In the Third Grade I got a quiz back with one answer marked wrong. I could have just accepted the solid 90-percent I earned, but I knew all my answers were correct. When I told this to my teacher and she wouldn't change my grade, my mother sent me to school the next day with our huge animal encyclopedia to prove I was right.
That was cool.
We had been learning that animals who primarily eat plants are called herbivores, those who primarily eat other animals are carnivores, and those who eat a lot of both are considered “omnivores.”
After these lessons we had a quiz that asked 10 questions, including which of these categories bears were in. I had known for years what bears eat because my mother took us camping every summer in Yosemite National Park, where the Rangers constantly warned us to never leave anything edible in our tents since bears loved all the same snacks we did, even candy. So I circled “omnivores” for bears.
But my teacher marked that answer wrong, giving me only 9 points out of 10. When I told her that I should have gotten them all right because bears were, in fact, omnivores, she showed me her answer key, which identified bears as carnivores.
When I told my mother what happened, she was livid. And had me to take our huge animal encyclopedia to school the next day to show my teacher that bears were, in fact, omnivores.
I remember feeling proud of myself and my newly earned 100-percent as I walked back to my desk, but even more proud of my mother. Proud of how smart she was, and proud that she cared just as much about my schoolwork as I did.
|Photos by Denise Mandeville|
A note on the photos for this post: They were taken by my friend Denise, who asked one of her granddaughters to pose for them with the big animal encyclopedia her father grew up with. Her granddaughter is about the age I was at the time, and has the same color hair I did, so she was the perfect model, and I am very grateful for their help.