I am molding the minds of today’s youth. And by “molding” I mean “probably damaging”.

My very sweet reader, Mariah, (who is probably far too young to be reading this blog) emailed me this, and made my whole damn day.

Her History teacher asked the class to write down what they knew about Copernicus and turn it in.  This is what she handed in:

Says Mariah:

“I got the paper back later that day with a red minus on the top. I’m guessing this is because my paper was so spot on he was too astonished to finish the A+ he was writing.

Also he probably should have been more specific as to which Copernicus we were writing about.”


PS.  I did point out to Mariah that it’s possible she got a minus because she misspelled my name.  The devil is in the details, Mariah.  And also probably in Copernicus.

416 thoughts on “I am molding the minds of today’s youth. And by “molding” I mean “probably damaging”.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I think this is a valuable addition to today’s curriculum. Our children need to be aware of homicidal monkeys and zombie preparedness….how else will they survive to take care of us in our old age.

  2. Is it possible the teacher is not a Bloggess fan???
    I find that to be an awesome paper and if I were a teacher, I’d have given Maria an A for sure!!

  3. It is possible the negative was because you failed to back up your paper with refrences. I say you print everything out and resubmit it. Then, if he truly did fail to finish adding the “A|” to that “–” it won’t be as embarassing for him and he’ll have an easy out. Win win!

    Kudos on such an awesome, short paper!


    Jenn, congrats! You have single handedly corrupted and empressionable young mind, causing many to question whether or not we should slap warnings all over your blog!!

    I am soooo Proud!!!! :0D

  4. I say any child who can spell homicidal gets a “+”, except when did we get so soft on kids we give them + or – instead of letters? I mean, it’s Copernicus. Can’t he be bothered to give real grades? What the hell is the world coming to? If this half-assed assignment was on Galileo would he grade it with subtle head gestures?

  5. I think Mariah needed references on her assignment. Footer notations, perhaps? The teacher clearly thought this was plagiarized from Wikipedia.

  6. As a former English teacher (middle school, no less!) I would have handed that back with at least a smiley face. I might have had her rewrite it, but God help us if our middle school teachers lose their sense of humor! Then again, I’ve always been a sucker for a smart-ass.

  7. As I write, the teacher is googling you and will see this and read all of your archives. Then she’ll be devastated by the poor grade she gave Mariah on her excellent research.

  8. Shame on that teacher! They are discouraging the youth of American from reading.
    Also it’s a good thing I have insomnia, or I’d have to wait until tomorrow to read this and laugh my ass off.

  9. She was robbed. A quick google search would have lead her teacher to find she had written about “a” Copernicus. If it was me. I would resubmit my paper with a print out of the blog and ask for my grade to be corrected. But I’m s smart ass. Also I will loose my sanity before I loose my place on the Deans List (ask my friends and family).

  10. as a teacher, my favorite paper turned last year stated simply:
    “Who is Helen Keller? Why did she knock down the baby?”

    Which earned a solid B- (we weren’t studying Helen Keller, but bonus points for creativity during math).

    A paper on Copernicus? Any time, any place, A+.

    Becuase that’s just keeping up with current events y’all.

  11. My god. I thought teachers were supposed to inspire students as well as educate them.

    Oh, wait…maybe that teacher KNOWS about Copernicus, and was offering Mariah the super secret “red monkey butt” symbol on her paper.

  12. Quality. Should’ve gotten marks for making best use of the internet and because it’s just so damn funny! Plus I don’t know who the other Copernicus is either.

  13. Mariah only did what her teacher asked to do. What an excellent ‘spur of the moment’ paper (imprompt to?). Mariah should have gotten an A.

  14. Holy fracking nut weasles!

    That is the best thing to ever happen to our society in like….well, since cheese.

    The fact that we can replace the father of Astronomy (kinda) with an evil diseased stuffed monkey in the minds of the next generation? It makes my insides wiggle with glee.

    Also, the real dude was – ummmm – probably on an even playing field looks wise as the monkey version. http://greencanticle.com/2008/11/29/copernicus-identified/


  15. I’d like to point out the following:

    1. If Mariah attends public school in the United States, the guidelines generally state that a child may read anything — library books, comic books, magazines, etc. — as long as he/she commits to doing so for at least 20 minutes a night. So clearly, reading the Bloggess counts.

    2. This smells like a precursor to an actual lesson on Copernicus that the teacher was presumably conducting to find out whether any of his/her students had heard of said historical figure. Clearly, this teacher got his answer.

    3. The level of detail in Mariah’s short paper suggests above average reading comprehension skills that, quite frankly, ought to earned her a C right out of the gate.

    4. Every time we miss an opportunity to see the humor in everyday life, we are smacking our soul in the face a little. This teacher takes himself too seriously. Mariah is awesome. And her mother is probably twice as funny.

    P.S. Jenny — I love it when fear of corrupting the world’s youth makes the Mom in you slip out with that ‘entirely too young’ comment. Priceless post. It’s gotta be fun to be the Bloggess.

  16. I’m laughing so hard, I can’t breath. Mariah deserves the biggest icecream ever! Oh, and the teacher should at least have given some creativity points. We need to encourage our children to think outside the box!

  17. I’m a teacher, and sometimes I want to give ‘you made me laugh’ credit to some papers, even if the rest was totally wrong.

    “Life is 4,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years old. WOW! The first life forms reproduced by stem cells. That was outlawed by Republicans though, so they started working with asexual reproduction, and eventually discovered sex. Next came drugs, then rock and roll.”

    There were smiley faces ALL OVER that paper even though it got like… 5/40. I wanted to save it but my master teacher wouldn’t let me.

  18. P.S. My comment is ‘awaiting moderation?’ Really? You have time to moderate the 6,000 comments per post you receive? You’re in the wrong business, babe. Clearly you should be conducting time management seminars.

  19. I think someone should send that teacher one of Copernicus’ valentines. He obviously needs a hug.

    Poor thing.

    Mariah, what a lovely, well-written summary. Accurate, thorough, and succinct. Who what when where and why, plus a quote?! That is great journalism, right there. I see a bright future.

  20. I’d say liberating (young) minds instead of damaging. As proven by all the comments above.
    And.., I’m I the only dude reading this blog?

    Cheers.., keep liberating!!

  21. A quick stop by the internet on my way to bed has me laughing loudly enough that I woke my husband. That kid is a freaking genius. Short-sighted, narrow minded teachers will be the intellectual death of future generation. Next report topic? Wolverines.

  22. maybe it’s supposed to be a ‘meh’ face and he forgot the eyes. (:|) Now that I look at it, it does look a little like Copernicus’ mouth. Maybe Mariah should pencil in some eyes and ears, and turn it back in, with something like “Good Start – I see promise. Looking forward to this year!”

  23. Teacher needs an F are we not supposed to be encouraging our youth to be both forward thinking and to be innovative in their approach to the world. I would have thought a short essay on Copernicus the stuffed monkey shows that this young lady is bright, intelligent and well versed in the art of study investigative skills by using the WWW to gather information.

    On the other hand she may turn out to be a mini Bloggess whose sarcasm and withering comments will turn people to stone

    Either way she gets an A+ from me

  24. That is awesome. I have 2 daughters in high school right now, and while we would not be pleased to see a poor grade, I love it when they use thier creativity, and don’t think I could be upset with anyone but the teacher in this case. And she was right.. the teacher should have been more specific. Way to go Mariah!

  25. My Laugh Out Loud while reading your post was so loud it scared my children. And they’re teenagers who don’t scare easily. Thank you!

  26. It warms my heart to know we encouraging a generation of clever, literate and outspoken children. I really hope the teacher followed up on the opportunity to exchange information with Mariah. Her understanding of Copernicus is much more interesting.

  27. What a great kid – if I would have had a friend like her when I was her age… oh the mayhem! Good mayhem. 😉

  28. Sounds like someone has a “Mini Me” and we’ll be reading her blog in a few short years! Maybe the new teacher they hire after Copernicus hugs this teacher (and I’m sure he will after he reads this!) will be more understanding and enlightened.

  29. I laughed so hard because it sounds like something my daughter would do to torment her long suffering teacher.

  30. Brilliant Young Person!
    And she’s right – the teacher should have specified. Teacher certainly should not have just scored a “-” without checking the facts of the paper, if it wasn’t the Copernicus Teacher was referring to. A quick Google of “blogess copernicus”, even with the misspelling, goes directly to you!
    Brilliant Young Person deserves a better grade than that. Parental Units should be protesting.
    And I’ll bet that at some point, Teacher has indeed Google-d “blogess copernicus”!
    BwaHaHaHaHa Mariah! “A+” from me!
    And Kudos to you Jenny, for being such an inspiration to Young Persons.

    (P.S. – Have any of you been to young Mariah’s blog? Check it out. She has a picture of a sign that reads, “Please Do Not Feed The Whores”. I LOVE THIS KID!!! (And I’m totally stealing that sign.)

  31. This young lady sounds like my daughter. They were given an assignment in science to write their science vocab words three times each. So she wrote each word with “x3” next to it and handed it in! The teacher felt that this warranted a CALL HOME. She called me and when she told me what my daughter did, I burst out laughing. That was clearly NOT the right response. But did it really deserve a call home? She couldn’t have just laughed and told my daughter to do it over correctly? Sheesh.

    Props to you Mariah! You get an A+ in my book!

  32. Who says education in this country has fallen to the wayside? Just goes to show that kids DO pay attention to the important things. We all need to know whether a homicidal monkey lives around the corner.

  33. The sentence structure and vocabulary lead me to believe that Ms. Mariah is older than you think.

  34. Teachers get a little uppity when their students know more than they do. Obviously, the red mark is a sign that Mariah’s paper is so brilliant that the teacher cannot even find an adequately awesome grade for it. Or perhaps the teacher was being strangled by Copernicus whilst grading the paper and thus the marking happened mid-strangle and could mean just about anything.

    If nothing else, Mariah should get credit for her creativity and the teacher should be more specific next time when assigning topics. Perhaps Mariah should have included an illustration of Copernicus to clarify which one she was writing about… or a footnote with a URL included. It’s so important to properly cite your source material.

  35. I can’t wait for her paper about James Garfield. Her teacher will either have caught on or he’ll explode. Either way, awesome.

  36. Look at the mini-me you’ve created! You, and Copernicus, should be proud!

    And that teacher? Psshh! He/she should know the real Copernicus is nowhere nearly as historically relevant as the evil monkey Copernicus. Or as much fun…though I hear he was a snappy dresser.

  37. She wins. Absolutely . And the teacher should have so specified which one he wanted. And check your facts Mr teacher man!

  38. I’m sure he probably contacted a counselor after that. However, if any of my students could write as well as Mariah (and I teach high school), I wouldn’t care if they wrote about maiming unicorns.

  39. OMG. The young have so much to teach us. Her spot on view of reality is almost only rivaled by her spot on penmanship. WELL DONE, MARIAH! #allcapsnecessary

  40. Teachers so often mistake the truly exceptional child for a mutant. It’s a very sad thing, but something we have to live with as a nation. Or we could just call in the predator drones.

  41. You know that teacher went home and googled that shit. I bet he did the walk of shame into school the next day.

  42. Oh that is too fantastic. I hope pray her teacher asks for a paper about Beyonce next….although I can’t imagine what impact Beyonce would have on world history.

  43. I was once asked what a Palomino was. Apparently the answer was in the song I was completely ignoring in music class. My answer of, ‘It’s the ship in The Black Hole!’ meant I did not get a gold star that day. 🙁

  44. I’ve never been crazy about having kids (though I have nothing against other people who do), but now I want multiples if they end up like Mariah here.

  45. okay, i don’t know what grade mariah is in, but i’m terrifically impressed by the proper spelling of ‘homicidal’. that’s not, like, a regular vocabulary word. ALSO i’d think her creativity alone should be worth at least an A.

    ALSO ALSO. i love that kid – the teacher should have been more specific about WHICH copernicus they were writing about. if i was having children, i’d hope to have one that awesome.

  46. I would express my concern at the impact Copernicus is having on the youth of today, but I’m reaaaally attached to my organs.

  47. If the teacher had done his/her research like a responsible adult (to find out who on earth The Bloggess is), he/she would have understood completely, appreciated that the student had enlightened him/her to your blog and wonderfully humerous posts and marked an A+ at the top of the page.

    Bad Teacher.

  48. That teacher will feel silly when Mariah gives him a Copernicus Valentines card in February.

  49. I love this. You get an A+ from all of us here!!
    Obviously your teacher loved it so much they were unable to give you a grade because what is higher then an A+?? That “dash” they left on your paper is simply short form for fantastic.

  50. I’d bet my left boob that he copied this paragraph, hung it up in the staff room, and showed it to the head teacher. And I bet he looked up “The Blogess”, found your site, and spent all night reading through your entries…and stumbled into his class room the next day looking entirely shell-shocked.

    Educators never expect to be educated themselves. Spot on indeed.

  51. It must be so rewarding to have a (monkey) hand in molding the next gereration of (wise-ass) bloggers. Kudos to you for fearlessly mentoring our nations youth (with reckless abandon and almost no regard for social decorum). In this age of absurd political correctness, you are a gaint (metal chicken) in your field. And of course huge props to Mariah for such an insightful and creative essay! I am sure this young lady will one day have a partially deteriorated, evil taxidermied primate of her own…and a book deal.

  52. You must take great pride in knowing that you are continuing in the tradition of the original Copernicus, who was also considered to be a dangerous and heretical subversive in his time.
    In an interesting (well prolly not really) aside, the nun who taught me in 5th grade once wrote a note to my mother saying that I was too imaginative for my own good. That may have been the pivotal moment that drove me into accounting, where, naturally, I was too imaginative for my own good.

  53. And now you’ve just made my day. Amazing.
    That girl is gonna grow up to do big things. Maybe even work for Hallmark.

  54. This is amazing. If I were Mariah I’d send her teacher a Copernicus Valentine’s card and write this:

    A minus is an A+ you haven’t finished yet, you stodgy old jerk. Lighten up and read The Bloggess. =)

  55. A+ for doing what was asked of her. For having a sense of humor. And for knowing the material before the assignment was given.

    Good Job Mariah. Extra credit for being the coolest kid in your school.

  56. This is awesome! I’m with you. Spelling is important and I’m sure misspelling your blog name did not work in her favor.

    Creativity is not appreciated anymore. The more lemming like, the better. Apparently my junior and senior year English teacher, who HATED my imagination, must be her teacher. 🙁

  57. The paper is great, but her explanation to you is what takes the cake. That kind of snark is blogging GOLD.

  58. So, I’m trying to imagine what went through the teacher’s mind upon reading Mariah’s paper, figuring in the quite obvious notion that he does not read The Bloggess and has no idea about the “other” Copernicus. He’s probably watching dear little Mariah quite closely and has more than likely given a copy of her paper to the counselor. Mom should be expecting a phone call.

  59. How freaking awesome is Mariah?!
    And how freaking LAME is her teacher? L.O.S.E.R

    PS, her handwriting and paragraph organization is excellent. She should have an A for sure.

  60. Way to advertise for my favorite blog, Mariah! Because of your profound efforts, your teacher ran home, found your site and had a long, wonderful chuckle. She was so entranced, she was compelled to call in sick the next day because she had to read every.single.post the bloggess has ever made. It will be a miracle if she ever returns to work again… and if she does, she’ll probably bring in a large, tin chicken (the new class mascot, no doubt).

  61. oops – sorry it looked like 9-18
    i know I am an idiot with too much time on my hands – pls delete BOTH posts =0

  62. I hope Mariah’s parents share her sense of humor… Also, I’m so old I don’t even know what a red “minus” even means…? No credit? “F”? “I have a negative feeling about this”? I need more information!!

  63. I sense that a certain teacher may have a slew of homicidal monkey valentines delivered to her in the future, hmmmm?

    The only way that paper could have been better is if she had accurately drawn a picture of Copernicus to demonstrate the specific individual to which she was referring.

    Good job Mariah. Love a kid who isn’t afraid to be a smart-ass to the teacher in a great and creative way. Brava!!

  64. Oh, my freaking word, that is TOO funny!

    Mariah gets an A+ in my book, and I know a certain English teacher at a super cool charter high school in Dover, NH, who reads this blog, and would most likely – if not certainly – have attributed a proper grade for Mariah’s submission.

    Where do we sign up to read Mariah’s blog? 🙂

  65. That is soooo the type of paper I would have turned in when I was in school. Any chance to be a smart ass, and I was there.
    Luckily I had a lot of teachers who thought I was funny (and very strange), so they’d often give me credit for the off the wall answers I put down. At least I kept them amused.

  66. Aww, and I was so proud that she correctly spelled homicidal…That one can be a doozy sometimes. Positive reinforcement people!

  67. The paper and the e-mail comment are priceless and clearly the work of a creative and intelligent child. She’s right, he didn’t say which Copernicus. I predict that this young lady will be a lawyer or formidable negotiator –or formidable in whichever profession she chooses.

  68. As a history teacher, she would have gotten the special extra, make me laugh out loud points. Like the kid who put that Hitler commissioned the Dogs Playing Poker painting.

  69. I am a teacher and if one of my students were to turn this in the would get full credit and probably some extra credit. That. Is. Priceless. Total ingenuity on her part, and shame on the teacher for not being specific on the details of the assignment.

  70. I want this girl to be my student when I become a teacher next year. I’d give her a freakin A and never make her do anything else ever again!

  71. I PROMISE you this is no lie…I think my 9-year old reads the Bloggess. When I asked yesterday how school was, she replied “it was very….LEARN-Y”. Jenny, judging by the Mariah note and my daughter’s new gloggess-y language, I think you have a fresh new batch of underage, future metal chicken collectors.

  72. I almost cried last night when I went to check my mail and inside I found what is to date, the BEST birthday gift I’ve gotten: A Copernicus Free Hugs card AND my very own desktop Beyonce from my friend Pauline. Life is good.

  73. My assessment is as follows: The teacher is a Republican-Baptist with a 4th tier issued teaching credential whose vision is blocked by the walls of his/her own colon. Mariah shines like a diamond in that dark-aged class room. Shine on Mariah. Also, the obligatory obeisance to Her Majesty the Bloggess for showing the way forward to our nation’s young minds. I salute you both but you will have to excuse the nearly silent farting because I really am old and don’t care anymore.

  74. Sometimes I give my students some points just for making me laugh. And if that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right. Good job, Mariah.

  75. Most definitely an A+ paper. Plus extra credit for creativity. All those other students probably wrote about the exact same guy. How boring is that?!

  76. Here is a thought, get the teacher’s name and address and send him a Copernicus card from you explaining how he needs to be more specific; also offer him a *hug*

  77. Someday, Mariah will wow teh innerwebs with her fantabulous blog. And somewhere in the sidebar will be an ode to The Bloggess, who taught her everything she needed to know.

  78. I think she deserves credit for:

    a) Thinking outside the box
    b) Answering the question, the teacher did not specify WHICH Copernicus
    c) Recalling an accurate quote (which really needs to be put out there more…”A hug is like a strangle you haven’t finished yet” is my favorite quote of the year)

    At least she should get an E for effort instead of that half-assed Do Not Enter sign for a grade.

  79. I would have given this student the A+. This is generally why my students are more successful in school, and in life. That is science.

  80. This reminds me of my cousin (when she was little) who is 1/2 Honduran and 1/2 white/Jewish that told her teacher when Summer was over and school started back, that she missed her Tijuana…..but what she was saying was that she missed her “Tia Juana”…(English Translation: Aunt Juana…her mom’s sister who went back home to Honduras after the Summer). HA

  81. How can you be wrong about answering what you know. Even if what you know is wrong, if your assignment is to write that down you are right. Unless the teacher knows for a fact that Mariah also knows about Copernicus the man, in which case she should have written two paragraphs.

  82. I guess I could never be a teacher because I would totally give A’s for thing like that.

  83. I don’t think I could possibly punish my daughter for this if she came home with it, as a matter of fact, I’d take her out for an ice cream or a shopping venture to find her very own Beyonce. A+ in my book.

  84. Love it! I wish that I knew about your blog while I was still in school so that I could write about the things you said!!!

  85. I feel that Mariah should have at least received a “+” for her lovely handwriting 🙂

  86. I have to give that teacher an F- on his ability to grade a perfectly good paper…or any paper at all since his grading is incomplete. WTF is a minus? Minus what? Minus one teacher, IMO.

  87. I think this teacher should invest a little more time in research before handing out grades. Then he or she would have discovered just exactly how accurate this paper was 🙂

  88. Um since when is a “minus” sign a grade? I used to freak out if I had to bring home a letter grade with a minus next to it. I guess if anything it’s preparing her for life. You may “below fail”.

  89. Just goes to show that the school systems don’t teach humor in any form… Sad really.

    My hubby called me, he was having a bad day at work… read him your blog and it cheered him up. Thanks for all that you do…

    I’ll be in the corner practicing my hero-worship face for you Jenny.

  90. Mariah is AWESOME! I hope that when I have children they are as smart, funny and well read as her. I do believe The Bloggess is helping today’s children!

  91. “I got the paper back later that day with a red minus on the top. I’m guessing this is because my paper was so spot on he was too astonished to finish the A+ he was writing.
    Also he probably should have been more specific as to which Copernicus we were writing about.”

    Though I do often have to counsel my son to answer the question he knows is being asked rather than the question he can choose to interpret in vague wording, I gotta say I give this kid an A+ for the commentary.

  92. Someday I hope to have children like this. In fact, if this was my child, I would definitely go and argue with the teacher in question because clearly he is doing something wrong.

    God. What are they teaching the youth of today?

  93. Yes, she is a smart girl and based on her grammar and sarcasm, she’s definitely old enough (mentally, at least) to be perusing thebloggess 🙂

  94. Funny Stuff! Kids are so creative, and the “by the book” teachers are no fun and do not inspire kids to higher education.

    In 5th grade my child was asked to write a paper on the person they admire most, living or dead. She wrote about Jesus. She had her paper returned with a giant red “F” on it, and an explaination that Jesus was a fictional character. I came unglued!! The teacher eventually was repremanded, and changed the grade. My feeling was how dare that teacher impose her personal agenda on my kid?! And “they” say public school teachers “DON’T” share their personal beliefs with kids?

    My observation; those claiming Christians are intolerant are the intolerant ones.

  95. Ha! That child and I could be besties.

    Reminds me of when in 3rd grade I was asked to write a short story. Instead I just wrote down on of Jack Handy’s “Deep Thoughts” from SNL about smashing jack-o-lanterns. Apparently Mr. George’s wasn’t a fan of SNL and I was sent to the school psychologist 🙂

  96. Wow – that’s brilliant! What a smart girl. I wish I had had the guts to be that much of a smart-ass when I was that age. Of course, my mother probably would have smacked me. But still…

  97. I have a child like this. It is great. Recently she was assigned the book The Jungle for her American history class. I suggested she go with The Jungle Book instead and complain when there are no questions about Mowgli on the exam. She is clearly my daughter.

  98. I think the teacher should be visited by Beyonce……..ridden by Copernicus…..holding the boar. Knock knock!

  99. Could you tell Mariah that she needs to come over and start hanging out with Gabi? Cause it looks like they are soul mates. Except Gabi’s teacher would have given her an A++++ for that paper.

  100. Had she cited your blog as the source of her knowledge, it would have been much harder for her teacher to give her the minus. Either way, I love this kid.

  101. Mariah is awesome! I wish I had someone like the bloggess when I was in school. Jenny, you would have made high school life much more manageable.

  102. I find myself using things I read on here in my everyday life also. Sadly, I’m a college student though so I find it hard to be sarcastic in a class I’m paying for. I totally admire her spunk though!!

  103. And who says the youth of today are brainless automatons? Mariah…you are a beacon of hope.

  104. It’s possible that Mariah could negotiate a better grade (aka Cher in the awesome Clueless movie) by printing the “correct” material (and by that I mean, the Bloggess’ blog post and pictures of the line of Valentine’s cards) from which she gathered her info as back-up documentation!

  105. This is too precious!! It’s a shame we mold people when we don’t even want to (or we make ’em MOLDY)…..UGH….! T:)

  106. Mariah, you are my new hero! Go you for showing creativity and a sense of humor! I love that you took the risk of getting a bad grade but did it anyway. That spirit will get you farther in life than a + on this silly exercise ever would. Keep up the good work!

  107. Wow! I wish I was the cool as a kid. But really, it is the teacher’s fault; I mean he really should have specified which Copernicus he was talking about.

  108. That is GREATNESS! I love it when kids make the adults think outside the box. LOL ;D I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when the teacher read that paper. hehehehe Everone needs to enjoy life a little more and laugh A LOT more! 😀

  109. She may also have gotten marked down because her assignment is dated way into next week. Either that or she has mastered time travel.

  110. Mariah … YOU ROCK OUT LOUD!!!!!!!!
    LOL … I still remember the look on my old teacher’s face when the following conversation ensued:

    ME: “But everyone else was doing it!!”

    MR. HARPER: “If everyone in the world jumped off the Empire State Building, would you do it too?”

    ME: “Well that depends, Sir. If everyone else jumped FIRST?? Hell yeah. There’s an awful lot of people in this world, so if they ALL jumped off the Empire State Building, the resulting pile of bodies would be pretty high. I figure that by the time it was my turn, I’d probably only have a drop of two or three feet.”

    MR. HARPER: (stares at me for a few minutes before putting his head down on the desk and rocking back and forth)

  111. I think Mariah should create a “secret message in the banana” to help Copernicus communicate with this teacher.

  112. What an A-hole teacher! It was probably a competion grade to boot! You usually ask students to write what they know before you begin a lesson so you know what you need to cover and what is already in their heads. He should have been more specific if he didn’t want creativity. He’s just lucky she wrote something other than “I don’t know.” What neat penmenship!

  113. Maybe it’s not a minus, but rather a stunned face without eyes.

    Stunned in a “I can’t believe this kid is so brilliant” sort of way.

  114. Sigh,..Yet another indicator of the sad state of education in our country.
    HerMelness Speaks , bschooled – Maybe it was a face, but Copernicus ate part of it as a prelude to his vengeance on the teacher?

  115. Teachers take their context way too seriously. Eustice thinks she also should print out the Copernicus page complete with publication date) and re-submit it to her teacher. I hate when teachers refuse to have a sense of humor. He should have at least indicated which Copernicus he meant… just because he’s teaching HISTORY… I mean.. HONESTLY. He could have at least told you it’s the WRONG ONE… Yay for not conforming!

  116. Reminds me of a edgy English Major I went to school with, who was awarded a fellowship award from the Department. She took a class in Poetry from an instructor at Pacific Lutheran University who she didn’t particularly care for, even though she assisted in publishing the annual Poetry booklet.

    For the essay final, the professor walked to the blackboard and wrote, “What makes good poetry?”

    My friend, Anne Halley was first to leave the wrote after dating her essay. To my amazement she quipped to me after I asked what was her answer,

    “A good poet.”

    She was given a failing grade on the essay. But now has a Phd. from Stanford University in English.

  117. That is so damn funny I ALMOST peed my pants. I love this little girl for her guts and innocence. Thanks for sharing and making my day!

  118. I’m forwarding this to my own daughter because reading the Bloggess is one of the many inappropriate ways we bond. This and listening to Fishbone. I’d like to think that this is exactly the sort of paper she would write, herself.

  119. That teacher should be hung by the short hairs growing on her humorless chin, and forced to spend a night in an abandoned house with Copernicus

  120. That minus was DEFINITELY because your name was spelled wrong. Her teacher is probably an avid reader and got offended.

    Here’s what you should do: send an email to the teacher and tell her that you’re not upset over the mistake. That should fix Mariah’s grade.

    By the way, I heard Beyonce is preggers, so I’m calling dibbs on the baby metal chickens. Sheesh, she’s getting a LOT of attention lately.


  121. My dd – 11 – reads your blog and hyperbole and a half all. the. time. I warn her “NEVER say any of this stuff at school, mkay? I could totally see her writing that paper. ROFL.

  122. How sweet.
    I just discovered one of my regular readers is only 15. I’d left some pretty twisted comments at her site the past few months. I probably shoulda felt bad about it, but couldn’t quite.

  123. I’m sure that the minus with a circle around it is to signify a WHOLE NEW form of grading – as the current one wouldn’t do her paper justice.

  124. In high school I turned in some homework that compared some Shakespeare play to the movie The Jerk, which I had just seen for the first time. My teacher was nice enough to not penalize me but did request in red pen that I not do it anymore.

    Mariah – never, ever, lose your sense of humor. Mind you, don’t stop giving a shit, but also, don’t lose your sense of humor!

  125. Today I have decided that while I love you Jenny, I now also adore your readers… I laughed for a long time. 🙂

  126. Herein lies the problem. Copernicus has infiltrated my mind. Much like a German cockroach but a lot cuter and with more leprosy, he’ll survive us all. I love Copie and yet…I’m firm that he shouldn’t scare the children. This is my only standard, I’m a whore in every other way.

  127. The teacher obviously has no imagination. How could he give her a “-” without even asking about Copernicus. Seriously. He’s the one with the issues. I think Copernicus should visit him while he’s sleeping.

  128. Dunno what’s with the comments about the date … it clearly reads 9/8/11 and that was yesterday. I suffer myopia, presbyopia and astigmatism and I could read it! Just let me put on my readers and look again … yup, still says 9/8/11. Y’all confusin’ the slash for a one and seein’ 9/18? Move to the head of the class, Mariah.

  129. I say bombard the teacher with photos of metal chickens, all saying “Bad call, MOFO”

  130. Miss Bloggess! You should send her some of your Valentine’s day cards so she can give them our next Feb. 😀 THEN her teacher will learn!

  131. Love it! Jenny, your fanbase is just as awesome as you are, judging by these comments. And posts like this are seriously making me rethink my stance on never having kids. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing… just an “uh oh” thing!

    I still haven’t recovered from my friendship with another crazy, free-spirited Jenny and totally embarrassing myself around her. Knowing me, I’d probably be humiliating around you if we ever met, haha.

  132. I’m a teacher. She would have gotten an A+ just for making me LOL. Her teacher needs more Bloggess in his life.

  133. So now you’re influencing school children’s homework and history lessons?

    Victor may be right.

    Although, the real Copernicus wasn’t quite as interesting as the homicidal stuffed monkey Copernicus.

    Will you get credit for rewriting our country’s history books on Copernicus?

  134. Minus this “Teach”. Clearly this child should be tested out of the grade she is in and be moved up two grades (minimum) due to her blatant genius. I would like to see the teacher’s paper on Copernicus and then have a “paper off” and see who gets more votes. Democracy at it’s finest.

  135. I believe Mariah has a bright future in college. This is what they are talking about when they say “think outside the box.” She will do well in life.

  136. That is so funny! You are definitely molding the next generation, one child at a time. That could be a T-shirt.

    Purple Stinky Onion

  137. Upon using my amazing mastery of ‘teh intarwebz’, it looks like our fabulous Mariah is a Sophomore in High School (probably around 15 yrs. old). Plenty old enough to be studying at the feet of our illustrious Bloggess 🙂

    Rock on, young smart aleck!

  138. had one of my students turned that in, it would have been an A++! of course, they’re only first graders, so they probably couldn’t read this blog (yet) or write that well (yet)…

  139. This may be the most awesome thing I’ve seen all week. Thanks for a much-needed giggle. And I may have peed a little.

  140. Poor Mariah. She is yet another victim of the public school system who has decided there is only one way to learn. And only one way to spell Blogess. And only one homicidal monkey to learn about, and that was the one that corrupted Darwin into even THINKING about evolution.

  141. Come on. Unless he specified which freaking Copernicus the class was supposed to write about, he should reconsider her grade. Oh, wait, she forgot about the Facebook page…THAT must be why she got a minus.

  142. “I think someone should send that teacher one of Copernicus’ valentines. He obviously needs a hug.”

    Delivered by Beyonce. In “person” (chicken?). At the front door to the classroom.

    “Knock knock, fothermucker.”


  143. Dear Mariah, you just made my day. I am going to steal you and bring you back to third grade. It is way more interesting than world history. I promise. And, I totally would have given you an A+ for being a sassy pants. Obviously strangling hugs have had a much greater impact on society than the whole sun being at the center of the universe thing.

    Bloggess, with two g’s, i now love you ten times more than I did before.

  144. Probably? You are TOO modest. You are mos def wreaking havoc on the youth of today. I only hope my kid is cool enough to write about Copernicus one day. And is not so reliant on spellcheck as to be able to correctly spell the names of the bloggers he reads. Dream big, I always say.

  145. Dear Bloggess — I worship you for your ability to transcribe life so well that perfect strangers pee their pants laughing at what you write. THAT is what I strive for. Alas, I fear I will never attain your skill level, but that won’t deter me!! Keep it up, girl.

  146. Well done, Mariah. Now if only you had written it on a banana…THAT would be “A work”, my friend!

  147. I spent the whole day totally fucked up emotionally because 9/11 is coming and there’s a terror alert in NYC and my kids seem hell bent on scaring the shit out of me every day by doing all kinds of dangerous stuff but today’s post made me laugh in a way that helped erase some of my day’s stresses.

    What a brilliant young lady to write an essay like that. The last sentence, in my humble opinion, is the funniest. Thank you.

  148. As a history teacher I would have totally given her credit for the paper. It’s modern culture and that earns an A any day.

  149. Clearly that teacher was too lazy to use Google. A simple search of Bloggess and Copernicus would have confirmed everything. I think Mariah’s paper is worthy of a spot of honor on the fridge.

  150. I know I am stupid late to the party. But that paper is the best paper ever written ever in the history of eductaion ever.

  151. Girl, I love you…but that post just spanked of your vernacular. I think Mariah is made up and you are the stoner grandma.

  152. Just so you know, I googled, “Copernicus monkey history paper” and you came up as the first link. I’m not sure why anybody would want to google it, but there it is. Well, I did it, but just to make a point. Again, there it is.

  153. Jenny, Winston Churchill said, “History is written by the victors.” I don’t think he meant men like your husband, but people who win something–like a war, or a contest for awesomest blog. Since you are totally victorious, your homicidal monkey deserves to be the Copernicus that school children learn about.

  154. That is truly and incredibly awesome. She is both a scholar and a gentleman. I willl one day shake her hand… or at least A Mariah’s hand, and will pretend it is this Mariah.

  155. If one of my kids turned that in I would probably laugh too hard to finish marking it. I can only assume this is what happened here

  156. The kid was robbed by an unimaginative teacher and that is why this country is turning out clones instead of people with the ability for free thinking.

  157. Your Copernicus post was genius. I am thinking that the teacher knew that to be true, but couldn’t mention it. Probably gave Mariah a minus because Bloggess was misspelled. just a guess, dickie

  158. when you retire i think we can safely say you can pass the torch of bloggess-ness to mariah!

  159. In a better universe the history teacher would have given her an A with this note: “Would have been an A+, but you spelled her name wrong.”

  160. To know that you are able to positively influence a generation is bringing a tear to my eye. My two oldest minions are 12 and 15, and read my blog way too often for their own good. Hopefully, I’m influencing them towards a life filled with sarcasm and fun.

  161. The world is easily divided into two camps….those who “get it” and those who don’t. In over 60 years on this earth I have come to realise that little can be done or even said about those who don’t. Mariah clearly gets it and if I were this teacher I would certainly want to sit down and have Mariah explain her essay…out of pure curiosity!!! But no, “I wanted you to say Copernicus was an astronomer frm the 15th century who discovered retrograde motion…..” blah, blah, blah….Do you see? DO YOU SEE WHAT’S WRONG WITH OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM IN AMERICA!!!!!!??????? Mariah’s Mom needs to get her out of that government school quickly!

  162. Priceless! – Reminds me of the response one of my children gave on a math test. Seems he had no idea how to answer the question so he wrote “I can’t answer this question due to my religious convictions.” The teacher placed a small question mark next to it, but gave him credit for his answer. I can only imagine the conversation in the staff lounge during lunch….

  163. Hee hee hee, I wonder if the teacher was on google and this very blog that night, figuring it all out! if yes, world of wonder for him… if not, this may not be a big score. Either way, the kid rocks!

  164. Mariah! I love Mariah. I wish I’d had the guts to submit assignments like that.

    PS – I told Hubby about this and he didn’t really get it (as usual). But then I showed him a pic of Copernicus and he said “Oh. That monkey *is* fucking EVIL.” We’re getting through to him! Success!

  165. My daughter, at about age 15, either second or third in her class, standing in an elevator at the mall with only two floors: “Mom, why do they even need more than one button—there’s only one other floor?” Sheer brilliance or madness? We, her parents, have never quite been able to figure that one out.

    Love the Bloggess. Love the bad grammar and bad spelling in so many comments on this topic of poor school system (especially the ones from teachers). Love Mariah. Love the fact that my kid graduated third in her class in H.S., then had a solid B average at one of the top private (all girls) colleges in the Southeast, only to ask at the next family gathering after her college graduation, “What’s the Lost Colony?” Wouldn’t have been QUITE so “could have heard a pin drop” type of a moment, if not for the fact that she is North Carolina born and bred.

    Peace, Love and Bobby Sherman.

    That is all.

  166. My best friend kept telling me tidbits about your blog and that I just had to read it. Today I decided I would take a quick peak to kill her badgering. I had all these plans today of everything I had kept putting off, was going to be done. I started my day at 9:00 am and it’s now 1:00 pm and I am totally hooked. I have never laughed so hard in my life! Thanks for the refreshing outlook and now I am going to go shopping for a GIANT metal chicken to leave at her doorstep. HA! HA!

  167. I will totally vote for Mariah for president in 2040, or whenever. I’m pretty sure the teacher was too busy nominating her for a Pulitzer Prize for her vast knowledge and mad writing skillz to finish the A+. (I was going to write “phenominal” but got the squiggly red line, so I went with “mad skillz.”)

    Rock on, Mariah. You are a girl with a vision.

  168. The teacher clearly did not do enough research on his own. He should have Googled Copernicus + Bloggess. Mariah would have got an A+ and some school district award or something.

  169. Am I the only one who is twitching with the desire to reach into the computer screen and dot all of those “i’s”???

  170. Since when is a minus a grade? This teacher is obviously lazy, and I’m sure an excellent candidate for Copernicus to hug/strangle.

  171. I just wanted to share with you that I’m a secondary teacher in Texas and I totally stole your question for Neil Gaiman for my first writing assignment of the year. I wrote the question on the board and required them to answer it using whole sentences and extensive details about how and why either the zombies or the unicorns would win. I used this with students aged 12-17, of all different academic levels, and it was a HUGE success!! They absolutely loved it. I’m seriously thinking about asking my school district to consider your blog an educational resource, and introducing my students to Copernicus, the homicidal stuffed monkey for my next writing assignment. Also, my 18-year-old freshman in college daughter was reeled into your world by your love of not only Neil, but Nathan Fillion, and she is now busily sharing your blog with other people at St. Edward’s in Austin. I call that a win-win. THANKS, Y’ALL!

  172. I think that teacher deserves Copernicus Valentine cards.
    Maybe Copernicus could even send a friend request to the teacher?

  173. See, this is why I homeschool…there’s no room for thinking outside the box in the school system. If my kids gave me this answer, I’d be on the floor. And that always gets bonus points.

  174. Oh. My. Gosh! I AM a teacher and if a student handed this in they would get like 100 bonus points. A++++++++++++
    That teacher SHOULD have been more specific. World History doesn’t just have to do with ancient times, but things that are happening all over the WORLD. DUH! Isn’t a past blog considered “World History”?

  175. See the problem is that teachers need to tell students what’s right with their compositions as much as they need to tell them what’s wrong. I may be off base here, but I think that’s the internatinal symbol for ‘Non Sequitur’, in other words … you win! 🙂 Bravo!

  176. And this is why I love being a teacher. Because I would have given her an A++ just for knowing who you are. That teacher obviously needs to spend more time online and less time in the history books.

  177. Honestly, he really SHOULD have specified. Besides, anyone would rather write about Copernicus the homicidal monkey more than the human Copernicus.

  178. I can only hope that my 4 year old, who just started Junior Kindergarten last week, will be this resourceful when she is as old as Mariah.
    On another note I have to let my husband know that it is never a good idea to let your wife cook dinner if she has been drinking.

  179. and this is what we pay taxes for? Uneducated, insensitive TEACHERS??? I don’t care if you have tenure teach, if you don’t give Mariah an immediate A+ for her creative and correct answer, you should be fired. Mariah, you ROCK. I may need a Mariah T shirt !!!!

  180. Hahaha for starters, I love that mariah is bold enough to so this! This story made my day.
    Second I really like how you link names, phrases, and comments you make in your blog to other posts.
    Such as liking mariahs name to her own blog, and copernicus to his photo. That is a great way to help readers understand comments you make about the past or to shwo them what it is you are talking about!

  181. As a high school teacher myself, I can assure you I do my part to give a pat on the back to any student exhibiting creativity and a good sense of humor, and even sometimes a dash of (appropriate) homicidal reference. I hope Mariah continues to submit material related to your posts, so the teacher will discover the hilarity of your blog and be a better role model for Mariah. If said teacher discovers your blog and continues marking Mariah down, then I hope Mariah continues her submissions, and encourages her classmates to do so as well, in the hopes that the teacher will come around or become so bat shit crazy she leaves the profession. Without a sense of humor, teaching is hell.

  182. It may have been Mariah’s own fault that she got a minus because she didn’t make sure she had the correct Copernicus (or spelled your name correctly whichever the case may be) but you’re still going to hell for corrupting little children. It’s either you or the monkey that’s going. I’m just saying.

  183. So freaking fabulous. But. If that kid is reading this at her young, tender age, she’s gonna need some therapy. Or a very strong man in her future. I want to meet her mom, she’s likely a bad ass and a good drinking freind to have.

  184. I decided to “test” my husband. He was busy on his iPad, probably harassing William Shatner on Twitter or something. I was unloading the dishwasher and decided to make some small talk, when I randomly interjected “come here, and smell my eyeballs”. He didn’t even glance up from the iPad and just said “ok. Let me finish this, first.” I asked if he thought the request was weird, and he said “After 4 years of marriage to you, nothing seems odd. That seems like a perfectly normal request.” I’m not sure if this is an epic win, or an epic fail.

  185. Dear Miss Bloggess,

    I just wanted you to know that I pimped you on my blog today. (not that you need it) Today, as my imaginative bestie, we are going shopping and getting coffee. this weekend we are having a slumber party.

  186. this actually makes me feel good about my ability to do homework with my monkeys. suddenly I feel a lot more qualified. thanks for that

  187. I love it!

    Mariah should challenge the grade. She has a great case: Obviously the teacher was not clear as to which Copernicus they were referring. Spelling aside, she did a bang-up job on relaying what we all know about Copernicus (THM).

  188. Mariah should DEFINITELY get extra credit from her teacher for landing in a blog post that is read by something like 50K people monthly. That’s pretty darn impressive! She’ll also get all “A’s” in reading comprehension :o)

  189. That is too fabulous! I think Mariah deserves an A++

    I bet the teacher had fun discussions with co-workers over that paper!

  190. Don’t worry, she’s not as young as you think she is. I’m sure she’s probably from the future and just thinking that this would make an awesome post, she came back from the year 2028 in order to submit this paper to her teacher but unfortunately dated it a week and a half AFTER you posted it on your blog. I’m on to you, Mariah.

  191. That’s the sweetest damn thing I’ve seen in awhile! You must be so incredibly proud of her…as she obviously is of you.

  192. I really can’t add anything worthy here. Yes, Mariah needs some Copernicus cards to haunt the teacher for the rest of the year. . . if he survives that long. And Comments 50 and 224 about sum it up for me.

  193. There’s a link to Mariah’s blog in the OP. Y’all should definitely check the kid out.

  194. Well, I thought that was who Copernicus was, you put all thought of the original right out of my mind with all the talk about that stuffed monkey and his antics.
    BTW, you’ve inspired me to start a new writing blog instead of just concentrating on my poetry. Poor Shannon says now she’ll have to be a part of the blogosphere just like Victor, even without writing in it. …..bwahahaha

  195. Mariah gets points for writing to you in your own style.

    And I could use a daily dose of Bloggess, so could you please write more!

    Thank you.

  196. You know her teacher totally loved it but can’t admit to her that he reads you so he had to just give the ambiguous minus as a grade.

  197. lol, well maybe she was docked for not sighting her sources. You they are cracking down on that stuff. Like you said, the devil is in the details.

  198. The awesomeness of this is beyond words. I am going to have to start letting my kids read your blog as soon as they can read so that when they have to write about who Beyonce is they can write about a giant metal chicken who says “knock knock motherfucker.”

  199. This is so pants wettingly funny! I want the whole thing read out as part of the Eulogy at my funeral ….ohhhh to see the quizzical looks …or sage nods of agreement. All hail Copernicus!

  200. Also, a period she be on the outside of quotation marks, and there should be a bibiliography page. I agree with grade.


  201. Um, obviously that should have been an A+. You should have a word with the teacher to be clearer in directions next time.

  202. I think (hope, fingers crossed, salt over the shoulder) I’m raising two Mariah-like kids. Now if only I could find a babysitter like her, I could seal the deal – and their fate. Mariah, great paper. And another dose of awesomeness from TheBloggess gets me through the day. Gx

  203. His made my freaking day. Ah nothing like it. At my kids school it prob would have received an A.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate,

  204. I wish Mariah was one of my students! She’d totally get an A, if only for her insight about more specific directions. 🙂

  205. Tonight I was helping my nephew do his homework. His assignment: come up with a form of writing that starts with each letter of the alphabet. (i.e. B- Book, D-Directions, M-Magazine…)

    For Z? Zombie Apocalypse Survival Handbook. I thought you would approve. I had to argue with him that it was indeed a real thing, that the Zombie Apocalypse is all the rage these days.

  206. Oh. My. Bloggess. I knew you were shaping the mind of a 35 yr old woman from Houston, but this one takes the Copernicus cake. Perhaps you should consider a side job as a teacher. TheHighSchoolForThePerformingAndVisualArts might love to have a Bloggess 101 class.

  207. I am about to say the most cliche thing ever and I don’t care I just can’t hold it back. I LOVE YOUR FUCKING BLOG! You are hilarious!! I love it ~ finally someone who REALLY puts it out there. Newest follower!!

  208. Freya,
    I don’t remember. What I do remember is that I was discussing the notion of irony (maybe it was Hamlet? Romeo and Juliet? almost any Shakespeare play ever?) and talked about how, when Navin worked at the gas station, he wore a pristine white uniform which never had a speck of dirt on it. So, i was making a proper comparison and understanding the meaning of irony, thus, wasn’t docked any points for it. Good times.

  209. When my 17yo son told me last year (when he was 16) that he wanted to write satire for a living, I directed him to your blog and told him to read through it. Some time toward the end of the school year, I received a call from his English teacher who was horrified by a paper he had written. My son may or may not have used the word “stabbed” in a context that was not “I stepped on a nail and it stabbed me in the foot.” Yeah. It was the other kind of stabbed. The kind that sets off the “your child needs therapy” red flag. It didn’t help matters any that I went into a fit of laughter when she read the story to me. It set off the “Oh my goodness, his mother needs therapy too” red flag. The teachers are just jealous that you have a book coming out and they don’t.

  210. Lol! Good one. : -) Bless Mariah’s heart. What grade is she in? I especially like, “…I’m guessing this is because my paper was so spot on he was too astonished to finish the A+ he was writing…” Xactly.

  211. Had I been the teacher, and had I not known what she was talking about, I would have read the blog that night, then given her that A+…but at the same time, asked her to write something about the other Copernicus…just to round out her education!

  212. So it’s not me that did this, but damn- this little bitch is 1. awesome, 2. has an awesome name, because 3. she’s *fucking* awesome.

  213. This girl is obviously brilliant and needs to be passed on to the next grade immediately because this particular teacher is only keeping her down.

  214. I wish there were more children like this, I fear I wont find a kid to force my son to become friends with the way we’re going. Kids are boring, rude and uninspired these days. Good for you Mariah, you are the future of famous internet writers whose blogs I will stalk.

  215. I would get in so much trouble if this kid was in my class…because I would have to give her some kind of points for it. HAVE TO

Leave a Reply