Back in fifth grade, I was a jackass. I deserved to get picked on, frankly. But I thought it was a good idea, you know?

The teacher was having a difficult time keeping us in line. Kids would misbehave, she'd yell, but nothing would get done. No behavior would change. And it frustrated the hell out of me, because I was that nerdy kid who was there to learn, people.

I innocently suggested to her that various infractions could incur the penalty of copying a number of pages from the dictionary. Word for word, symbol for symbol. That way, kids would stay out of trouble and might learn something new. I don't remember where I got the idea -- something I saw on Nickelodeon, I'm sure.

She kind of blew me off at first, distracted with some child trying to brain another with a world globe. But sure enough, not a week later, I started seeing kids with heavy books at their desks grumbling quietly and scribbling furiously on wide ruled paper.

Though I don't think any of the kids knew I had fomented this terrible idea in our estimable teacher's brain, I knew only sorrow and perdition could result. Sure enough, after engaging in some little bit of mischief in class, I found myself with a cramped hand barely holding onto a chewed, splintered, stubby Number Two pencil, transcribing the pronunciation and definition of riposte.

It's official. I was that guy. And I am so very, very sorry.