Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Career Opportunities.

It was the spring of 2005; I was unemployed and living with my parents.

I had been looking for temporary work on Craig’s List, ideally something that didn’t involve ‘amateur modeling,’ when I came across a post that offered $10 an hour for anyone who had an undergraduate degree. It didn’t matter what the degree was in, all you needed was proof that you had graduated.

I was a bit skeptical but I needed a job and more than that, I needed something to get me out of my parents’ house for 8 hours a day. So I drove out to Rancho Cordova and into a business park located on the decommissioned airbase out there. My group interview took place in a large warehouse that had been subdivided, seemingly infinitely, into small cubicles. The interview consisted of a middle aged lady examining our undergraduate transcripts and then signing us up on the work schedule for next week.

It was official; I was now a paid grader for mandatory standardized tests for elementary school children.
And yes, most of these tests are graded by a computer that scans all of their bubbled-in answers, but there are portions that require short essay type answers. This is where my undergraduate degree holding expertise would come in. For the next two months I would spend 8 hours a day in a cubicle in a warehouse on a former air force base grading essays from 5th grade students enrolled in the public school system of the state of Arizona.

The students had to write a one paragraph follow up to a given prompt. I suppose this was seen as a chance for them to do a bit of creative writing and show off their knowledge of the English language.

At first I diligently read through each response, carefully grading every student based on a set of standards we were all given on the first day. But over time I started to really appreciate the way these kids weren’t bound by the rigors of things like logical thought.

I now present to you my collection of my favorite responses to the prompt, “There was a mysterious knock at the door…

-As you can see, I’m not very athletic or active
-the creature looked un-American
-Once a pond time
-then Ernesto said, “Holy crap. Space chicken!”
-there once was a man named cyborg. That man was me. I was at home upgrading my arm cannon
-approximately yesterday
-the monster looked like the monster from Harry potter. In fact, it was the monster from Harry Potter
-and that's when Mrs. Emering from gym class beat up that unicorn
-she was Irish, but was very intelligent
-read the next paragraph to find out what happens next
-thank you for your hospitalization
-I ran down into the back alley of Red Lobster
-please no flash photography until after the story
-the monster ate me lime by lime
-My favorite day of the week is Saturday, but today is Tuesday
-I opened my door surprised to see an Asian
-The knock at the door was my mom, back from jail after five years. She got stabbed in a fight with another lady in jail.
-then the creature suddenly returned to Alabama
-I ran away like a mouse, a very overweight mouse
-based on a true story
-then the creature said, “what up G”
-it was grabbing at his fudge pop
-oh, by the way, my name is Jesus
-the moral of the story was, DON’T MESS WITH FRANK


Anonymous said...

How did you recall these gems?

Adam said...

I started writing them down after a few weeks at work. I just knew they were too good to forget.

Martha said...

I should start making a list of the gems from my 2nd graders. Here's a good one from last week. When explaining the new spelling words I asked Jeremy to use the word 'flow' in a sentence. He said, "well ghetto people in Chicago they say, 'get on the flo' " That's a different spelling of the word flow, but thanks Jeremy.

Adam said...

You should definitely write them down. And yes, thanks Jeremy for that insight into the vocabulary of ghetto people from Chicago. I like learning.