Often I feel a fondness for childhood Lara in that I notice an uncanny resemblance to childhood me. And I like me. Whether it be her inability to stay put when presented with an inability to move or her relationship of mutual dissapointment and misunderstanding with her mother or her indignant hatred/jealousy for people who succeed in fitting society’s expectations, I find solace in finding someone who seemed to go through nearly all the same things I went through as the confused mutantly small young child of health food pushing jew-swedes. Her latest entry is different though. I relate to the second part – the part where she rebels, but the hypocrisy of being unrebellious about the first part confuses me.
It reminded me of a story from my high school experience. Mrs. Macfarland was a 135 year old gym teacher given the responsibility of the sophomore required class of “Wellness.” This was the class where we discussed sex, the use of condoms, and healthy eating habits. This was the class that was considered an easy A. This was also the only class I ever got a C in.
Partly I got a C because of the obvious reasons: I took too much advantage of the opportunity to discuss sex openly, I tried to demand a discussion of why girls wouldn’t make a move on me multiple times, and overall I treated it similar to Jonah Hill treats home ec. Mostly though I got a C in the class because I failed every notebook check. Mrs. Macfarland told us on the opening day that we were to keep a notebook for our notes in class, but after a week I realized that my notebook was no more than a pad of paper for which to play “Hide the Penis” in with the one Wigger in school. So, instead of hindering my learning by distracting myself with a game of trying to make detailed drawings of male genitalia into large skyscrapers being mounted by octopuses in a field of bushes, I figured I’d hinder my learning by raising my hand to give rants of my pseudo-feminism aimed at asking girls why they wouldn’t have sex with me. I didn’t bring my notebook into class.
One day Mrs. Macfarland asked us to pull out our notebooks for our “notebook check.” The notebook check involved seeing if you had a notebook on your desk. No one checked what was in it, just that it was there. When she got around to me, she asked me where my notebook was, and I calmly replied: “In my locker.” “Why isn’t it here?” “Because I don’t really use it. Do you want me to go get it?” “No. You don’t get to have it.” As if that was some horrible punishment. Two weeks later as I was walking into class, Mrs. Macfarland stopped me and said, “Do you have your notebook today, I think you might need it.” Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. “No. I never bring it Mrs. Macfarland, do you want me to go get it?” She turned down my offer to go get it, saying that I had already failed and that I had to stay in class. It is important to note that this was five minutes before class started and my locker was less than 15 feet away. I could have gone to my locker, gotten my notebook, eaten the Tofurkey sandwich that my parents packed and I refused to eat and come back with time to spare, but I just sat in my seat. She didn’t want me to get it anyway.
Mrs. Macfarland punnished me with a bad grade – something I cared very little about, and I punished her by being a dick all class. I think I won. This was not the only time I was punnished for my lax attitude toward busywork that didn’t learn me anything. I had a C- in precalculus come midterm time even though I had a 97 average on the tests. I ended with a 96 in the class, but my refusal to take notes and my decision to take a word problem answer as an oppurtunity to make an innapropriate joke about the Irish Potato Famine, had the teacher thinking I was an insubordinate jackass who thought learning was for the weak.
That’s where these people are wrong. I enjoy learning more than people like them. They enjoy succeeding. They want to do well, and find the answer. I want to understand the journey that leads to the answer. I want to understand the learning process, and if my learning process involves having one small notebook for all eight classes and asking inappropriate questions about female sexuality, than who are you to fuck with that? So don’t fuck with my learning, Lara. Just because you wish the world’s aesthetics were directed by Michel Gondry doesn’t mean that you should hinder other’s creative individuality. If all directors were Michel Gondry, then Michel Gondry wouldn’t be that interesting.
PS: You can substitute Wes Anderson for Michel Gondry if you want. Either way, they would be less movies like Along Came Polly didn’t exist.
PPS: Take my poll. And stroke it.