The Morning File / Students of America: Do not plagiarize this column

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New results from a test called the "Nation's Report Card" indicate barely one-fourth of America's eighth-grade and 12th-grade students have solid writing skills, based on their ability to write well-organized essays with proper grammar.

We quarrel with these findings.

Among debris at the city landfill, where we were on an expedition searching for old Honus Wagner baseball cards, we found the following essay from a young Pittsburgher that somehow hadn't made it to the people reviewing the test:

Why does yinz people keep on testing us like this? It seems like every day that I go to this hear school, somebody is giving us another of these [expletive deleted] standirdized tests. Whatever happened to just reading a good book like "Moby Dick" or "Let's Kill This Mockingbird" and talking about it with the teecher?

I dont understand this American obscesssion with testing hour writing, when everyone knows us young people havent had to write anything for real since, like, Hilery Clinton was president.

I can text u better than anyone. I can tweet like nobody's bizness. My facebook page rox. Ain't this more important in the modern error than being able to write some old school stuff like I'm some later-day F. Scotch Fitzgerald or Ernest Hummingbird?

My spell-chekker on the computor doesnt seem to be working right now, by the way. I just want whoever is gradeing this to be awear of that.

You want me to write an essay? 4 real? Like if I'm profishent in that, how is that going to help me get a job, make lots of money and maybe even become president of these here United States. I bet President Obamma never has to write no esay. He has people doing it for him, for sure. So what's the point, tell me?

I have lots of many skills -- I can drive, I can ATM, I can make songs and videos on my laptop, so it's not like I need writing to get to be ahead anywhere. I know how to add and subtrack. My math is sharp and at.

I once wrote an essay about Pitsburg and all the old people here who don't give any respeck to the young people. They act like they own the place and made all these rules that cant not never be changed, like the way kids should dress in public. I am sorry, but young folks don't want to dress and act the way old people do. So wake up bout that.

Another time a teecher had us write something about what we'd been doing with the summer before we got back to school. I thought she was getting too much into my bisness by asking that. Why does she need to know bout I and mine persanol time? Maybe some of the thing I'd been doing would freak her out to know about. Maybe she should tell me all her persanol bizness first, and then I'll think about what I mite to tell her.

The plane fact is I don't like to write. Maybe you can tell. It's hard, with so many [expletive deleted] rules. I could be a pote maybe, because potes can write in whatever ways they feel like, so long as there's a lot of rhime to it. I like that, making up my own rules bout punkuashen, speling and the like of that.

It's hard to see how anyone cares much like this about writing anyway, because all the bookstores I ever heard of seem so closed now. No body I know reads a news paper. On the Internet peeple just ekspress themself the way they feel like, which is how it should be.

I am sorry if this is not the tipe of essay you were ekspecting someone like mine self to write, but I didn't really come to school today ekspecting this type of signment. I was hopping for just some relaxing time with my head down in study hall, because I didn't get not much sleep last night. Why do grown ups make kids get up so early for school anyways? That's like gruel and unusual punishment.

Anyway, that's all I have to say for this esay. I hope you give it a good revu on behalf of America's youth. And if not, you know what you can do, cuz the hole thing seems to pointless to me anyway.


Gary Rotstein: or 412-263-1255. First Published September 17, 2012 4:00 AM


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