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For the first four years of my education, I was a lackadaisical student. My average grades horrified my family of high achievers.

Moaning about the tongue lashing I was in for after receiving a particularly dismal second-grade report card, my best friend suggested we just change up a mark or two. I naïve enough tat this had never occurred to me. She, being worldlier than I, offered to help. Together we went to her house where she scrounged around her dad’s desk for a special eraser and a fine-tipped ink pen. Scouring the offending card for the easiest mark to alter, we settled on a check mark. Our school’s report card system employed grades of I, II, III, IV, and V, for the main subjects. Under each subject were a list of behaviors that could be marked with a √ to signify that the grade was influenced by the student’s deficiency in this area. Neither my friend nor I were sophisticated enough to understand this technicality. It so happened that one of the √s on my offending report card was rather lightly inked, so we chose that marking to adjust into a I.

The shit rightfully hit the fan when I got home. I thought getting bad grades caused trouble, but compared to the level of punishment that cheating and lying induced, bad-grade-trouble was a mere pothole in the road. That event nipped my cheating career in the bud.

When I learned that Attorney General, Merrick Garland, has received online death threats over the confiscation of national documents that may have been illegally removed from the White House and insecurely stored at a playground for the ultra-rich, and that the National Archives and Records Administration has become the “target of threats and vitriol and been accused of corruption and conspiring against the former President,” I couldn’t help think that there’s a cadre of adults in America who missed out on crucial lessons about honor and responsibility that they should have learned in grammar school. Strict grounding plus at least six months of the most onerous household chores would be a good starting point to catalyze maturation.