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I wasn't a jock in school, and by the 10th grade, when I was in boarding school I was carrying water buckets for the girls' hockey team. I was the kid with long hair and glasses and acne trying to learn how to play guitar and piano in the music center. I was not an athlete past the age of 13 or 14 when they start throwing the ball really fast.
In ninth grade, I came up with a new form of rebellion. I hadn't been getting good grades, but I decided to get all A's without taking a book home. I didn't go to math class, because I knew enough and had read ahead, and I placed within the top 10 people in the nation on an aptitude exam.
I was never a class clown or anything like that, but I do remember being in the first grade and my teacher, Mr. Chad, told the class one day that we were going to do some exercises. He meant math exercises, but I stood up and started doing jumping jacks. To this day, I don't know what possessed me to do that, but all my friends cracked up.
I grew up below the poverty line; I didn't have as much as other people did. I think it made me stronger as a person, it built my character. Now I have a 4.0 grade point average and I want to go to college, and just become a better person.
I'm always trying to push the envelope and go with a different hairstyle that you're not going to see on anybody else. I have a really good grade of hair, and I can do a lot of different things with it.
I've been wearing lipstick since I was in 7th grade. That was our form of daring self-expression, because we had to wear uniforms in school. It made our teachers so angry.
In the 7th grade, I made a 20-foot long mural of the Lewis and Clark Trail while we were studying that in history because I knew I wasn't going to be able to spit back the names and the dates and all that stuff on a test.
Math was a two-part exam and I once didn't go for the second part. I knew I'd done so badly on the first it was hopeless. I re-took it about four or five times. I think I eventually got it by getting the top GCSE grade.
Real education is about genuine understanding and the ability to figure things out on your own; not about making sure every 7th grader has memorized all the facts some bureaucrats have put in the 7th grade curriculum.
I just believe that the way that young people's minds develop is fascinating. If you are doing something for a grade or salary or a reward, it doesn't have as much meaning as creating something for yourself and your own life.
My mother's dad dropped out of the eighth grade to work. He had to. By the time he was 30, he was a master electrician, plumber, carpenter, mason, mechanic. That guy was, to me, a magician. Anything that was broken, he could fix. Anybody anywhere in our community knew that if there was a problem, Carl was there to fix it.
My mother taught public school, went to Harvard and then got her master's there and taught fifth and sixth grade in a public school. My dad had a more working-class lifestyle. He didn't go to college. He was an auto mechanic and a bartender and a janitor at Harvard.
I have this firm belief that I am who I am for a reason. If I change something, I'm cheating myself of whatever it is I'm supposed to learn from my body. You know, I'm legally blind. I'm 20/750, since I was in fifth grade. I wear glasses and contacts. But I won't even get LASIK.
Carrie Ann Inaba
In the third grade, a nun stuffed me in a garbage can under her desk because she said that's where I belonged. I also had the distinction of being the only altar boy knocked down by a priest during mass.
I stopped going to school in the middle of fourth grade. Everyone grows up with the peer pressure, and kids being mean to each other in school. I think that's such a horrible thing, but I never really dealt with it in a high school way.
I was always a clown. In the eighth grade I won a city speech contest by doing an Eddie Murphy routine. I'm no good at public speaking, but if I can assume a role and speak as that person, then I'm fine. When I had to give a book report, I always did it in character.
I was sort of traumatized by girls in the third grade. Because there was a girl in my third grade class I had a crush on. I bought her a box of Valentine's Day chocolate. And I put it in her cubby with a note that said something like, 'I am deeply in love with you, Your Secret Admirer.' And I didn't sign my name.
I was a bad dater, and up until 8th grade I went to an all boy's school. So, by the time I hit high school I was a bit freaked out by women in general.
I've been acting since second grade, and I just remember when I first moved to New York and I was living in Washington Heights with three other actors in this tiny apartment and busting my butt to get to the subway, walking to, like, five auditions in a day.
I have never been jealous. Not even when my dad finished fifth grade a year before I did.
My earliest thought, long before I was in high school, was just to go away, get out of my house, get out of my city. I went to Medford High School, but even in grade school and junior high, I fantasized about leaving.
I learned everything by ear and played all the different instruments. So then I was able to find a guitar. That was, like, in the seventh grade. And then I didn't know how to put my fingers on all the different strings, so I had to figure out how to do it upside down and backwards, and I still play that way today.
When I was in first grade, everyone made fun of my name, of course. I think it's kind of a big name to hold up when you're nine years old. It seemed goofy. I used to tell people I wanted to change the world and they used to think, 'This kid's really weird'.
In the fourth grade, I learned how to fake walking into a door. You know, you hit it with your hand and snap your head back. The girls loved it.
I made the decision that I was going to make rap music in, like, fourth grade, so it's been something I was saying for a long time.
Chance The Rapper
C. S. Lewis
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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