Even before Jobs started elementary school, his mother had taught him how to read.
This, however, led to some problems once he got to school.
“I was kind of bored for the first few years, so I occupied myself by getting into trouble.”
It also soon became clear that Jobs, by both nature and nurture, was not disposed to accept authority.
“I encountered authority of a different kind than I had ever encountered before, and I did not like it. And they really almost got me.
They came close to really beating any curiosity out of me.”
His school, Monta Loma Elementary, was a series of low-slung 1950s buildings four blocks from his house.
He countered his boredom by playing pranks.
“I had a good friend named Rick Ferrentino, and we’d get into all sorts of trouble,” he recalled.
“Like we made little posters announcing ‘Bring Your Pet to School Day.’ It was crazy, with dogs chasing cats all over, and the teachers were beside themselves.”
Another time they convinced some kids to tell them the combination numbers for their bike locks.
“Then we went outside and switched all of the locks, and nobody could get their bikes. It took them until late that night to straighten things out.”
When he was in third grade, the pranks became a bit more dangerous.
“One time we set off an explosive under the chair of our teacher, Mrs. Thurman. We gave her a nervous twitch.”
Not surprisingly, he was sent home two or three times before he finished third grade.
By then, however, his father had begun to treat him as special, and in his calm but firm manner he made it clear that he expected the school to do the same.
“Look, it’s not his fault,” Paul Jobs told the teachers, his son recalled. “If you can’t keep him interested, it’s your fault.”
His parents never punished him for his transgressions at school.
“My father’s father was an alcoholic and whipped him with a belt, but I’m not sure if I ever got spanked.”
Both of his parents, he added, “knew the school was at fault for trying to make me memorize stupid stuff rather than stimulating me.”
He was already starting to show the admixture of sensitivity and insensitivity, bristliness and detachment, that would mark him for the rest of his life.
When it came time for him to go into fourth grade, the school decided it was best to put Jobs and Ferrentino into separate classes.
The teacher for the advanced class was a spunky woman named Imogene Hill, known as “Teddy,” and she became, Jobs said, “one of the saints of my life.”
After watching him for a couple of weeks, she figured that the best way to handle him was to bribe him.
“After school one day, she gave me this workbook with math problems in it, and she said, ‘I want you to take it home and do this.’
And I thought, ‘Are you nuts?’ And then she pulled out one of these giant lollipops that seemed as big as the world.
And she said, ‘When you’re done with it, if you get it mostly right, I will give you this and five dollars.’ And I handed it back within two days.”
她说，你把题目做完之后，如果大多数都做对了，我就 把这个 给你，再送你5美元。我用了不到两天就做完交给她了。”
After a few months, he no longer required the bribes.
“I just wanted to learn and to please her.”