Zimmer, Paul. "Zimmer in Grade School.”

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Scarlet Failures
In the poem, “Zimmer in Grade School”, by Paul Zimmer, the speaker talks about the unhappy memories of his childhood. He even wondered why he was born, he feared God, school, and his school mates. The speaker states, “My parents wrung their loving hands. / My guardian angel wept constantly.” (11). He never seem to get things right even as an adult. In grade school, I never got things right the first time either. There was always a language barrier because English was not my first language. I remember having those unpleasant experiences and fears just like the speaker had had in grade school. One can even argue that the fears and lack of English helped shape me into the kind of person that you see today. The only good thing tat I was good at in grade school was trying to pretend that I knew everything already when really I did not know that much and understood very little. The speaker quote, “My worst mistakes were at/ The blackboard for Jesus and all/ The saints to see.” (12). My teachers would ask me, “ok Seng, do you understand how to do the math problems now?”, and I would nod but the truth was that I did not know. I realized that they, my teachers, would leave me alone if they thought that I knew what I was doing, hence that would draw the attention away from me. It was always the confrontation at the blackboard that would always gave me away to my teachers that obviously I lied. I did not feared God because I knew he would understand why I did what I did and forgave me for lying, but I felt as if the rest of the world was looking down at me. My classmates, my teachers, and my friends can now see how much of a failure I was as I try to keep calm and divert from their stares. The embarrassing proof of failure did not just ended at the black board because at the end of each semester, report cards were handed out to every student. My parents always compared my C’s and B’s to my sister’s straight A’s. My sister, Ma,...
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