Trial Balloon

Trial Balloon: February 26, 2009 Archive

The Apprentice

Posted at 5:15 AM on February 26, 2009 by Dale Connelly (23 Comments)

This was on my desk this morning, still a little wrinkled from being stuffed in the backpack of perennial sophomore Bubby Spamden:

Mr. Connelly,

Maybe you heard the president the other night?
Our civics teacher, Mrs. Pandering, made us write down part of his speech ten times because some people in the class (not me) were being obnoxious on Wednesday.

It kinda got to me. The speech, I mean. Here's what he said.

I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be a community college or a four-year school, vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma.

And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It's not just quitting on yourself; it's quitting on your country. And this country needs and values the talents of every American.

All our teachers really liked this part of his speech but it kinda gave me the creeps, 'cause I've been trying to get out of high school for, like, the last 20 years and they keep holding me back 'cause they say I'm, like, the "poster boy for the campaign against social promotion."

They keep saying that every year and I don't get it, 'cause there are never any actual posters!

When I ask them to make me a junior (finally), they tell me I have to do my homework this year. But I did my homework in 1989! I might have been a little late handing it in, some of it. And some of it was a little messy. And parts got lost, or chewed up, or just fell apart from, you know, age. But that doesn't mean I didn't do it, and it kinda irks me to have to do it again. So we kinda have a standoff going.

And now the president says if I ever do get out of Wendell Wilkie High, I'll have to keep on going to school for at least one more year or I'll be, like, a hateful anti-American traitor, like Benedict Arnold Palmer or something.

I know one year doesn't sound like a lot to you, but to me, it's like forever.
At least that's how long my sophomore year has been so far.

And now Mrs. Pandering wants everyone to write an essay about what they would study for their one year after-high school learning, and where they would go to learn it. I can't think of anything that's simple enough so you can get it in one year. That's why I'm writing to you. Isn't being a disc jockey pretty much a no-brain kinda job? Can I tell Mrs. Pandering I would be your apprentice? It would keep her happy and you wouldn't really have to do it, probably.

Besides, they're never gonna let me out of here.

Sincerely,
Bubby Spamden

I'm not sure I'm ready for an apprentice.
Does anyone have a good alternate suggestion for what Bubby can do to further his education and polish his skills if he ever gets out of Wilkie High ?
Your personal experience counts. Write neatly.

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