Friday, March 18, 2011

This One Time? At School? A Teacher Tried To Kill Me With A Book

(post copyright 2011, Dawn Weber. Note: Names have been changed to protect the guilty innocent.)

The teacher had no idea how I ended up in advanced English. She said I had the penmanship of a mentally challenged first-grader.

"It really is amazing," Mrs. Emm told me, many times. "You sure don't have the handwriting of a smart person."

But that wasn't the reason she threw a book at my head.

Ah...the 80s: when a kid could be a kid and a teacher could throw stuff at a kid.

She had every reason to hurl things at me. I'd known about the term paper for nine weeks. It was a huge, multi-paged headache chunk of our passing grade, our ticket out of high school and into college.

And when did I choose to start this important work?

The day before.

It wasn't that I didn't want to write it - I just had more important things to do. Such as drive around town in my Ford Ranger. Pursue my budding McDonald's career. Also, attend parties.

I found myself skipping school the morning before the paper's due date, to stay home and get it done. Truancy, procrastination, sloppiness, all with a Guns 'n Roses soundtrack. That's how I rolled then to the best of my recollection...

But I wasn't a very good felon, because when I sat down to scribble out my paper, I realized I'd forgotten all the needed notes in my locker. Conveniently located directly outside Mrs. Emm's door.

Delinquency: not my strong suit.

Note to 1987 self: Hey Dummy. When skipping school to catch up on homework, remember to take necessary books and papers with you the day before.

So before I could frantically write the term paper "stay home sick," I had to drive my sorry ass to the school. I parked and snuck in, past Mrs. Emm's open classroom door to my locker. Gathered the needed notes, quietly shut the metal door and...

Me: *Sneak...creep...slink...*
Mrs. Emm: "I SEE you out there!"
Me: "Oh....hi Mrs. Emm! How are you?"
Mrs. Emm: "How are YOU? I thought you were home SICK today?"
Me: "Yeah...uhhhh...but I forgot something and had to get it."
Mrs. Emm: "Dawn, do you have your term paper done?"
Me: "Yeah, um, not just yet."
Mrs. Emm: "Dawn. When did you START your term paper?"
Me: ""

*cue Crazy Teacher Eyes.*

All five feet of her body tensed. She pivoted and balanced, flung her arm back, then pitched her extra-heavy! teacher's manual forward. Toward my thick teen-aged skull.

Wow. She had one hell of an arm on her. If I hadn't ducked, I'd probably now be drooling in the nursing home.

Me *tiny voice*: "Mrs. Emm?"

Mrs. Emm: "You've known about this the ENTIRE nine weeks! You just started today?"

*More Crazy Teacher Eyes.* *Walking towards me...*

Well. Clearly it was time for me to get back home to the business of truancy. Right away.

I ran out of the school and drove to the house. Ploughed through an all-nighter and finished the paper, ending up in ample trouble with my Mom and the principal for skipping school. I think I received a very generous, probably undeserved "C" for the piece.

Mrs. Emm felt terrible for her book-hurl. As I recall, she apologized to both my Mom and I.

She didn't have to, because I learned a valuable nearly fatal lesson. I never procrastinated again. My work is ALWAYS on-time, and sometimes even legible if it's typed.

To this very day, when I consider putting off a project, I see flying books.

And *Crazy Teacher Eyes.*

Note: Ms. Blase over at The Unpopular Girl in Womanhood has given me my very first award, the Versatile Blogger Award.

Thank you, Ms. Blase! Check out her awesome blog here. The rules for this award are:

- Thank the person who gave you the award
- Share 7 things about yourself
- Pass the award to up to 10 versatile bloggers

- Let those bloggers know that you gave them the awardAlrighty then! Here we go:

I am afraid of these things, all of which have already happened (in some degree) to me.
  • being in a car accident with a semi.
  • being in a car accident on a bridge, plummeting into water.
  • strangers breaking into my home in the middle of the night.

-Although I drive my sorry ass into the city every day, I secretly wish I was I was a farmer. Because I love animals, the outdoors, and I REALLY love tractors. Don't judge.
-I am OCD-weird about recycling, and feel terrible when I throw out something recyclable.
- I can: play piano, make stained glass windows, pencil-draw, make mosaics, make jewelry, take some pretty good photographs ;).
-I can't (but wish I could): play electric guitar, sing, paint with oils and/or acrylics, sculpt

I hereby award the Versatile Blogger Award to:


  1. Ohhhh, I remember the ruler slapping, book throwing, principal paddling days of school. Oh how I miss them, for the heathens of today. I remember doing term papers on an old hit the key with a hammer to get it to move typewriter. But my last term paper of high school nailed the teacher so much I never had to do a final draft. She posted the rough draft on the bulletin board as an example for all other students to follow. Good thing they didn't follow me - they would be lost right now. I love your treks down memory lane. But where are the leprechauns?

  2. Your only mistake -admitting to just starting the term paper that day - NEVER let them see you sweat!

  3. Good reflexes!

    I have awful penmanship, but I would just say I wanted to become a doctor and working on my prescription scribbles. Now, I'm a computer monkey.

    And congrats on the award! :)

  4. See---isn't it great that things like that happen--pivotal moments that shape us? Glad you didn't get too hard! ;-) I have a feeling you and I would have been skipping school and cranking the tunes together back in the 80s.

  5. Wow I am at a loss for words on this one.

    And congrats on the award.

  6. Ha! Great story. I can't believe she actually threw a frickin' book at you! And thanks for the hot new award!!

  7. Excellent tale! Your genius-rebel persona makes for an awesome read - probably not as rock n' roll as it sounded here when you were actually living it, I bet - and to get a C after those shenanigans must mean it was even rather good! I mean, book-throwing-guilt is *of course* commonly understood to be worth one full letter grade, while not doing the term-length aspect of the term paper is at least a half a grade or maybe even a full one if you openly admit it...So you actually got a metaphorical B+ on that bad boy! A pretty great job for doing in a matter hours something that took others weeks!

  8. Dawn, thank you for the lovely thought. I have been entertaining guests and just now loaded the dishwasher. I'm wore out but will get back to your post and more on the award after I grab a few ZZZZs.

    Again, thanks, a woderful surprise.


  9. I've always noticed, teachers usually get book throwing mad unless they haven't been laid recently. Why do you think Nuns are so mean?

  10. That was hilarious. My Skater said he learned his best Spanish in the class where the teacher threw erasers if they spoke English. Nothing like impassioned immersion to learn a second language.

  11. OMG, that brings back "before computer" memories of when papers had to be written by hand. Eye can't look at crazy-eyed people. Eye get scared of them.

  12. I was a teacher for 17 years, and I totally would have done what Miss Emm did! It's great, the impact that had on you tendency to procrastinate!

    BTW, thanks for the invite to visit. I read your last three posts and now am a follower....After I promised myself I wouldn't follow any more blogs, because it already takes most of my day to keep up with them!

  13. Dawn, I have yet to meet a person that did not write a term paper on a days notice. Mrs. Emm must have made her mark, because here you are diligently blogging!

  14. Nearly every paper I wrote in grad school, I started the night before.

    Are we related?

  15. Frickin' Engish teachers, seriously!
    I can't believe she said & did that - they sure can be crazy!

    Thanks for checking out some posts.
    This one reminded me of another you'd probably appreciate:


  16. "the 80s: when a kid could be a kid and a teacher could throw stuff at a kid."

    And still spank them... which is what they did to the little ones at my school.

    "...all with a Guns 'n Roses soundtrack"

    Glad to see someone else was an Axl Rose fan :) Now, I look back and wonder what I ever saw in the guy.

    "Mrs. Emm felt terrible for her book-hurl."

    Yeah, whatever. Someone still should've reported her butt to the cops.

    "I can't (but wish I could): play electric guitar, sing, paint with oils and/or acrylics, sculpt"

    I paint and sculpt, yet wish I could sing and play the guitar. Hmmm. Me thinks humans are never satisfied :P

    I can't believe no one has ever given you a blog award before 'cause you're great (i.e. super funny)!

  17. Ha ha....yes, somehow we MUST be related! But I must admit, you were better than me at skipping school. The only time I attempted it (aside from senior skip day which was allowed) was a day that I realized I hadn't been in enough trouble in high school and my time was ending soon (good aspiration). So I skipped English class. Where did I go? Why of course, the gym locker room! Nope, wouldn't get caught there! Damn we were stupid back then! Thanks for the giggle, as usual!

  18. Wanda, the leprechauns are after my Lucky Charms ;). Laughingmom, you're right - I wasn't the sharpest crayon in the box back then. Bobo - duck! Also? I heart computer monkeys. Heidi - we DEFINITELY would have been little thugs together back then - laughing thugs. OT, you dono't have to say anything, just glad you stopped by. Heather - no problem - you deserve it, girl! Kana, I like the way you look at things ;). Ron, no problem! You deserve it. Eva, I deserved it, it's true, and she really was a great teacher. Dawn, Yes, I was fully "immersed." lol Meg, I often think of Mrs. Emm when I am OCD, writing this blog every week. Susan - we very well could be related. Lady E. - loved your post, left a comment. Ms. Blase, THANK YOU again for the award. As you know, it was my first. Like a Virgin, yo! Tracy, Eye am freaked out by the Crazy Eyes also. Christy, girl, you shoulda hung with me back then. We skipped at McDonald's!

  19. Haha! Awesome story! I'm glad you have good reflexes... You were a much better student than I was, though! I would have sauntered past her door swinging my (non-existant at the time... and frankly also non-existant now) hips and said "I'm not staying long. I came to get my notes so I could go somewhere and write that paper that's due tomorrow." And then I would have gotten my notes and gone to the park or shopping or something...

    Wow, how did I not fail out of high school, haha?

  20. Great Story. I can just see those beautiful books flying across the room :) !!