The Almost Summer Struggle

May 26, 2017

Once upon a time, (or so the story goes), there was a student named Jackson who wanted to go surfing. The weather was sticky, the sun was blazing, and children were cracking eggs on the sidewalk to see if they would fry. Jackson only had five days left of school. Five days! "Surely I can go surfing for an hour or two," Jackson thought. "How much work could I possibly have this late in the school year?" Famous last words Jackson. Famous last words.

Jackson snatched his surfboard and bolted out of the house, letting the rusty screen door slam behind him. The beach was so close that he would normally run barefoot, but on this day he had to wear sandals to keep his feet from being scorched on the asphalt. It only took four steps for Jackson to remember why he preferred to run barefoot. He stumbled and tripped his way down the sidewalk as fast as he could; only trying to preserve some of his dignity.

The warm breeze hissed in his ears as the golden sand dunes of the beach came into view. Jackson bounded onto the blistering sand like a king coming home to his castle. The cheap sandals that had caused him so much trouble were quickly kicked off and forgotten. There it was. The ocean. Jackson skidded to a stop close to the end of the crystal waves. For a moment, he simple took in his perfect oasis. The salt stinging his eyes and lips, the breeze now gently whispering instead of hissing in his ears, his feet sinking slowly in the wet sand; it was perfect. "It’s like the beach is the last sacred place in the world," Jackson thought. "Nothing could ever spoil this."

No one ever taught you about tempting fate, did they Jackson?

When the next wave crashed, Jackson broke out of his reverie and launched himself into the water. As he paddled out further to catch his first wave of the summer, he was unaware that something sinister was brewing beneath the waves. It grew, and it multiplied, and it slowly bubbled to the surface.

The capital of New York is Albany.
The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.
George Washington was the first president of America.

Geometry, Geography, Biology, History, Algebra, English, French, all the school subjects were clumping together in the middle of the ocean. They boiled and foamed as the mass grew larger and larger.


Active voice is superior to passive voice in a narrative.
Keep the ‘r’ when conjugating the future tense of verbs in French.
White blood cells fight off infection and sickness in the body.

Suddenly the mass of school subjects began to solidify into every students’ worst nightmare: homework. Pages upon pages of Algebra homework sloshed around as Biology worksheets multiplied at an alarming rate. The homework was being pulled, pulled towards something, pulled towards someone…

..pulled towards a little boy trying to enjoy his summer with just five days left of school.

Thousands of pages of homework began to move together through the water. They gained speed, going faster and faster and faster until the terrifying pages created a giant wave. It was the dreaded Homework Tsunami. The Homework Tsunami strikes millions of times every year. Staggering numbers of unsuspecting students who think that school is “over” are crushed. This frightening force of school is never spoken about, because it is not something that one can believe without living through it first.

The Homework Tsunami rushed towards Jackson. It covered miles in mere minutes; multiplying all the way. Homework pages now merged together to create oral presentations, video projects, and research papers. Jackson was paddling out to catch his ninth wave when the Homework Tsunami came into view. Something didn’t feel right. Jackson sat up and squinted at the horizon. At first, it appeared to be just another wave. Then it got closer, and larger, and closer still, and wilder. "Oh boy," Jackson thought as his heart began to slam in his chest, "That is one wave I don’t want to be a part of. I need to get out of here." Jackson laid back down on his board and began paddling at top speed back to the shore.

Jackson, Jackson, Jackson. You can’t run from school. School knows where you live.

He was just yards away from reaching the shore when the Homework Tsunami crashed over his head. The world spun as Jackson’s senses flailed to comprehend what was happening. All he could do was cling to his board and ride out the chaos.

Your final paper is due tomorrow!
We have a test the last day of classes!
I want this lab report on my desk by Thursday!
We’re reading one more “quick” novel before the year is over! It’s short I promise!

Jackson was drowning in the work. The deadlines were flooding his ears, and there wasn’t enough time to swim to the surface. "How could I have ever thought that school would let me be free? They’re going to work me like a mule until the very last second! Alright then, if that’s the way they’re going to be, then let’s get this over with," Jackson seethed. With a resounding crash, the Homework Tsunami vanished. Stunned, Jackson looked around and discovered that he was back at home. More specifically, he was sitting at the desk in his room. His clothes were soaking the chair, and his surfboard was propped up and dripping on the floor across the room. Jackson looked down at his desk.


"The launching of Sputnik by the Russians during the Cold War was a major breakthrough for astronomy and rocket science…"


His unfinished history paper sat before him, along with multiple neat piles of homework and presentations; all due in the next five days. Jackson picked up his pen and continued to write his paper. It’s hard to say if the Homework Tsunami had actually happened. Perhaps it was just an illusion. All Jackson know for sure is that he learned one thing that day: school’s not over, until it’s over. And it most certainly does know where you live.

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