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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 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.
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.
When I was 15 years old and in the tenth grade, I heard of Martin Luther King, Jr. Three years later, when I was 18, I met Dr. King and we became friends. Two years after that I became very involved in the civil rights movement. I was in college at that time. As I got more and more involved, I saw politics as a means of bringing about change.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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 couldn't speak English. I'm in kindergarten, and the only reason I got through to first grade is because I cheated.
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.
Mr. Olsen in the fifth grade made me want to be a writer. He said, 'Chuck, you do this really well. And this is much better than setting fires, so keep it up.' That made me a writer.
I created my MySpace page in eighth grade, because that's how all my friends talked to each other, so I made one, too. Then, all of a sudden, my friends started putting my songs on their profiles, and then their relatives, their friends in different states did.
I was a girly-girl until I moved to New York. Then I got really into the androgynous look of the early-'90s club scene. I had really short hair and started blurring the line a bit. But for me, grade school was about Benetton, Esprit, and Guess jeans.
When I was in sixth grade there was a talent show, and I wrote my first sketch, 'The Dentist.' I played the dentist, and I had my friend play a patient. It was sort of what can go wrong at the dentist, and I just remember I had lots of fake blood and everything.
I went to a public school through sixth grade, and being good at tests wasn't cool.
I have always wanted to work in the theater. I've always felt the glamour of being backstage and that excitement, but I've never actually done it - not since I was in 5th grade, really. But I've had many plays in my films. I feel like maybe theater is a part of my movie work.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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