Ethan told us this funny story that happened to him yesterday (silly birthday boy). He prefaced it by saying "You know when you find out something that you thought you knew but then you find out you've been wrong the whole time? (like Joseph's "How do you spell Lincoln" moment) Well, that happened to me today..." Then he shared this story.
He was in his history class, and they were given a piece of paper of the Star Spangled Banner. They had to fill in all the blanks that were scattered all over the paper. The first 5 students to fill it out got a starburst candy so pressure was on, Ethan really wanted a starburst. He knew the song very well and sang it in his head as he filled in all the blanks. He filled out the paper very quickly, yes! He was the first one to go up and give it to Mr. Arnell for his approval. He had to look it over before he could give the candy. Mr. Arnell looked at the first line and just started laughing, shook his head, still smiling, and gave it back, he couldn't even bring himself to explain why it was wrong... "No, I can't..." and he just laughed. Ethan didn't quite understand his reaction and went back to his desk to look it over. Ethan thought that since he filled it out very quickly, his handwriting probably wasn't very legible. He corrected a few words that he thought might be hard to read, gave it a look over again, and went up to turn it in again. 2 people had gotten starbursts. Mr. Arnell took one glance, laughed, and gave it back, not saying anything this time, just laughing. Ethan went back to his desk quite perplexed. A few kids had gotten starbursts and Ethan was running out of time. Ethan couldn't understand what the problem was. He had known this song all his life. He read his paper quietly to himself..."O' Jose can you see, by the dawns early light, what so proudly we hailed..." He shook his head, dumbfounded. How in the world was this wrong? He went up again and asked Mr. Arnell, determined to know his flaw. "Is my handwriting still bad?" Ethan asked. Mr. Arnell looked at the paper, then looked at Ethan. "Jose?!" He laughed again. "What?" Ethan said. Mr. Arnell laughed some more. "It's just funny" he said. Ethan looked at him confused and thought for a second. He sat down and turned to his friend to ask him for help. "What?!" His friend said, very surprised. "Come on Ethan, I thought you were smart?!" Ethan was now very confused. He looked at the Jose on his paper, and then it hit him. "Is it spelled with an "H"?" Ethan asked. His friend was laughing hard now, but seemed concerned that Ethan was still confused. He thought of all the possible things that could go in the place of Jose. All he came up with, was Hose. It took him a minute more, but he got it. He felt so stupid, and even though the race for candy was over, he needed Mr. Arnell to understand that he had solved the mystery. He shouted, "Mr. Arnell, its not Jose, its O' Say! I figured it out!" He felt stupid.
Mr. Arnell pulled up the Star Spangled Banner on the overhead. He pulled out his pointer stick and went to the overhead where the words of the Star Spangled banner were now displayed for all to see. He pointed to the first two words and started to laugh again, paused to compose himself, and then began to review with the class... "Now the first two words are NOT some Hispanic person..it is O' say." and he laughed again. Ethan's friend who knew it was him said "Ethan..." a little loudly yet under his breath. Mr. Arnell continued on and Ethan felt quite silly for the rest of the day. When he got to the other O' say part he said, "...now there's that hispanic person again..." So I thought that was about the funniest thing I've heard all week. When I asked Ethan why he thought Jose made sense, he explained "...thats just how i've known it all my life, i've never questioned it..." And I bet for all of Mr. Arnell's years of teaching that that might have been a first! "O Jose, can you see..." Mr. Francis Scott Key was talking to his brother, Jose, about the flag, right? Hey, it's possible!