A Letter to My 7th grade Science Teacher Regarding Black Holes

Dear Ms. Harper,

If you’ve followed the news at all this past month then you have no doubt heard of Stephen Hawking’s recent revision to the scientific view of black holes, to wit: event horizons do not exist and quantum theory does have something to say about the matter.

You have no idea what I’m talking about, do you? Shame on you Ms. Harper. I anticipated this and so please find enclosed one (1) copy of my 7th grade science class final project: “Black Holes: Too Early to Tell” (with your original marking still intact).

Let’s cut to the chase Ms. Harper; you gave me an ‘F’—a bold move in its own right, but as if that wasn’t enough, you had the gall to populate the margins of the page with sarcastic red-ink jabs such as “settled science” and “oh yeah, then where does the light go, genius?”

Upon reflection, I think you’ll agree Ms. Harper that nobody, least of all someone in your position of influence, should ever throw around the term “settled science” without a one-hundred percent certainty on the level of 2 + 2 = 4 that it won’t come back to bite you on the toosh. Nobody, Ms. Harper. Nobody.

The truth Ms. Harper is that my ‘wait and see’ approach has been vindicated some twenty (20) years later. Given your slavish devotion to faith in the ‘scientific consensus,’ perhaps you should be teaching religion instead of 7th grade science, you dolt.


Isn’t this all water under the bridge? If only that were so.

That F became my own personal Scarlet Letter (literally) and was enough of a mark against me that I did not test into the Lane Tech magnet school of Chicago and instead had to wade my way through of the Chicago Public School (CPS) system, an experience that would have been Kafkesque enough in its own right if it hadn’t led to a brief falling-in with the ‘wrong crowd,’ which in turn led to a brief-but-insurmountable downturn in my academic performance in the 10th grade.

What once could have been spun as a minor blip had now become a pattern, a pattern that Ivy League admissions officers were not keen to ignore. Despite a debate-team tenure that was the stuff of movies and an SAT score two (2) standard deviations above the norm, my best option for post-secondary edification was The University of Illinois—Champagne Urbana.

Nothing to be ashamed of, but let’s be honest—if I was going to make a name for myself in Biglaw, I was falling behind the pack, the very thought of which led to a 6-month bout of depression and a really nasty rash triggered by an allergic reaction to Lexapro. Not good for one’s sex life as I’m sure you can imagine, Ms. Harper. For brevity’s sake, I’ll just say that I ended up at what law-school aspirants refer to as a ‘Third-tier Toilet School’ (TTT).

All of this meaning that I am now a non-partner-track attorney at the competent-if-not-venerated law firm of Quigly, Quigly, and Meyers (NYC)—no small feat after spending my first three (3) post-JD years alternating between paralegal temping and a less-humiliating-than-you-would-imagine gig as an [anachronistic] Dinosaur character at a Paleolithic-themed dining establishment in Times Square.

Apart from the psychic wounds of sustained and acute humiliation, the whole thing cost me a pretty big chunk of change w/r/t lifetime earnings, to wit: seven (7) million smackaroos. That’s right, $7,000,000 that I missed out on due to this little mess you caused as a result of your erroneous, pig-headed, and let’s be honest, outright anti-scientific grade of F on my 7th grade science paper titled “Black Holes: Too Early to Tell.”

Please make the check payable to “Jeffrey M. Price, Esq.”


Jeffrey M. Price, Esq.


ENCLOSED: archived copy of “Black Holes: Too Early to Tell,” Jeffrey M. Price, 1994.

ENCLOSED: SASE for mailing payment.