You know how in movies featuring grade school, there's always that one student who gets so many gold stars it spills off of the teacher's chart onto the rest of the bulletin board? The one whom everyone thinks is an arrogant little snot? Yeah, that was me in elementary school. I always had to memorize the most poems, have the best handwriting, and be the fastest at those multiplication table quizzes-- for the sole pleasure of seeing another star added next to my name. That's how submissive I was to the Man. A stupid little sticker star was all it took to convince me to do something. It has taken me 15 years to finally realize how I've been played. I'm so ashamed.
I've also realized life's not so soft anymore. Instead of soft serve it's frozen Italian gelato that you have to keep chipping away at with a metal spoon. It doesn't matter whether you slept in because you were watching an entire season's worth of some ridiculous TV show or if there was heavy road construction and the train tracks were blocked by a stopped train and you got mauled by a tiger on the way to work... a tardy is a tardy. But then even in the adult world there are meaningless accolades given to try and persuade people to do things that only benefit the Man. Employee of the month, free sodas, a bigger cubicle, etc. Gold stars. And I'm determined not to be that arrogant little snot anymore.
It doesn't come naturally-- the third grader in me still gets a little teary-eyed every time I get a talking to. But it's only because I got dust in my eye, or the air conditioning is on too high.
Besides, I much rather prefer Italian gelato.