I think that Xmastime fan The Gnat would agree that 7th grade was one of those oddly great years of our lives. We were 12 years old, we were all in love with Libby Sill (our very own Norma Jean Bissell!), we watched The Breakfast Club late night at a sleep-over and, just like people say about the 1960s, 7th grade seemed to last forever. In a great way.
One time in Mr. Russell's class I did something stupid, I'm assuming I just wouldn't shut my big mouth. Mr. Russell decreed that while at home that night I would do the ol "I WILL NOT...." 500 times or whatever on paper. And it being Mr. Russell, who played us Bill Cosby records during class, he offererd me the alternative of writing 500 words on "How to make spaghetti using a tennis racket."
When I got home I told my parents the whole story, including the spaghetti/tennis bit, and I'm sure I got my ass beat good. But, as I sat down to write whatever it was I was to write, my mother looked over my shoulder and asked why I was writing the "I WILL NOT..." stuff. I had no answer; doing anything else had not occured to me. She said why not write the spaghetti/tennis racket essay instead. She told me hey, he's the one that came up with the idea, and I might as well try to have some fun with it. I was gonna hafta write the same amount of words anyway, so while it was gonna be just as painful it might as well be mildly interesting. I was blown away; again, the thought hadn't even occurred to me.
The next day Mr. Russell made me read it to the class three times. And it was fucking great.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom.