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I never believed people when they said “it’s easy to get into a bad habit but hard to break one” until I personally learned that lesson myself. It happened way back when I was in high school.
Now, I loved soccer and would do anything to play. The only problem was that I couldn’t play unless I had straight A’s. After we got back from spring break I found out that I had an F in science because I bombed the 3rd quarter assignment. I am absolutely no good in science so I knew I wouldn’t be able to bring it up to an A before my parents got to it, so I had my friend help me, or more like cheat for me.
Everyday that she did my homework or extra credit for me I would pay her five dollars. I only wanted to do this until my grade went where I wanted it to go, but I got into the bad habit of cheating. About two weeks after my grade reached an A I felt so guilty that I had to confess. I decided this on a Sunday so I planned to confess the next day.
When I got to science not only was my science teacher there but also Principal Lee. “I am here today because I have recently found out that twenty out of twenty five of you in here are cheating.” The principal explained. Wow apparently I was not the only victim of this bad habit. Then she continued “Now I know each and every one of you that has been cheating. If you would just raise your hand right now it would be easier for all of us.”
I knew my time had come to confess. I thought “Well if she already knew that I was cheating why lie about it and get into even more trouble?” So I slowly looked at the floor, raised my hand and waited for the worst. When I looked up, the principal was looking straight at me with a big cheesy smile on her face. Then I slowly looked around the room to learn that I was the only person raising my hand. I was humiliated … at the time.
The principal gave one last chance for anyone who wanted to confess to cheating. No one moved a muscle. The principal looked straight at me and said “I guess you’re the only one then Brittany. Come with me to my office.”
When we arrived at her office I saw the complete opposite of what I expected. I expected a nice clean office with flowers on the desk. Instead it was a room that someone could be lost in for days and never be found. There were papers everywhere, but what really surprised me were all of the signs that read “Carpe diem”. I never knew that she had a saying. I asked “Principal Lee what does Carpe diem mean?”
“Well dear if you would really like to know why don’t you research it tonight? In fact just to make sure you do that I will add that to your punishment. You will have to research it and write a two page report on what Language it is and the meaning.” She paused and scribbled something onto her paper. “Well then, let’s begin discussing your consequences although there not nearly as bad as the others. Raising your hand was a very wise choice because all of the other students are getting suspended for a whole week. Anyways to start with, you will have to call your parents and tell them what has been going on. Then the only other thing is that two page essay on the phrase Carpe diem. The phone is right over there. I will be listening so don’t leave anything out.”
After I explained everything to my mom I asked Principal Lee if I may be excused. She replied “Of course, but don’t forget to bring that essay to me tomorrow.”
“Okay I won’t forget.” I said and walked out the door.
The next day after school I said goodbye to my friends and walked into the principal’s office. She looked up and said “Oh I believe you have something to give me.” I handed her the essay on “Carpe diem” and sat down while she scrutinized it. When she was done she asked me “Well what does Carpe diem mean?”
I replied “It means seize the day.”
“Yes and that is exactly what you did yesterday. Congratulations you are not in trouble anymore. You are free to go. Have a nice day.”
“Thanks you too.” I skipped out the door happier than I will ever be.
That day I learned something other than just what the meaning and language of Carpe diem is, I learned to never ever cheat and to always tell the truth.