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My seventh grade math teach, Miss Patten, had the class exchange homework papers so we could grade each others papers as she read the answers. After grading the papers and returning them to their authors, we were each required to read out our letter grade as she called our names. The score thus read was entered into she grade book. I had failed that particular assignment, and received an "x" as my score. However, I was to embarrassed to announce my real score, but to ashamed to announce anything else. So I compromised: I said, "x"; but I said it in such a way as to emphasize the "a" part of it, and minimize the "cks" part.

I never looked in her book, but I still wonder, “Was that an ‘A’ or an ‘X’?”

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