I narrowly escaped a First Grade identity theft CATASTROPHE today!
My illustrious, gifted and slobbery first grade class have been writing stories (for example, sometimes about a mysterious place known only as "The Wild") for a district wide "Talented Young Writers" competition. As part of this competition, they are required to write an "About the Author" page.
As I was attempting to explain what constitutes an About the Author page, the following conversation broke out between the class and I (Or should it be "myself and the class? Really, should I be allowed to teach grammar to young kids?!):
Girl: So you want us to put stuff about ourselves on here?
Mr. Cheeseboy: Yep. (Thinking: "Isn't that what we just talked about for the last half hour?)
Girl: Like what again?
Mr. Cheeseboy: We discussed that, Miss "girl student of unnamed distinction". You need to write your full name, where you live, how many brothers and sisters you have, things you like to do... stuff like that.
Girl: I know, but my mom said I should never give anyone my PERSONAL INFORMATION!
Mr. Cheeseboy: [laughing] You don't need to worry. No one will see these.
Girl: I thought you said that these were going to be in a contest?
Mr. Cheeseboy: They are. But you really don't need to worry. It will be okay.
Boy speaks up: Yeah, because my mom said you are only not supposed to give out information "in line".
Mr. Cheeseboy: In line?
Boy: Yeah, on the computer.
Mr. Cheeseboy: Well, you don't need to worry because these won't be on the computer.
Different Girl: Didn't you say that we would be typing them on the computer when we are done?
Mr. Cheeseboy: Yes, but we won't put them on the internet.
Different Boy: If it's on the computer, then it is on the internet.
Mr. Cheeseboy: Not really. But we don't need to worry about that because it is okay because we can trust the people that will be reading your stories.
First Girl: Do you know them?
Mr. Cheeseboy: No.
Girl: My mom says you are not supposed to trust strangers with your personal information. (She could not stop saying "personal information". Her mother must totally ingrained this in her brain.)
Mr. Cheeseboy: Yes, but I will be trusting them, not you. So don't worry.
Girl: Well, I don't want the strangers to see my personal information.
Mr. Cheeseboy: Well, just don't put anything REALLY important. Just write what kind of animal you like or your favorite color and stuff like that.
Girl: Is that stuff 'personal information'?
Mr. Cheeseboy: I'm going to say no, not really.
Girl: But my favorite animal... It IS IMPORTANT!
Mr. Cheeseboy: - sigh - [mixed with laughter] Well, what DO you want to put on your "About the Author" page?
Girl: Just my picture. Not my name or anything. So the strangers won't know who I am.
Mr. Cheeseboy: But they will know what you look like, right?
Girl: Well, in my picture, I will wear a brown wig. (She is blond)
Mr. Cheeseboy: Alright fine. Good plan.
The end. Identity theft narrowly escaped.
- phew -