I don’t like math. I’m bad at it even though my grades are pretty good. I will never go into business, I can feel that. I only hope my parents don’t try to apprentice me to a businessman! I would run away, and then what would they have? But have I said enough here about Autumn? I went on a lot about snow. That’ll get me a good grade on my report card this quarter. Grades are a stupid invention. In singing I get an A and I don’t make a single sound. How does that happen? It would be better if they gave us apples instead of grades. But then it’s true they would have to hand out way too many apples. Oh!
—from “Autumn,” one of a series of essays by fictional boy, Fritz Kocher, in Robert Walser’s A Schoolboy’s Diary. Schools are in session (or about to go in session) all over the country now and, well—we feel you, Fritz. We feel you. Apples all around!
[The image was drawn by Robert Walser’s brother, Karl, and is also used as the cover art for the Walser favorite, Jakob von Gunten.]