But then the floodgates of memory opened up, and woohoo, was I ever a badass! Well, a mid-level badass. But still! I was the kid who, in grade two, finished my assignments during class and WROTE POETRY in the remaining time, so any badassery on my part is good.
In grade 11, I faked my major business project for the term. As in, I didn't do it at all, but pretended I'd handed it in. I hated the teacher (a rare thing for me because, at worst, I usually only feel benign indifference toward the people who try to steer my past the rocky shoals of academia) because he was a misogynist and an asshole. He was also sloppy and disorganized, a fact I used brazenly to my advantage. A couple of weeks after we'd all "handed in" our assignments, I casually asked him if he'd marked mine yet because I was "dying" to know how I did. He said that he hadn't gotten to mine yet. He was one of those teachers that hand assignments back haphazardly to a few people at a time. When about half the class had gotten theirs back, I asked him about mine again. This time he seemed visibly nervous, and he said that he hadn't gotten to mine yet. I asked again a week or two later. Same reply. I didn't ask again, but near the end of the term, when he posted the class list with all our assignment grades, I apparently got an A.
In grade 12, I dictated my best friend's essay on King Lear to her during the lunch break before it was due. She got an A-minus, and to this day I still have never read King Lear.
In my third year of university, I had, er, pre-conjugal relations in the administration wing's Senate Chamber.
In none of those instances did I get caught. My most embarrassing moment probably has to be when the roles were reversed and I was working as an instructor in a continuing education program on writing for the web at a local community college. I was in my late twenties, and many of my students were only a couple years younger than I. I was also a fairly active member of the city's underground party scene. And I was also really into bellydancing at the time. Friends of mine were throwing this huge, lavish, all-night, Arabian-themed party and procured my services as a dancer. There was only one washroom at the loft where the party was being held, and of course it had a curtain instead of a proper door with a lock LIKE A NORMAL BATHROOM. So I was in the middle of changing into my costume when someone burst in to use the loo. And of course it was one of my students. It's hard to say which one of us was more shocked and appalled. Needless to say, we never spoke of it in class.
But when it comes to academic shenanigans, I am a babe in the woods compared to our guest judge, Rusty. When I asked Rusty to sum up his entire academic career, he described it as "like watching The Challenger blow up in slow motion." I was a witness for much of it, and can attest that this is true.
And now, from the guy who puts the "rust" in "rusticated," here -- in Rusty's own words -- are the honourable mentions, the grand prize winner, and the winner in Rusty's new surprise category: "Tries hard but needs improvement."
Doris Day's cocaine story. Flawless example of kid logic.For his enviable lack of shame, Griffin wins books by a pair of philosophers who very well might send him to his room to think about what he's done: Nietzsche's Twilight of the Idols/The Anti-Christ and Gide's The Immoralist and Strait is the Gate.
EMC and friends agreed to leave class. This is not an exciting story, but I like the futility of the endeavor. It's like a Sartre novel. The combination of picking on a teacher for no good reason and the sorry escape attempt, coupled with the total lack of consequences, highlights the absurdity of the academic experience.
Anonymous faked an interview for a college religious studies class. Beautiful. This is disrespectful on so many levels. Not only did you burn your program, you also managed to burn an entire profession... evangelical Christian broadcasters, no less. Bravo.
TabloidMan's poisoning-the-teacher story is pretty up there. The youthfully sociopathic guiltless fear made me feel the same hopelessness for the future that I felt while watching A Clockwork Orange. Extra points for this being a Christian school. And the way it finishes, with the poisoning praised by the other kids... pure William Golding. I almost thought we should give you the prize just so you don't come kill us with trumpet cleaner.
Mary (re: stealing another's story, and blowing my mind). Cute, but no cigar. You may be a nerd, but you're a nerd with some life in you. Keep up the effort!
Allie, I went to Catholic school, too, but what kind of crazy Catholic school did you go to? You had to not only read Crime and Punishment, but you had to write a prayer reflecting on each chapter? That's a little freaky. Good on you for using the Cliff's notes to help you along, but I'm afraid you don't win.
Jon didn't hand in a test and bluffed his way to a B-minus. Nice work. You didn't aim too high with the grade, and you played your liberal teacher for the moral relativist he is. You speculated on his weakness of character and won. You don't, however, win the book. I am sorry.
Rebecca the Librarian, while it is cool that you burned your classmates and avoided having to take the course through your knowledge of computers, I'm going to fail you anyway. You see, the problem is that you were too smart for the course. True academic misconduct is always the stupid putting the bite on the smart. [Ed: That is a true -- and brilliant -- observation.] I'm sorry, but no book for you.
Griffin, let me get this straight. You basically wrote something like "blah blah blah blah blah Frank Lloyd Wright blah blah blah blah," and got a B-minus?
Wow. How do you walk with those cojones? It must be like having a pair of exercise balls in your pants.
But wait, there's more! Rusty identified one other entry that he wanted to award a special prize to. His comments follow:
Em, you're freaked because you missed out on the film studies seminar to go see a real movie? You did the right thing, trust me. The less you know about film the better.All right, Griffin and Em. You heard the man. To claim your prizes, fire your mailing info over to me at 50books [at] gmail [dot] com.
As a general rule of thumb, most people dislike people who study film. Even people who study film don't really like other people who study film. You did yourself a big favour going to see a movie everybody else sees. This way you have something in common with other people. Remember... the lowest common denominator has been slandered as something undesirable. Don't knock it till you try it.
As for stressing over cutting class, you need to stop worrying and enjoy yourself. You still passed, right? Class will still be there when you decide to go again. I'm sure you'll manage to graduate, or not, but really... who cares? You'll do fine.
You win The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps. You'll like it. Its weirdly bearded author Marshall T. Savage may be a crazy son of a bitch, but he just may be on to something.
Thanks to everyone who entered! And remember: there are no losers, only non-winners.
Now on to this week's challenge.
Your Worst Date EverIn honour of Valentine's Day, the holiday everyone loves to hate, post your worst date story in the comments section of this entry. The person who makes me recoil in horror-slash-disgust-slash-pity the most will win copies of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles, and Henry James's The Wings of the Dove.
Because as bad as your date story might be (and I have no doubt y'all have some doozies), it always helps to get some perspective.