47: Last Minute

47: Last Minute

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Campus Chronicles

Last Minute

Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.

~Oscar Wilde

It was my junior year of college and I was taking Comparative Family Systems, a General Education course, but one I actually found interesting. I was a pretty good student in this class: I got to class on time, I wasn’t late with my assignments, and I generally paid attention.

One day, my teacher was getting ready to start the class and he told us we could place our papers on his desk.

Papers?! I frantically flipped to my syllabus. Sure enough, we had a paper due that day. I had completely forgotten about the assignment! It wasn’t just that I had put it off and didn’t finish it — I hadn’t even remembered we had to do it! It was supposed to be on the structure of our families and the roles each person played. I didn’t want to turn the paper in late, so I had to come up with something... fast.

Luckily, I brought my laptop with me to class that day. While I sat “listening” to the lecture, I typed out my paper. I figured it probably had to be about two or three pages. Since I was in class, it was normal for me to have my textbook out and to be typing. I finished my paper and quickly e-mailed it to myself (thank God for wireless internet!). Then I slipped out of the classroom as if I were going to the bathroom. I quickly went around the building to the library, got on a computer, printed out the paper I had just e-mailed to myself, stapled it together, and headed back to class. I slipped back in, doing my best to hide the neatly rolled-up paper, and slid back into my seat. When class was over, I placed my paper in the stack with everyone else’s.

At the next class session we got our papers back. I got an A!

In the same class, we had an assignment to write about the qualities we wanted in a spouse. I was excited about this project and worked on it for a couple of days, really putting thought into what qualities I wanted my future husband to possess. I turned it in (on time) and waited for my grade.

As the teacher passed them back, I felt happy knowing that this paper I had worked so diligently on and put a lot of thought into was surely going to get me another A. If I could write a paper last minute during class and get an A, I could definitely get an A on a paper that was basically my opinion.

The teacher walked by and dropped my paper off. I turned it over.

I had gotten a B.

Sometimes, things like that just happen.

~Genellyn Driver

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