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Friday, January 12, 2018

Thornton P. Knowles On Flunking Seventh Grade

I have the distinction of having flunked seventh grade in West Virginia. I hated school, and my cruel, dimwitted teacher, hated me. My distraught and embarrassed parents considered moving to another town, and, when referring to the family tragedy, never used the word "flunked." They preferred "retained." Yeah, I was "retained" because my teacher couldn't bear to let me go. But for me, it wasn't all bad. Two months after she "retained" me, the seventh grade teacher died of a hardened heart. She was replaced by a younger, friendlier, but equally dull teacher who just happened to be really nice to look at. Most important, while I didn't learn anything in my seventh grades, this humiliating chapter in my life taught me the power of words.

Thornton P. Knowles 

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