by Drew Conger
I am invincible. Twelve years of my life in the public school system and I haven’t wasted a day. Not even for a dentist appointment, not even for a vacation to Hawaii, and especially not even for something so trivial as falling asleep in class. I supercede that trope.
Many of my classmates believe that I wear these Ultra-Thick Glasses because I have Ultra-Bad Vision. But in reality, my vision supersedes perfection. I wear these Ultra-Thick Glasses because they make my vision worse, thereby causing me to work harder to see my instructors at the front of the classroom. I live in the classroom, I do NOT sleep in the classroom.
Ever. NEVER EVER.
At least, that’s how it was before today. Before I was awake until four in the morning last night putting the finishing touches on my Spatially Correct Model of the Solar System to ensure both the perfection of my model and my winning of the first place trophy at the Big League Science Model Convention tomorrow. Before my alarm went off at five in the morning and all I could do was rub the drool from my chin. Before Professor Binns had chosen the MOST pointless and least stimulating of all lecture topics: the history of the rubber duck. LITERALLY I DID NOT SUFFER TWELVE YEARS OF THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF CLASSES TO LISTEN TO THIS MONOCHROME MANATEE DRONE ABOUT THE CREATION OF THE “BATHTUB BUDDY” OF THE GOLDEN AGE.
So I fell asleep. I really did. Chin-on-hand and drool-running-down-the-arm asleep. Asleep asleep. Out cold. It was horrible really. I feel pathetic about it, now.
When I was finally startled into consciousness by lights so bright it was like the magnesium flash of an atomic bomb, I realized what I had done. I had lasted twelve years. Only twelve years. Were I at my prime alertness, I could configure how many days those twelve long years computed to, and if I tried, the amount of hours I had been successful. But alas, I am NOT at my prime alertness, nor at my prime ANYTHING.
MY TRACK RECORD WAS GONE. OUT THE WINDOW. KA-POOT.
And then Professor Binns starts writing the assignment on the whiteboard. My eyes are so blurry I have to take off my Ultra-Thick Glasses to make anything out. Thank goodness he spoke the parameters of the assignment as he wrote them.
“Ten page paper due next Tuesday. First, summarize the history of the rubber duck, then compare its history to the history of the United States government. After which, feel free to predict how the rubber duck will aid in advances made in the field of space exploration as well as the reconstruction of dinosaur skeletons. Oh! Also be sure to include how marine biology benefits from the rubber duck as well.”
A single tear escapes my eye as he says that. And then my eye starts twitching. I slowly put my Ultra-Thick Glasses on again, though I can’t see anything anyway. A small sob rips from my throat, and then that sob turns into a scream.
And for the first time in my life, for the first time in the TWELVE YEARS that I dedicated to rigorous honors classes and no social life, I’m feeling true anxiety and pure panic over an assignment. I feel hopeless, like I just threw those TWELVE WHOLE YEARS STRAIGHT DOWN THE DRAIN. Like I’m never going to succeed again. Like homework is only given to me to kill me. Like school is this pointless and trivial torture the government forces upon us.
And all this because I was up late last night.
All this because of the Big League Science Model Convention tomorrow.
All this because my Spatially Correct Model of The Solar System had to be perfect.
All this because I fell asleep in class.
I am no longer invincible.