Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I sat in the first row next to the door in “Wee Willie” White’s chemistry class and we were usually the last to turn in test papers and first out the door when the period ended. I liked this arrangement, plus I was surrounded by the brightest in the class and this often came in handy. Now, I am not saying we cheated, but we often double-checked our answers before turning in our test papers!

This particular day I am remembering involved a “pop quiz” that had caught me completely off guard. I was really struggling with some of the answers, and wished more than once that I was not one of those that studied only the night before test!

Just as I was about to offer up a prayer for some assistance, the fire alarm sounded! What a break!Just weave yo papers on yo desk and file out da door,” Mr. White directed.

As we had been drilled many times, we quickly filed out the door, turned right, and headed out the backdoor to the fire-drill designated area outside. Once we stopped at the top of a small hill and looked back toward the school, secretly hoping to see real smoke, the whispering began. “What did you get for number 3?” “What?” “How did you get that?

I was taking it all in and memorizing answers to the three questions with which I had been having problems. Just as I was about to get the last one from someone, “Wee Willie,” who had a German accent, and spoke English with a sort of lisp, mounted the hill and walked among us warning everyone to not discuss the test.

He scanned the little crowd and it was obvious that answers were being exchanged.

As soon as the all clear was given, we filed back in and took our seats. Some of us, me for one, began frantically erasing and changing or filling in blank questions.

Puease pass yo papers to da front,” Willie announced!

I heard what he said, but still thought I had time, especially since his voice came from near the window seats. I continued to write and somebody began to tug at my paper, “Wait a minute,” I said, thinking it was the student sitting in front of me.

Then, I noticed the old dark skinned hands at the top of the paper and realized that I was playing “tug of war” with “Wee Willie” himself!

Oh my God,” I thought with eyes wide open and mouth agape!

Musee, I said no changin’ answers! For dat you get a zewoe,” he said as he tore up my test paper! I do not remember a teacher ever being that mad at me…well, maybe one more!

It was a long time before I was ever more embarrassed than I was at that moment. Everyone looked at me, my face flushed, and bountiful beads of sweat dotted my brow. Oh, I hate that hot glowing feeling that makes you feel dirty all over.

I sat back in my desk and contemplated killing myself with the now dull number two pencil I was nervously rolling between the fingers of my right hand. “Naw,” I said to myself, letting it pass, “that would be entirely too much pain!”

This was the second very stupid act I had committed in a chemistry class. If there were to be other imprudent incidents in school, I decided to let them happen in other classrooms.

Yeah…I know what you’re thinking…there is at least one more on the way!

…and yes…I did pass high school chemistry with a C+ average, but that was the end of my chemistry education. Here it comes…it seems me and chemistry just did not mix!


BRUNO said...

Probably because you had broken all of the lab equipment during a previous "classroom-session", maybe?

A C+ ain't all that bad! A lot better than a "barefoot-E"!

phlegmfatale said...

"that hot glowing feeling that makes you feel dirty all over"

you pegged it. I hate that, too.

*Goddess* said...

Ahhh, fire alarms and bomb threats, how I loved the sounds of thee in high school.....

phaseoutgirl said...


Didn't we just love the sound of bells in high school? It signalled the end of a period, or of something!

Ahh.. brings back high school memories...


Shrink wrapped scream said...

Ah Mushy,

How I love your style of writing, you pull me straight into that classroom with you, and I can even feel the burn from your cheeks..

Can't wait for the next adventure!

Fathairybastard said...

Man, every once and a while I have to hand out some official form in class, and I amuse myself by yelling "Pop test", and seeing all the little heads spin around in surprise and horror. Now that's funny.

It's hilarious to be teaching in the high school in the morning. The bells ringing, the pledge of allegiance, the occasional fire drills. It's all too funny to be back there. You should all sign up to be a sub some time, just to go back and see what it's like today. You'd be surprised how much it's changed, and how much it hasn't.