Unreasonable Teachers Make Us Sick

, , , , , | Learning | August 1, 2020

I’m a high school senior at the time of this story. I’m in my school’s audition-only choir. One morning, I wake up with body aches, a cough, and fever of 104°. The problem with this is that we have our winter concert that evening, and our director is strict about missing performances. You have to bring in a doctor’s note if you miss one; otherwise, he docks your grade.

I set up an appointment with my doctor for later in the morning, call in to school sick, and leave a message on my director’s line. I tell him that I am sick, I’ll be going to the doctor in a couple of hours, and someone in my family will drop a doctor’s note off in the main office since I’m in no shape to come to school or sing that night. Please note that I’ve never missed a performance.

I crawl back into bed until my appointment. I wake up to a voicemail from my director.

Director: “[My Name], this is Mr. [Director]. Tonight is the winter concert, and it’s fifty percent of your semester grade. If you are actually sick, I want that doctor’s note today, hand-delivered by you. Otherwise, you fail for the semester.”

Again, I’ve never missed a performance, and I have been a student leader in my class for a couple of years, so I’m unsure why he’s doubting me. I decide that if he wants a note personally delivered, he’s going to get it.

I go to the doctor, where he diagnoses the flu and writes a note excusing me from “all school events” for the next week. My school is just a few minutes down the road. My timing is perfect; my normal class has just started when I shuffle in. I look just like you’d expect someone with a 104° fever to look.

My classmates stare at me, and our director stops conducting mid-song.

Director: “Uh… [My Name]? You look awful.”

I wave the note in the air.

Me: *At full volume* “I have the flu! Here is your stupid doctor’s note!”

This triggers a coughing spasm. I attempt to hand the note to him while covering my mouth with my other hand. He steps back.

Director: “Ah… no need. I believe you. Your parents could’ve dropped it in the office.”

Me:No! You said in your voicemail that I had to hand-deliver the note today, or else I fail for the semester. You are going to take this note!”

Director: “I didn’t mean—”

Me: “That’s what you said to do, and you know I always do what I’m told. Take it.”

He groans, takes the note, drops it on his stand, and immediately heads for the hand sanitizer. I hear a few of my classmates laugh.

Me: “And I’m excused from tonight? I won’t fail?”

Director: “Correct. You won’t fail and you are excused. Now, please go home before you infect the whole class!”

Me: “Gladly!”

My friends waved at me as I shuffled back out. I did not fail, but he didn’t talk to me much for the rest of the year.

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