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Tales of an 8th Grade Failure
“Thirty pages?” I screamed. “I have to read 30 pages about Moby-What’s-His-Face by Monday?” Lately, it seems like my education consists more of boredom than anything else.
“That’s enough from you! Reading thirty pages, contrary to popular belief, will not kill you.” Mrs. Hopsins said. I groaned. It was the end of the world. My brain is going to explode or something. English is the worst class in the history of the world. Why do I need english class anyway? I speaks great! Suddenly, I heard a bell. I sprang up, grabbed my things and ran out of the room.
“FREEDOM!!!” I yelled. I got about halfway down the hall when I noticed that no one else was in the hall. Where was everyone? Then it dawned on me. That was the 8-minute bell. Crap. I walked slowly back to the room, debating if it was worth the trouble to sluff eight minutes of class. Mrs. Hopsins’ glare could’ve melted steel. I avoided the horrible look and sat in my seat again.
“Phillip von Shrinken, what were you thinking?” Shrieked Mrs. Hopsins. A few students snickered.
“She used the full name!”
“Is that even legal?”
“What kind of a name is that?”
“Who took my Kool-Aid?” Mrs. Hopsins’ face was purple with rage. I looked at the clock. Guess what? Still seven minutes. And this was only first period. Every Tuesday seems to start like this.
Once English was actually over, I shuffled my feet sluggishly to second period. At least I won’t get a chance to run out of the pool before class ends, I thought. I was nearly tardy, but managed to run in at the last possible second. The rest of the day continued regularly enough, I didn’t leave any more classes early. Seventh period ended, without my leaving the room early, to my delight. I was walking home when I remembered about the thirty pages. My glorious world came crashing down.
“What’s wrong?” Mark asked finishing his Kool-Aid he took back from Bethany. I stayed quiet. He kept asking until I finally caved in and reminded him about the reading.
“Oh yeah. I forgot she added another chapter ‘cause of you. I hope I can finish in time. I mean I’m busy! I gotta finish Call of Duty before Taylor! I’ve got five bucks on this bet!” I rolled my eyes. There’s more to life than an X-Box. That’s what cable T.V. is for! We said goodbye, and I went inside my house. I threw my stuff onto the couch. I picked up our book and the T.V. remote. After a few seconds of thinking, I made a decision.
At 6:30, Mom told me to turn off the television and come eat dinner. I obeyed, and ate my dinner quietly.
“Anything interesting happen at school, honey?” Mom asked. I shoved macaroni in my mouth so I didn’t have to answer.
“I can’t talk with my mouth full,” I said. Dad rolled his eyes.
“So I guess that call from your teacher wasn’t about anything important right?” I spewed my macaroni across the table. Oh crud. I didn’t think Mrs. Hopsins would actually call my parents.
“Gotta do some homework!” I shouted, running from the table. I headed right for my room and slammed the door. Then I realized that my book about Moby Dip or whatever was on the couch. I risked opening my door, and ran right into my parents.
“So, can I get my book?” I asked. Mom and Dad glared at me.
“Guess not.” I said. This is going to be a long night.
The next morning Mom tried to wake me up multiple times, but to no avail. She gave up and said I could just be late to school. I sprung out of bed and got ready as fast as possible. The last thing I needed was another excuse for Mrs. Hopsins to ruin my life. I sprinted to school and entered the building just as the two minute music started. I decided to drag all of my textbooks to English. I had just barely sat in my seat when the bell rang. Mrs. Hopsins looked very disappointed.
Today, English wasn’t as bad as yesterday, but Mrs. Hopsins started asking us how far we were in the book and if we liked it. I sank in my chair. She must’ve known I didn’t read any of it. Well, I’ve still got five more days right?
The rest of the day was a drag. I belly flopped in the pool, spilled my lunch, and failed my History test. When I got home, I decided I should just read the stupid book. I opened it and read the first line. Call me Ishmael. My mouth was open and I accidentally drooled on the page. I read a little more and feel asleep.
The next thing I knew, I was waking up with my head stuck to the book. I looked at the clock. 7:30! School started in twenty minutes! I didn’t bother to look in the mirror because I didn’t have time. Mrs. Hopsins had a malicious grin when she saw I was late. I spent first period wondering why people were staring at my forehead and laughing. When I was in the hall, someone looked at me and then said,
“What up Ishmael?” What was that? I thought. Ishmael? That’s the guy from Moby Dickens! Why were they calling me that? I ran into the bathroom and look in the mirror.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I said. On my forehead was tattooed, leamhsI em llaC. Man! The ink must have dried onto my forehead. Ugh! I knew that book was evil!
I spent the rest of the day being called Ishmael. It didn’t even come off in the pool. Dang it. I missed half of the History lesson because I was hiding my forehead from everyone else. Not that I actually missed much, Butter-fingers Bransom, as we call him because of his clumsiness, droned on and on about the settlement in New England, Romanoke, whatever it’s called. When I got home, I decided to venture into the uncharted lands of reading yet again. This time with a doctor’s mask.
I read as much as I could bear, which was about five pages, and called it quits. I ate dinner silently, for the third night in a row. I tried to make it seem like I was so quiet because I was so busy chomping on Brussels sprouts. My mom is the worst cook ever, so when you take something that is already disgusting, and have mom cook it, gross! I managed to clear my plate, patting my stomach and convincingly claimed how delicious they were. My reward was another plate full of green disgustingness. Yippee.
I tried to sleep, but I couldn’t get that horrible taste out of my mouth. I now had one decision left. I crept out of bed as stealthily as possible, aware that if mom or dad woke up, I would get another lecture on what 2:30 AM means. I finally saw the couch, and on it, Moby Drip. I grabbed it and sneaked back into bed. I opened the book, and got lost.
After I realized what I had just done, it was 6:00, and I was almost done with the book. Wait, rewind. I was almost done with this stupid book? Whoa! This isn’t as bad as I thought. I concluded that it wasn’t worth the trouble to try for twenty minutes to get ten minutes of sleep. I got out of bed and went out to the kitchen to get breakfast. I started to pour my Cheerios when mom showed up and yelled at me.
“PHILLIP VON SHRINKEN, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”
“Eating breakfast?” I said hesitantly. Mom went on to explain that normal people don’t eat breakfast at 2:00 in the morning.
“I tripped on your clock’s cord, so now it says that it’s 6:00. Sorry.” She said. I groaned. That’s what I heard last night. Why does everything happen to me?