By Josh Elmer
In Ithaca, New York Robert Meissner has finally found the academic success he has been striving for, receiving his first “A” in a “long time” says friend Larry Stephens. Both Meissner and Stephens are in Mrs. Englebert’s English class, focusing on American Literature. It was an essay on J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which Robert so expertly crafted.
Stephens, one of Meissner’s peers, sits next to Meissner in Mrs. Englebert’s, English class. When he saw the grade Stephens’ became ecstatic, but reports Meissner remained humble.
“He didn’t smile. He must have been shocked. But I was like ‘Yo man. You nailed it!’ Then I gave him a high- five.”
Meissner, reported to be a “really good boy,” but just not the most successful student. A solid “C+” has been Robert’s standard report card grade for the last few years, after a steady decline after kindergarten. Robert has acknowledged his rocky academic path and cites a poor school system and the lack of a stable father figure resulting in a growing immaturity problem for his academic struggles.
“They don’t have French bread pizza.” Robert said about the inferior cafeteria system. “My teachers last year and the past couple have been really boooring [sic]. This year Mrs. E got me thinking about what I was writing.”
Mrs. Englebert, more affectionately referred to as Mrs. E, is a new teacher in Ithaca, and has used a traditional textual analysis approach to her English class. She says she wants her students
to “use the text as evidence for their ideas.”
Harvey Singlemen, a school administrator, says about the bright young educator: “She really captivates the youngsters’ minds. Not to mention she’s easy on the eyes. The boys usually have a better time with a pretty young teacher.”
“She’s pretty, but I don’t trust girls, they steal your money.” Robert said about Singleman’s comments about Mrs. Englebert’s good looks. “I like school now. It’s not so boooring [sic].”
Mrs. Englebert has really taken a liking to young Robert. “I think Robert, like all my students, is a talented bright young man. That’s the best part about our society, these kids are our future, and they can do anything they want.”
When Mrs. Meissner, Robert’s single mother, found out about the good news she hastily placed the exam on the Frigidaire refrigerator, at eye-level, the most coveted spot, usually reserved for reminders and bills that need paying.
“I was really proud of him,” Mrs. Meissner said. “I knew he could do it. He’s finally living up to his potential.”
Mrs. Meissner was so pleased they went out to Perry’s to celebrate Robert’s good work and Robert didn’t spill any on his shirt. After the ice cream, Robert and his mother decided to spend a nice evening in, watching movies.
“I’m really glad that my mom could come up to college to celebrate with me.” Robert said about his evening celebration.
Mrs. Meissner quickly responded to her son’s gratitude: “Are you kidding? I wouldn’t miss this for the world.”
When asked about his paper grade Robert said, “It was my third time reading Harry Potter. You know what they say. Third time’s the charm.”
Josh Elmer is a senior cinema and photography major. E-mail him at [email protected].