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That’s One For The Books

, , , , , | Learning | August 21, 2017

(This happens when I am in fifth grade. At my school, we keep our textbooks in cubbies in the back of the classroom unless we are taking them home to do homework. We also rotate classes with two other classes. My teacher teaches math, and two other teachers teach my class history and science, and we move classrooms. I was out sick one day, and when I come in the next day and go to get my book, my math textbook is no longer in my cubby.)

Me: “[Teacher], my math book isn’t here.”

Teacher: “Are you sure that you didn’t leave it at home?”

Me: “I’m sure.”

Teacher: “Well… we have a spare. Use that one for now, and look around the classroom. When you go home, try to find your math book and bring it in. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay for it before you can go to sixth grade.”

(I don’t find my math book at home or in any of the cubbies at school, and all the other students in all three rotation classes deny seeing it. I’m worried, because the math books had been bought that year and would therefore be pricey to pay for. Finally, on the second-to-last-day of school, my mom relents and writes a check for the book. During class, I turn in the rest of my textbooks.)

Teacher: “[My Name], did you ever find your math book?”

Me: “No. I have the check; I’ll give it to you at the end of class.”

(A student from the science rotation class comes in holding a math book in their hands.)

Student: “Hi, [Teacher]… I had two math books. One at home; one in my cubby. I just used them both all year, but this one has [Teacher] and [My Name] written inside the cover.”

Teacher: “[Student], are you telling me that I blamed [My Name] all year for losing her math book when really you ‘borrowed’ it, pretended you didn’t, and never gave it back because you didn’t want to carry your book between school and your house?”

Student: “Yes… I’m sorry.”

Teacher: “Sorry is not enough. Sit down here. Here’s a piece of paper and a pencil. You’re going to write [My Name] an apology letter.”

(He did sit down next to me and write me the apology, though I felt very embarrassed by this. On the other hand, it was very satisfying to rip the check up and tell my parents the book had been found and we didn’t have to pay!)

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