Wednesday, November 12, 2008
My freshman year of college, my friend and I took an astronomy class. We thought it would be cool and didn't think it would be too tough. We didn't count on a professor from the stone age. We also didn't count on the fact that every other student in the class was either an astronomy major or took astronomy classes in the past.
This particular teacher mumbled everything he said, and rather than using the chalkboard or a PowerPoint presentation, he insisted on using the same overhead slides he used back in the 70s. These suckers were all chipped and yellow and the handwriting on them was almost illegible. Combine that with the fact that he kept switching them at lightning speeds, and you can see why we did so poorly. To clarify, I'm not blaming my teacher for my failure. I understand that I could have applied myself and done better, but I didn't, and all of these factors compounded the situation.
So, long story short, at the end of the semester, my friend and I had the most solid of solid Ds. She and I calculated our grades and realized that if we aced the final, we would still have a D. If we bombed the final, we would still have a D. So, we decided not to stress over it and didn't study at all for the test.
To celebrate the impending doom of finals week, a bunch of us went out to eat and one of those cool restaurants where you gorge yourself on the slabs of meat they bring to your table. The next day, both my friend and I succumbed to food poisoning. I, being the wimp that I was, recovered much slower than my friend, but we still missed the astronomy final. I was busy staying home, trying desperately to keep the saltine crackers and sprite from reappearing for an encore (if you catch my drift).
And wouldn't you know it. I somehow overlooked the fine print that said if you don't show up for the final, you drop a letter grade. I had never failed a class before. I had never gotten a D before. I nearly fainted when I opened up my report card from that semester.
The only good thing that came out of this experience was the giant trash bag my friend brought me. She told everyone I was sick and had everyone in the dining hall sign this thing, explaining it was going to be my new vomit bag. That night, I got a giant bag with a bunch of signatures, some of whom I knew, and many of which I didn't.