I scope out the scene and it's obvious who the cool kids are, who the dumb kids are, who the smart kids are, and who the dorks are. The class had the usual number of clueless dweebs, pre-jock idiots, losers, brownnosers, and bullies, just like my old school. You just knew the first time you set eyes on him that there was something different about this kid. I can't imagine a boy wearing a tie to school on his own. Sam Dawkins, grade 5Brenton just came out and said the weirdest stuff. We go all the way from kindergarten to twelfth grade, and I believe we have the only high school that is in a national park. Brenton Damagatchi, grade 5It makes no difference to me where I sit. "My concerto." I don't know where he got the word "concerto." I still don't know what it means. Brenton Damagatchi, grade 5I was thinking of starting a club for kids like me, who don't particularly enjoy the company of other people. We could hold meetings and talk about the best ways to avoid other people. He had really long hair, which I personally think looks terrible on a boy. He was assigned to Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix. Sam Dawkins, grade 5So I walk into Miss Rasmussen's class on the first day of school in September and I'm the new kid, so I'm a little nervous and I don't want everybody looking at me, but they're all looking at me anyway because, well, I'm the new kid and everybody wants to check out the new kid. Miss Rasmussen, fifth-grade teacher Our claim to fame at the Grand Canyon School is that we are the closest school to the Grand Canyon. If you've ever been to the canyon, our school is south of El Tovar and near Bright Angel. Judy Douglas, grade 5Oh, I didn't like Snik at all in the beginning.Kids should be outside running around and getting exercise, not inside doing worksheets.9.
So how can I pursue happiness if I have to spend every night doing homework?
Homework is cruel, totalitarian punishment created by grown-ups to take away the freedoms of poor, defenseless children.2.
I really don't see the reason why we gotta do this. Do you know how upset my parents were when they found out? We are one of the few African-American families living in this area. Brenton Damagatchi, grade 5It's interesting how things happen sometimes.
Kelsey Donnelly, grade 5My name is Kelsey Donnelly. Do you have any idea of how humiliating this entire ordeal has been for me? Oh, I just wish I could go to sleep and wake up and find out it was all a dream. Judy's mom My first reaction was that it was discrimination.
I liked that, because I figured she would be really enthusiastic about everything.
I mean, she looked like she could have been one of the students. My dad was in the air force and that's why we moved to Arizona. On the other hand, I was afraid Miss Rasmussen might not be experienced enough to handle some of the boys, who can be a problem sometimes. Some of the older teachers who have been teaching all their lives don't get too excited about anything anymore.We have to cut down trees to make paper and pencils. I keep hearing that American kids are way too fat, and that's because we don't get enough exercise.For every minute kids are doing homework, we are getting fatter. When I got an offer to teach fifth grade at the Grand Canyon School, well, it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. The Grand Canyon is like a sculpture, created by nature. Judy Douglas, grade 5When I walked into Miss Rasmussen's class on the first day of school, the first thing that struck me was that she was so young! I've always been a nature lover, and I wanted to share this with young people. I spent hours exploring it when I moved here, and took lots of pictures of the layers of rock.Make sure you have everything you need before you begin to work.8. For instance, study for a test and then do the daily assignment. We live in a democracy, where we have freedom, right?We're entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.Because the machine, code-named Belch, is doing their homework for them, they start spending a lot of time together, attracting a lot of attention. I remember one time this reality TV show was hot and everybody was talking about it. And we were all at recess talking about it and Brenton comes out and says something like, "I never heard of that show." We all just looked at him. You know, like they'll get T-shirts with cool logos on them or they'll get a cool bike or listen to cool music. It would be easy enough to buy the latest clothes and watch the hot new TV shows and surround myself with cool things. I divided the class into six groups of four kids, and we pushed the desks together in those groups. That's the only reason I got a B in math for the first marking period. Sam Dawkins, grade 5What did I think of the other kids at my table when I first met them? Kelsey, well, she just didn't seem to care about anything, and I found it very hard to relate to her because I care so much about everything. I try so hard all the time and he never seemed like he was trying at all. I never made fun of Brenton the way other kids did.And attention is exactly what you don't want when you are keeping a secret. They may not be cool themselves, but they make themselves cool by having cool stuff or hanging around with cool people. Brenton Damagatchi, grade 5What does "cool" mean, anyway? I had no big plan to put Brenton, Kelsey, Judy, and Sam together. She and Snik were not the kind of people I would ever hang around with. Ronnie Teotwawki, grade 5My name is Ronnie Teotwawki. I never wanted to sit with any of those D Squad losers. Everybody knows he got thrown out of his last school. When I get home from school, my brain needs a rest.