Distraction Inaction

, , , , , , | Learning | June 7, 2018

(I’m in high school. It’s the week before finals. My school has a program where you can exempt certain exams if your grades are high enough, and you haven’t missed too much school. I am able to exempt one final, and I choose math. My teacher is doing a finals review for the class.)

Teacher: “Now, if you’re exempting my final, I don’t care what you do during this time, as long as you’re quiet.”

(I’m very happy with this unexpected free period. I pull out a book and start reading. Ten minutes later…)

Teacher: “[My Name]!”

Me: “Yes?”

Teacher: “Put that book away!”

Me: “But you said—”

Teacher: “You are being very disrespectful! I’m teaching, and you’re ignoring me!”

Me: “But I’m exempting your final.”


(I look around at the rest of the class. No one is paying attention to him. They’re whispering, passing papers back and forth, laughing, drawing, and texting. I am not one to argue with teachers, but in this case…)

Me: “I’m being a distraction? Have you seen the rest of your class right now?”

Teacher: “PUT IT AWAY!”

Me: “Okay.”

(By this time, the class has gone silent. I make a big show of taking out my very large chemistry textbook and exam review.)

Teacher: “Not another peep out of you, now.”

(One of my friends snickers.)


(Thankfully, the bell rings. As I’m gathering my stuff, my teacher consults his class list, and raises an eyebrow. He gestures me over.)

Teacher: “So, uh… I see that you’re exempting my final, and therefore, did not need to actually pay attention.”

Me: “I just told you that!”

Teacher: “I… was wrong to yell at you. See, you’re the only one in this period with a grade high enough to exempt. I’m sorry, and I hope you have a good summer.”

(Points for apologizing, but still…)

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