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My name is Liz. I need direction. I overuse commas. My house is a mess, my hair needs a trim and I have no marketable skills: It’s fun here, you’ll see!

Got a question, comment, proposal of marriage? Great! Email me at liz@theproductivecough.com

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Got a question, comment, proposal of marriage? Great! Email me at liz@theproductivecough.com

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May 25th, 2010

Regrettable Childhood Antics, Part I

You may have already known this (especially if you read my first Overdue Apology) but in the second grade, I was a complete terror. I think it had to do with being halfway between a toddler and an actual human, and dealing with the conflicting notions of “doing what I want all the time” and “doing actual things.” Because unless you grow up in some kind of rural setting, your true responsibilities as a member of society don’t really start kicking in until you’re in grade school. I was eight, I could read, I could write, and I could add double-digit numbers together. In a lot of countries, that would qualify me to be a large business tycoon. But in my case, I was supposed to make my bed, clear my plate when I was finished, and spend six hours a day in school. And yet I was the world’s marketing target. Nintendo, Power Wheels, pizza-based after school snacks- how could I possibly be expected to behave with all of these distractions?

My best friend and desk-mate Matt and I thought this was complete horse crap. Sit in school allllllllll day long? Write stories about little duckies? Eff. That. We had far greater potential. And one afternoon, during Sustained Silent Reading (or “SSR” for short), we decided to prove it.

Matt and I were “Late Birds” which meant we came in an hour late and stayed an hour late. This allowed the class to work on their reading skills in smaller groups. It wasn’t any secret that the Late Birds were the faster readers, but Matt and I were probably the ones with the best handle on our reading skills. I’m not trying to brag, it’s just a fact. We were a couple of smart asses, and proud of it.

He stood up first, and pulled on my sleeve. I followed his lead, and stood up too. “Hey everyone, how’s it going?” Matt said. “It’s time for Late Bird Comedy Hour!”

And then he told some jokes. I also told some jokes. I think we may have reenacted “Who’s On First” at one point. It’s all a blur after that. Mr. Clark sent us outside pretty quickly, although we were outside together so we sort of felt that we’d won anyway.

We did this every afternoon for weeks. Our material wasn’t very good, but it sure was loud. Once, Matt found the Spanish language version of our Holt Science textbook, Cienca de Holt and we took turns reading out of that. Neither of us knew Spanish.

I look back on this with a mixture of immature, giggly pride, and sweaty, cringing embarrassment. What were we thinking? No one wanted to hear what we had to say. And my poor mom who had to hear about this from Mr. Clark. Oh, god. If I had a time machine, I’d go back to my second grade classroom, and hit my young self in the head with the three hole punch.

Then I’d tell some loud jokes to lighten the mood.

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