I always feel sorry for the children going back to school. If only they'd studied a little harder and finished the previous grade, they could be going forward to school instead.
But children who never leave their perch in front of the TV often end up floundering in school, rather than fishing for good advice.
Well, worry not. Everything you need to know to survive the coming school year is right here, in this handy-dandy list of tips:
If you like arguing with your teachers, you need to study really hard. Teachers are often wrong, but you can only point this out if you have read enough books to back up your position.
Before returning to middle school, buy a Hot Wheels or Matchbox car and give it to your father as a present. Then smash it with a hammer. Inevitably, you will be asked to talk about what you did over your summer vacation. Impress your classmates by telling them about how you totally wrecked your dad's car.
Always bring a baggie of sugar to school. Young children can use it to sweeten paste before eating it, and older children can pretend it's an illicit substance. Fun for everyone! For paste-eaters of more refined taste, oregano is an acceptable substitute.
Learning is important, so be sure to attend all of your classes - except for history. When you get older, people will continually tell you about how everything you learned in history class was wrong. Save time by not learning it in the first place. Besides, history is all in the past.
Try to convince your teacher that you never settle for second best by refusing to use a No. 2 pencil. Insist on using the No. 1 pencil or no pencil at all.
Your first science fair project should always be about the phenomenon of deja vu. In fact, all of your science fair projects should be about deja vu, and you can use each year's project as research for the following year.
Things you are told are impossible are usually possible. Things you are told are totally unacceptable are also possible but may land you in the principal's office.
Carrying around lots of books in a backpack has been proven to be bad for your back. Instead, push your books around in a red wheelbarrow. Your English teacher may ask you to push around some white chickens, too. Ignore her.
Contrary to what you may expect, your teachers can find you on Facebook. Posting about how you blew off class or copied someone else's test answers or hate your teacher is not a great idea.
Contrary to what you may expect, your students can find you on Facebook. Posting about how you blew off class or copied someone else's test questions or hate your students is not a great idea.
Don't be nervous about the SATs. Remember that your score on this single test only determines your entire future. If you don't do well, one of your parents will still probably love you.
College is a time of self-discovery and great fun, like a giant four-year summer camp. The classwork is much less important than the friendships you make and the memories you will have, but only if you are not my sister. If you are my sister, never mind all that friendship stuff and get back to studying.
Seth Brown is the author of "Rhode Island Curiosities," creator of
GodToVerse.com, and never let his schooling interfere with his
education. His column appears weekly in the Transcript and weakly on
his Web site, www.RisingPun.com.