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An Open Letter To Grade School

January 20, 2011

Dear Grade School,

I was thinking about you the other day, and I think we may have some unresolved issues.

Firstly, that Whoops-The-Whole-School-Has-Asbestos thing was not well explained by your teachers. In fact it was quite terrifying for a 4th grader to hear, “The walls and ceilings are covered in poison particles that you cannot see and if you breathe it in, you will get very sick, that’s why we are building a whole new school! Now spend the whole rest of the year in this poison one.”

The new school being built was great, what kid doesn’t love watching their old school get destroyed with big machines? The problem was that at one point, you took away our soccer field, which aside from a big metal slide that was totally unusable in Arizona heat, was our only entertainment. Rather than saying, “tough shit, kids“, you opened up a spare parking lot and let us play in there. Thanks for all the scraped knees and faces full of gravel.

To your credit, you did try to make the playground on the new campus kind of awesome by adding handles you could swing from (much like monkey bars) to the jungle gym. Unfortunately those were taken away less than a month later when a kid broke his arm. He broke his arm falling 4 feet into sand. How, how.

Speaking of recess, why was our campus so horribly open? I recall an unusually large amount of angry stray dogs running at us on recess on many occasions…

I do have you to credit, grade school, for keeping me in shape as a child. Next to having two (two!!!) recesses a day, you cut down art and music classes to once or twice a month, and P.E. every day that wasn’t art or music day. So thankfully, instead of letting children explore art and music, you hired an extremely obsese and angry coach who made us play dodgeball everyday. Sometimes we even got to play dodgeball in the gravelly parking lot.

My reluctance to play dodgeball though occasionally resulted in my absolute refusal, and thus detention. Because you were just such a high-class school, you couldn’t have regular ol’ “study inside during recess” detention. No, no, you had “Sit in the Arizona 115 degree heat on the sidewalk, with your backs facing the basketball court, where you will surely be hit in the head multiple times throughout recess, resulting in your face smashing into the brick wall in front of you.”


Also, I never had to use cursive, ever, after 6th grade. Liars.


Dr. Sangfroid

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 20, 2011 8:34 pm

    Ah, let’s not forget all the times we had to play dodge ball and for some reason the wonderfully soft nerf balls were missing and we had to substitute them with basketballs instead.

    And the detentions lasted 24 hrs, meaning snack breaks were spent on the wall too–and if I recall, you couldn’t have one.

    • January 20, 2011 8:54 pm

      Uhg I forgot about the basketballs :| I remember in like, 2nd or 3rd grade(?) a kid got hit in the nose and there was blood everywhere and they cleared him out and let us keep playing with the basketballs.

      Also, yeah it lasted the whole day. I remember my last detention was on either the day before the last day of 6th grade, or the day of. Bastards.

  2. Judy Galbraith permalink
    February 1, 2011 7:56 pm

    Dear Dr. Sangfroid,

    Finally, someone has articulated the pain of every primary school child in the country. Thank you from the bottom of my froid.


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