A few weeks ago, Dr. Bauman left. To commemorate him, we took a class photo. We shuffled around for a good thirty minutes. I am second row, slightly right of center. I have glasses and stupid grin. Despite that grin, I was not happy. I laugh at it now. It was a very teachable moment. But that moment, like all discipline, was far from enjoyable.
It all started a week before. Dr. Bauman had assigned his final exam. We had to write 9 essays. Dr. Bauman gave more time than a week. I just waited for some reason. We also had two tests. One was on La Place de la Concorde Suisse, a book we read. We knew it as the Switzerland book. The other test was on Romeo and Juliet.
Monday, I studied the Switzerland book. We thought the test was on Tuesday. That night, Dr. Bauman lectured on how to write. Writing parameters included, only eight words a sentence. He said be brief and clear. I elected to use these new rules. I had not written any essays yet. So I didn’t have to rewrite anything. Then he dropped a bomb. The Switzerland assignment was clarified. We were supposed to write an essay. We needed it done by Thursday. There was no test. Monday was spent studying for a nonexistent test. And, I had a new essay.
Tuesday, I had a choice. I could study Romeo and Juliet. That test was Wednesday. Or, I could start my essays. I thought I knew Romeo and Juliet. So, I began my essays. Soon, I was exasperated. I usually write in long, flowy sentences. Now, I was limited to eight words. I was found yelling at a page. I only finished one essay.
Wednesday, we took the Romeo and Juliet test. I fought hard, and lost. The whole class struggled. Out of twenty-seven questions, I missed ten. I earned a low D. Turning back to the essays, I only wrote one. I still struggled with Dr. Bauman’s rules.
Thursday, I had eight essays left. They were due on Saturday. I figured I needed four a day. I only had an hour after lunch. I wrote until 3am the next morning. But, I got the four essays done.
Friday, four essays loomed. Work crew took most of the afternoon. I did not write until after dinner. Then, I was on dish pit. Usually, the kitchen work crew does dishes before dinner. This time, there were many left over. It took nearly two hours to finish. It was past seven, four essays remained. Remember, I was up until three the night before. Apparently, rest is necessary for mental function. I simply could not write. I finished at 6am.
I still needed to edit my new papers. I set an alarm for seven-forty-five. Breakfast was at eight. Submit by nine. I woke up at eight-fifty. I slept through the alarm. My roommate killed the alarm, believing I was already awake. I skipped breakfast. I edited what little I could.
After turning in essays, we took the picture. I was mad at everything. I am usually not an angry person. It was probably because I was tired. Soon, I understood I could only blame myself. I almost failed the test. I could have written less. I procrastinated.
Truth is, I learned a lot through this. My writing has improved. (Well, y’all can judge that.) Apples are a good remedy for sleep deprivation. Scheduling is key. (My mom probably feels ignored.)Most importantly, I learned a good deal of humility. Sometimes, I think I am the smartest guy in the room. I believe that is what God is trying to remedy. So far, it has worked.
Samuel Curtis comes from Tampa, Florida, having graduated from high school in May. He attended the Summit Summer Conference in Manitou Springs last August. While he has yet to decide on a major for college, Samuel is expectant to see how God directs him through his time at Summit Semester. This past year he pursued the opportunity to work with a State Representative, and may consider seeking a career that involves politics, and speech and debate. He has cultivated his love for these pursuits in NCFCA and TeenPact and is interested in delving further into this realm.