I started the sixth grade upstairs, above the stage, at the old Calvert School. At mid-year, we moved into a new classroom, across from the school cafeteria that had just been completed. It was awesome, big windows, lots of room, much different from the small classroom on the second floor. My teacher was Mrs. Collie, a sweet soul, a veteran teacher who loved kids and made the sixth-grade fun.
One day Mrs. Collie, at the beginning of class, called for homework to be passed to the front. I immediately turned and asked Joe Polansky, what homework is she talking about? The math homework, only five problems, then Joe asked the question—“Didn’t you do it”? “No, I forgot, didn’t remember the assignment”. “Here”, Joe said as he slipped his paper to me. I turned and started copying, just when I finished number five, Mrs. Collie, started down our row. I panicked—-folded my completed paper, and took Joe’s and formed a small paper ball in my hand, smiled at Mrs. Collie as she passed by, then turned and tossed the ball to Joe. His eyes were the size of half dollars, the expression on his face was priceless. Joe took his paper, straightened it out best he could, then passed it back to me to pass forward.
The next day Mrs. Collier returned the homework papers, both of us got a 100, and Joe got a note, in red, that “neatness was important too.” I was just glad that Joe didn’t kill me!