8th Grader Albert Simms Proofreads an Essay by Alex Berg

Aaaaand… There- I’ve finished my first draft. Mrs. Parker’s really been on my case about frustrationmy homework lately, so this essay’s gotta be top notch. After the fiasco with my essay about the food web, I really need to pull out the ol’ razzle-dazzle here. Gonna proofread and everything. Seriously. I can’t risk having her call home to my parents. That would totally suck. That’d make me the mayor of Sucksburgh, U.S.A… God… If Mom and Dad knew how close I was to flunking 8th grade science, they’d never let me out of the house, and then what would that do to my relationship with Sarah? We’re supposed to go to the Winter Ball next weekend. She said she might even let me get to second base. Might let me get to second base! Finally! Oh, man… If I mess this essay up, I might not ever get the chance to go to second base again. I’d have to become a monk or something… I don’t wanna be a monk. Uncle Ted’s a monk, and he’s creepy as hell. There’s no way I’m letting this go down like that. No way, man- this is gonna be the best essay on photosynthesis that Mrs. Parker’s ever seen. First revision, here I come.

Okay, start with the title. A good title will make a good first impression on Mrs. Parker, promand then I’ll be able to coast the rest of the way. Let’s see what I wrote down here…

Photosynthesis: How Plants Eat

Hrrrm… Not the most creative title I’ve ever put on an essay, but I guess that it’s not so bad. It sums up the content of the essay pretty well, and saves me the trouble of a laborious introductory paragraph. After all, I’ve only got 300 words to work with here. Moving on:

Photosynthesis is that thing that plants do to convert sunlight into energy, or something. It’s probably pretty important, since the textbook’s got an entire chapter devoted to it. I think it’s also part of why broccoli is so good for you.

Well, that’s gonna have to get changed for the second draft… I don’t disagree with any of these statements, but there’s gotta be a better way to put this. If I’m going to really win Mrs. Parker over, then I can’t just stumble through this essay on photosynthesis leaving a scattered trail of facts in my wake. Maybe I should invest in a thesaurus. Of course, a thesaurus probably costs twenty bucks. Screw that. I need batteries for my Wii controller. I’ll just try to stay awake more often during English class. I can make up for the lost sleep during Algebra instead. I already know how to do math with numbers, so why am I thumbs uplearning it all over again with letters? Eighth grade is so lame.

This textbook is pretty boring to read, but according to the glossary at the end of the chapter, glucose is “an energy-rich molecule generated via photosynthesis.” It’s also in the grape soda I’m drinking, presumably because grapes are plants. I can’t believe this stuff costs a dollar a can at the cafeteria if plants are making it for free.

Oh man… This stream of consciousness stuff would be great if this were a creative writing assignment, but this is hardly the place for it. This is a science essay. Mrs. Parker says there’s no “I” in science, so I definitely can’t be in this essay drinking grape soda. I’m gonna have to put a lot of time in on this second draft… Maybe I should call Sarah and tell her I’ll be at the food court Sbarro’s at seven instead of six… I don’t wanna have her be all mad at me before Winter Ball next weekend. Second base, Albert, second base. Keep your eye on the prize.

There’s a fantastic diagram about photsynthesis in the textbook on page 82 that could really explain everything better than I ever could. I’m not good at writing essays. Really, if I ever turn in a good essay, you can bet that it’s been plagiarized. A lot of the bad ones are plagiarized, too. I guess I’m not good at plagiarizing essays, either. If I ever turn in a good essay, I’ve probably paid off a nerd to plagiarize it for me.

pigNo! Sweet crap, what was I thinking? I can’t turn this in! This doesn’t even have anything to do with photosynthesis! This is just a flat out confession! I must really be slipping to write something like this. I should proofread more often… Who knows how many assignments like this I’ve turned in?!? Oh man, Mrs. Parker’s gonna kill me- which I guess means that my parents couldn’t ground me, which is good, but it definitely means I’d die without getting to second base with Sarah, which is bad. This is awful. This couldn’t get any worse.

Hey Mrs. Parker- everybody in class calls you “Mrs. Porker” behind your back because you’re fat. Also, I’m the one who started the whole oinking thing, and I’ve long considered the “bacon on the chair” routine to be one of my signature moves. Oh, and I’m the one who draws pigs on the whiteboard from time to time.

AUGH! It got worse!

In conclusion…

Well, that’s promising. Maybe I won’t have to rewrite the conclusion, at least.

…I wet my bed last night and then was so embarrassed about it when I realized what had happened that I cried myself back to sleep in a puddle of pee-pee and tears.

THAT IS NOT A CONCLUSION- THAT IS A SECRET!!! I WASN’T GOING TO TELL ANYBODY ABOUT THAT! Besides, even if I did, I wouldn’t use the phrase “puddle of pee-pee!” What the hell, me? Huh? What the hell? You had one goal, me, and that was to not screw this essay up, and you blew it. Now you’re gonna get grounded forever, Sarah’s gonna go to Winter Ball without you, and Uncle Ted’s gonna try to give you another “ABCs Of Celibacy” pamphlet. Home run, Albert, home run. This essay is so screwed up that Strunk & White themselves couldn’t save it. I’m gonna have to rewrite the entire thing from scratch, and I don’t have time to do that! Urgh… I’m so frustrated… I tried to do this right, I really did. I tried to put thought into this essay. I tried to proofread and to revise, and I’ve foiled myself every step of the way. Ehhh…. Maybe Mrs. Parker was right: “I” shouldn’t be writing this essay- that’s what nerds are for.

Thanks for letting me use your old writings, Alex Berg! Glad you finally learned how to write!

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photo credit: 5/365 via photopin (license)
photo credit: DSC_0767.jpg via photopin (license)
photo credit: DSC_0767.jpg via photopin (license)

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