Science Teacher

May 18, 2008
By Angelica Maldonado, Diamond Bar, CA

I was a real procrastinator in eighth grade. I would do my homework at the very last hour of the night or even minutes before class started. However one class during my freshman year would change my life.

Science class with Mr. Iwanaga, a dreaded class for those who feared dissections or the daily punishments he would inflict upon his students; which ranged from water squirting to 500 word definitions. Now I usually stayed quiet in class and completed my class work so that he would never punish me. Things were going great for me for the first few months; I maintained an A in his class and was never punished.

In the month of November, we were set to do a frog dissection with a lab report. The dissection process was done fairly easy, but due to my “I’ll do it later “attitude, I decided to do the lab report the next day. Upon entering school the next day, I noticed my friends comparing their reports with each other at lunch, exchanging an answer or two. Dread filled from head to toe. The lab report was due today and I had done nothing. I ran to the school library in order to finish what I could of the project. I typed away like a madman on the computer. I became uneasy as the dial on the clock loomed closer and closer to science class, for I had only finished the written portion of the report and not the diagrams. Finally it was time for class.

I sat in the back of the classroom while the other students slowly filtered into the room. Mr. Iwanaga stood up and declared that everyone stand up and turn in their reports by rows. I watched row by row as the people in front of me left their seat and went up in front of the class to give their report to him. By the person in front on me left his seat, I was sweating buckets. It was my turn. I walked up towards his desk. I handed him my report. He shuffled through the document as if nothing was wrong. Then he took his marker and wrote a big “INCOMPLETE” on the paper. Now in this class an incomplete assignment usually resulting in a zero.

I begged him to give me another day to finish the report so that I could receive at least half credit for the project. What he said next change my ways, “If I let you get away with this now, you will keep on doing this the next time and the next. You can only learn if you get punished.” I returned to my seat angry at myself and at him. I went home, slammed the door and turn up the volume on the radio. I laid on my bed thinking about what he said and realized that he had stated the truth; I would have procrastinate again if I knew I could get away with it. The following weeks, I finished my homework earlier than I did before and was able to have some free time left over. Thanks to Mr. Iwanaga, I am not the lazy bum I used to be.

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