A Mono-Track Mind

, , , , , , | Learning | May 3, 2021

In my freshman year of high school, I have some pretty bad luck with my health early on in the year. Somehow, I manage to catch strep and tonsillitis AT THE SAME TIME, so I miss about two weeks of school. I am okay for a while after the full course of antibiotics, but I start feeling sick and groggy again pretty quickly so I go back to the doctor. This time, I have mono. Not only that, but I have TWO DIFFERENT STRAINS of mono.

My school, in their infinite wisdom, says I can’t miss any more days or I’ll have to repeat the semester. Great. So I try to just power through, which is made more difficult by the fact that my first class of the day was algebra.

I’m sitting in class, nodding off HARD while trying to pay attention and take notes, pinching my arm black and blue trying to stay awake. Eventually, I decide to take a ten-second power nap to try and recharge a little bit. I close my eyes and count to one…

Teacher: *Shaking my shoulder gently* “[My Name]?”

Me: *Groggy* “Huh?”

Teacher: “Your pencil’s still moving, but your head’s been down for ten minutes.”

Me: “What?!”

I look at my desk and see pencil scribbles everywhere.

Me: “Oh, my God, I’m so sorry. I’m trying to pay attention, I swear I am…”

I frantically try to clean up the scribbles and grab the desk when I get dizzy.

Teacher: *Concerned* “[My Name], you look like h***. What’s wrong?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I have mono.”

Teacher: *Shocked* “What?! What are you doing in school? You should be at home resting!”

Me: “I’d love to be, but the office said I can’t miss any more school since I missed so much last month.”

My teacher is silent for a moment, clearly angry.

Teacher: “Put your head back down and go to sleep. I’ll print the notes for you. Do you need, I don’t know, water or something? Anything I can get you?”

Me: “I’m okay. Are you sure?”

Teacher: “I’m sure. Go to sleep.”

I thanked him and went to sleep. I genuinely don’t remember the rest of the day, or most of the recovery period, but when I got home my parents had gotten a VERY apologetic call from the office saying that I could stay home until I was better and my teachers would email me notes and assignments. Turns out my algebra teacher had gone to the office and demanded an explanation as to why one of his students was being forced to attend class when they were too ill to even stay awake and the vice-principal, who was awesome and way better than the principal, hadn’t heard about this and demanded an explanation, as well. I might hate math, but that was the absolute best math teacher I ever had!


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