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The one big win.

The aftermath of my father passing away inevitably involved my mom selling their house and moving into a smaller place of her own.  This process led to the often reluctant clearing out of old items from every nook and cranny in that house (60 years of marriage leads to the accumulation of a lot of stuff), and the eventual discovery of the box of every assignment, story, art project, report card, and school-related everything.  Most of it ended up getting tossed because I'm not that sentimental about school things but my 8th grade science fair medal went on the small keep pile and I'll tell you why. 

My 8th grade science teacher was a jerk, the sort of guy who didn't just yell or discipline his students, but would outright bully them. He hated the project my partner and I made (something about growing plants through hyrdroponics in the absence of usable topsoil) - and not even on the basis of the actual information; mostly just that our stupid posterboard wasn't neat eno…

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