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Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Cheater Pants

What you are about to read is real. The participant is not an actor.

I was in third grade. Eyes glance upward, thinking look crosses my face, fade to black... fade back in, little girl sits at desk. I'm in class doing my workbook assignment. It's hot so I begin to fan myself with the workbook. Hey! (I think) What's this?

The back of the book is like one of those puzzle books. It has answers in it. I think they are answers, anyway. Eyes become all shifty, teacher located, she is busy reading War and Peace. I better look a little more closely. Yup, those are really answers!

What if my teacher sees? Well, it's not like I am looking at my neighbors paper or anything. I'll just take a quick peek to see if the page I am working on is in here. It probably isn't. I mean heck, why would the teacher put the answers to every page in here? Right?! Wow! It is in here.

I wonder if I got the first couple of questions correct. I better check. Yes, yes, yes, cool, close, I'll just change the decimal place on that one, yes, yes!

Oooppps! I accidentally saw the next answer. Well, there's really no sense in not writing it down. I know what I saw, 575, or was it 474? I better take just one more little peek. Finger still bent, holding page where answers can be found, a quick flip back. Yes I was right, 575! But... oh shoot, I just saw the answer for the next question. I have very good peripheral vision I guess.

The scene repeats itself until all answers are accidentally seen and the workbook page is done.

I go home feeling like a just beat the system. I am a winner who is going to get a paper back tomorrow with an A+ on it! I am so cool!

Little girl settles into bed after a very long day, her wheels begin to spin, 'I am a cheater', she begins to think, she becomes upset with herself for making a poor choice, child vows to never look in the back of the book again, and seriously considers admitting to her teacher what she has done.

I get back to school the next day.

"Time to open your math workbooks to page 82 class."

I begin to raise my hand to discuss yesterday with the teacher. Hand goes up as far as earlobe and quickly comes down. Well, she didn't see me raising my hand, I guess I'll tell her some other time... when she isn't so busy.

Eyes begin to shift, back of book accidentally opens.

I AM A BIG FAT CHEATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The first step is admitting it right? I feel better about this already and after so many years of being haunted it really feels good to get the truth out there.