Doing As Little As Possible To Get By

kaylarStarred Page By kaylar, 20th Nov 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Humour>Funny Stories

Where I developed the healthy philosophy of doing as little as possible to get by

The Epiphany

There comes a time in every kid's life when s/he 'gets it'. Particular astute parents are very careful in what the child actually 'gets'. But most fail. This is because most parents don't know what inputs the child has received and how they are being organised.

The parent will rarely know who the child is worshiping as cool or how the child sees him/herself. This is because at the most significant age; when the most guidance is required, kids develop a sense of secrecy to rival the CIA.

I am not talking about intoxicants or sex or crime here, I am talking about the basic understanding of how the world works.

How The World Works

Kids are usually brought up to think that 'good' is rewarded and 'bad' is punished until they see the worst person they ever met winning the lottery or the virtual Saint being mugged on her way home from volunteer work at the Rescued Puppy Palace.

Kids are encouraged to do well at school so that they can go to other schools with harder work, and that if they work really hard they can go to another school with even harder work so that when they graduate they can get a job doing very hard work until they drop dead.

Few kids figure this one out.

Going to Highnose

An exam is given at the end of Primary School. Depending on the grade the
eleven year old will either go to Droolpepper or Highnose.

To get into Highnose the kid needs to have like a 130+ I.Q. and read and do math at the 10th Grade Level...(that is four grades above what they are doing now). To get into Droolpepper they have to be breathing.

Highnose will also accept dunce kids if they live within a radius of 1/5th of a mile from the school. But these kids will go into a special Dunce Class.

At the age of eleven I confused exams with puzzles and as I liked puzzles, I did very well. Hence I would go to Highnose. This allowed my mother to spend inordinate time at the supermarket bragging about me.


My mother picked out my clothes and packed my bag and I got on the bus to go to Highnose. There were a lot of kids. All of them bigger than I was, and most of them picked out their own clothes.

I went to my class and got homework. The FIRST DAY! I was sure it was against the law, but having seven classes a day, I got HOMEWORK in all SEVEN CLASSES.

This is because I was doing 7th & 8th grade in One Year meaning that between September - January I would have to complete the entire 7th grade.


I previously had a life. I liked riding my bike, playing sports, getting into trouble, being reckless, watching television, modeling with clay, drawing pictures, reading comic books and hanging out.

All this was over.

I would get home from school at 3:30 and start my homework, have dinner from 5:30 to 6, then do homework until bedtime at 9. Considering the amount of homework I had to do, I could just fit bathing and brushing my teeth into the schedule.

As I had to be at school at 8:30 I had to leave by 7:30. I was woken at 6:30. One could see I was working for a nervous breakdown at the age of 12.

Special Class

Kids in Dunce class wandered around the halls with one or two books, while I looked like I was en route to the airport.

The kids in dunce class had lots of time to chat, I had to be running from Science Lab on the 3rd floor, (far left new wing) dragging a bag that weighed almost as much as I did, to English class on the 2nd floor, (far right old wing) down a flight of steps with deliberately slow moving dunce kids, who loved to shove nerds like me so our books and papers would fly about and they'd get to step on them.

There was no down time for kids in Special Class. Teachers began writing on the board as one walked in, lecturing until the bell rang. No pause, no distractions.

By Saturday I was exhausted I slept for over 12 hours, then had homework to do.

A beautiful day, kids riding their bikes, having fun, and me having to read 5 chapters of this, and answer 23 questions. 3 chapters of that and write a 400 word essay, solve 34 Math problems, on and that by dinner time I was ready for intensive care.

Sunday was just as bad, as I read ahead to sort of lessen my weekly burden.

Then it was back to the Salt Mine

Week 2

It got a little easier in Week 2 since I'd read ahead and mentally answered some of the questions, so my homework only filled four hours and I could look around and see if the world was still there.

However, being a nerd, I was constantly in peril of being bullied by the dunce kids.

It was at this time I realised I could 'steal' 45 minutes if I didn't eat lunch, so would do as much homework as I could during lunch break. This would drop my evening's homework to just over three hours, so I could actually do nothing for ten minutes to stave off the heart attack.

Cometh The Epiphany

As I was sitting in Social Studies I realised that I could escape. I could get kicked out of Special Class and be transferred to Dunce. In Dunce I could do as little as possible to get by.

I could ride my bike, I could explore, I could play sports....I could even watch television.

Teachers don't expect much from the Dunce. That he can figure out which side is 'up' on a piece of foolscap, can legibly write his name, and attempt to answer a question was an 'A'.

There's no pressure in Dunce Class. One doesn't have to study for an exam; it's going to be 'modified' so it's easy. I looked at a test paper a dunce kid had and the questions were taken directly from the homework.

It was just like the spelling tests we used to get at Primary. Ten words on Monday, the Pretest on Wednesday and the Reteston Friday. You're supposed to get 100%.

Further, the reality was....
graduate Junior High not at 14 but at 13, enter High School and instead of graduating when one is 17 finish at 16, then go onto High Pressure College for four years, then Graduate School so that one can get a big brain job to work 80 hours a week.

This did not sound like any future I'd like to have.

The Parents...

I stopped knocking myself out and instead of locking myself in my room to do homework, I read comic books, I modeled with clay. After dinner I'd watch television, telling my folks I finished my homework.

I failed my classes, the teachers sent for my parents and warned them if I didn't do better I'd be dropped from Special Class.

Sure I got killed. This is before parents weren't allowed to kill their kids. Parent's in those days could give manual instructions. But so what?

Being Dunce

I was kicked out of Special Class, into Dunce. Being a Dunce I had lots of time to live my life and be a kid.

Further, I learned the following Lessons;

1. Do as Little as Possible to Get by
2. Only do more than the guy next to you if there's money in it.
3. Live in the moment. Enjoy life now, not imagine some wonderful retirement when you're too old to enjoy it.


Bright, Brilliant, Dunce, Education, Sloth, Special Class

Meet the author

author avatar kaylar
I am passionate about history, culture, current events, science and law

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author avatar Val Mills
21st Nov 2011 (#)

Lol, what can I say - I'm a teacher. Seems like you had the system figured wherever it was you were.

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author avatar shankysahni
21st Nov 2011 (#)

very nice page......

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author avatar kaylar
21st Nov 2011 (#)

I figured out the system when I was's served me well

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author avatar Buzz
21st Nov 2011 (#)


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author avatar deepa venkitesh
21st Nov 2011 (#)

why dont they drop social studies and try to introduce other subjects of interest- thank god you made a right decision before becoming a nervous wreck. In my case I took science for plus two-11 and 12, and I was soon sick of physics, maths and chemistry. i just made it though first class and declared to my family that I was going to take sociology, glad I did it, though it took some time for my brother to digest it.

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author avatar kaylar
21st Nov 2011 (#)

If the school I went to was 100% Special program so that there wasn't any lure, I'd of stuck it because as a kid you don't know better. But once you see another version...welll

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author avatar kaylar
21st Nov 2011 (#)

thanks Buss

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author avatar Hasitha
22nd Nov 2011 (#)

Great article on the victimization of young school children with this present "rat race" among parents I should say.Children should be allowed to pursue what they love doing.

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author avatar kaylar
22nd Nov 2011 (#)

it's the pressure. The classes would have been fun and thought provoking if the school was 100% gifted and there were less of them...for example, I would, if dealing with gifted kids have the 45 min 'period' but followed by a 15 minute 'break' so that the kids could talk the stuff, and relax.

Hence I'd of had, i.e. 9:9:15 homeroom...9:15 - 10 English
Break 10:00- 10:15

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author avatar richardpeeej
25th Nov 2011 (#)

Thanks for telling us a little about your life kaylar my friend. I so enjoyed the read..

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author avatar kaylar
25th Nov 2011 (#)

you're welcome...

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author avatar ittech
14th Dec 2011 (#)

thanks for share

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author avatar kaylar
14th Dec 2011 (#)

I'm glad you liked it

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