOT.
Love always
Stephie (Wonda)

Stephie,
What am I, your slave? For today's homework, you will write W-A-N-D-A, and T-O.
Chrissie

Chrissie,
If you wish to be my slave I have no objection at all
W A N D A T O
W A N D A T O
W A N D A T O
W A N D A T O
Is that good teacher?
Love always
Stephie
PS DON'T WRIGHT BACK!

Stephie,
I give up! I can't get you to spel anething riht! W-R-I-T-E
Chrissie

Chrissie
Spell
anything
write
Love
Stephie
PS. You better practice those spelling words!
PSS. Don't write back pleaese!

[me]
Look who's talking! Besides, I did that on purpose -- P-L-E-A-S-E
I guess this is what passed for fun in sixth grade. I can't imagine getting this hopped up (sorry, hyped) these days without caffeine and/or alcohol (Four Loko?).

Many things were arbited via note-passing in school, when you think about it. In elementary school, that was pretty much exclusively the way anyone ever asked anyone out, (or "to go," in grade-school parlance). My friends and I came up with whole stories, riffs and characters that became recurring themes. Entire fights played out during class, on paper.

Some of these notes seem very emotional and urgent. From my friend Jill in junior high:
Chris -
I really am WORRIED about Beth. Now Terri doesn't want to go and either does Roy. What now? I wish Beth + Andy would come but she won't now that Roy said something you know her. I'm REALLY scared. She's depressed. She needs a shrink. No kidding. It would help her so much. We're talking Mass depression. She should just come w/ us. We'd have a terrific time. Usually, people can open up to me. Hell, in Elem. school my nick-name was psychiatrist. She just won't talk to me. OR anyone. SHRINK! HELP! W/B/S
I have absolutely zero recollection of what this was regarding. W/B/S meant Write Back Soon. Remember?

Jill and I began writing our notes on Kleenex, making mini-newspapers and calling them the Posh Puff Express. I saved some of these, too. Sample entry, again from Jill:
Quick Flash Report:
Mrs. [teacher's name redacted] is very queer. Discovery made in room 228 at approx. 1:47 p.m. Now -- back to the P.P. paper.
You get the idea. Real wiseacres. We were very amusing, witty and important, as all teenagers are.

Here's some drama from me:
Terri,
I'm writing this to tell you my side of the story. I resent the fact that you thought everything Beth said was for me. I do not need Beth to speak for me and I told her so. I really liked you when I first met you and I thought we were friends. Obviously you are the kind of person who has just one main friend.
It goes on. Again, no recollection what this was all about. I guess I never had the guts to deliver that note or I wouldn't still be holding on to it.

But as I said, all of this was very important. Much more important than, you know, learning anything in school.

Our poor, poor teachers.

1 comment :

Sir Michael said...

To think, kids today don't even take the time to wright notes like this anymore. It's all just txtin' and sextin'. A lost art.