We’ll call him Paul. His name isn’t really Paul. But the thing is, this story is kind of… sensitive. So I’m changing the names to protect the innocent.
Or the not-so-innocent…
Paul and I were sitting in class. The thing about this class is that it’s not exactly Paul’s best. Like he’ll struggle on stuff we covered back in, say, November.
Next to Paul sits Cole. (His name’s not really Cole, of course.) Cole is the class genius. You know the type. In every class there’s one kid who has the entire textbook front-to-back memorized. The kid who has his hand up when the teacher’s still halfway through the question. That’s Cole.
This particular day we were taking a little quiz. Nothing too special. And, as usual, Cole’s done first. He is done in two minutes flat. He’s probably calling Guinness afterwards.
Of course, the only thing Paul has written on his quiz is his name. Like I said, this class isn’t exactly his best.
So Cole decides he needs to go to the bathroom. The thing about this classroom is that the architects who designed our school decided to put our room at the farthest possible location from every bathroom in the building. So in this class you don’t just go to the bathroom. It’s quite an ordeal. You could get your thirty minutes of Fitness Log exercise from this. People often return from the bathroom dying from exhaustion and hunger. It would be more convenient just to go in your pants.
Now, let’s take a second to analyze Paul’s predicament. He’s in a class that he sucks in, taking a quiz that might as well be written in Egyptian hieroglyphics. Next to him is a completed quiz with all the answers on it, whose owner is currently en route to the toilet and probably won’t be back until it’s time for him to go to high school. You guys should be recognizing that this represents a perfect opportunity for Paul.
And that’s exactly what he does. He looks around. Nobody suspects a thing. He discreetly scoots over, and SWOOP the paper is now on his desk. Noone hears a sound. He scans the area one last time before he gets to work. He starts copying the answers. He works through the questions like crazy- he KNOWS he’s gonna ace this test. And what can anybody do about it? He’s pulled off the perfect crime.
Except for one teensy little detail- and that’s the teacher. She’s been watching this whole thing. She walks over. She cheerily looks over all our quizzes. Too cheerily.
“Paul, why do you have two quizzes?”
“Paul, do you know where Cole’s quiz went?”
“Paul, why does this test have Cole’s name on it?”
All you teachers out there should recognize that this would an appropriate time to give Paul “the Talk.” Just a friendly little chat.
And so that’s exactly what the teacher does. She takes Paul aside and starts giving him the Talk. And here’s where I have one of those moments.
Whenever this teacher is about to give the Talk, she always tries to be discreet. She tries to keep this whole “Don’t mind me, I’m just having a quick little side conversation with Paul” type of atmosphere. But you can always tell when she’s gearing up to give someone the Talk of a lifetime, and whenever this happens the entire class is like:
Everybody is pretending to look at the quiz, or at a textbook, or at a poster or something. Trying to look oblivious to the entire situation, but inside everybody’s shifted into “AW SNAYUP you in big trouble now” mode. Because we know that what’s about to happen is something that can’t be missed.
The room is dead silent as we listen to the teacher yell at Paul. Using all sorts of Big Kid words like “integrity” and “responsibility.” He’s in some hot water now, and it is freaking HILARIOUS to watch him get boiled alive by a middle-aged woman half his size.
Now you know what would make this situation even more hilarious? If Cole were to walk in. And that’s EXACTLY what happens.
The teacher notices Cole and drags Paul over to make him apologize. By this point it’s pretty hard not to crack up. The teacher says “Cole, Paul would like to apologize to you for stealing the answers to the quiz you worked so hard on.” Apparently she doesn’t realize that a) You can’t really say Cole technically works in this class because it’s so easy for him and b) He knows none of what just happened because of his trek to the toilet.
It’s the moments like this that make school tolerable. Just saying.