A Day in the Life of a Frazzled Student
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
“Ahuva, it’s time for school! Get up!” shouts my little sister as she pokes me continuously. I groan and look at my clock. It’s already seven o’clock!
I look down at myself and realize I slept in my clothing on top of my homework at my desk–which isn’t done yet. I yawn widely. I don’t know how I’m going to make it through school today; I went to sleep last night at around 2:30 AM. You’d be surprised how much a cup of coffee can help. I get out of my chair, stretch, and walk over to my closet. No uniform. I pick up a skirt from the bottom of the closet. Still no uniform. Oh, yeah, I didn’t bring them up from the basement last night. I glance at the clock and run downstairs.
After a few minutes of fruitless searching– aha! My uniform skirt! And there… my shirt! I grab them and run upstairs to get dressed. I open up my drawer and look for a pair of knee socks. None. In the background, I hear my mother yelling at my five-year-old brother to go and put on some clothing or he’ll miss the bus.
“Sara!” I yell to my ten-year-old sister. “Did you take any of my knee socks?”
“Yeah, so what?” she answers.
“I don’t have any other ones!” I exclaim in frustration.
“Well, I’m wearing these ones already.” She says stubbornly. “I’m not taking them off.”
“Sara…” I growl. She sticks her tongue out at me and runs downstairs. I frantically look through my drawer yet again. What was that? Oh. I pull out an ancient and hideous pair of socks. Too bad, there’s no time to look for another pair.
I go back to my desk and gather all my scattered papers. Stuffing them into my knapsack, I run downstairs in search of my shoes. There’s one under the table. Where’s the other one? I race upstairs. Not there. I run downstairs and look through the living room. Nothing. Dining room. Nothing. OK, I’ll do everything else first, and then look for my shoes. I rush into the kitchen and look at the school lunch menu.
Oh, gross. Rubber hot dogs. Yes, they really are rubber. You should see how high they bounce. And how much they look like a roll of grass in a bun. The resemblance is uncanny. And we’re not even going to begin to discuss what the beans look like. You really don’t want to know.
I open up the refrigerator and look inside. Aha! Some macaroni from dinner last night. Some little ketchup packets. I grab them, along with an apple for snack. Opening the freezer, I snatch my water bottle, and…What the heck is my shoe doing in the freezer? Forget it, I don’t want to know. I grab it and put it on. Whoa! It’s freezing! Where was it, in the freezer, or something? Oh, yeah. It was. I look at my watch- oh no! It’s 7:25! My bus is gonna be here in five minutes… and I didn’t brush my hair yet!
As I put away my food, I brush my hair as quickly as possible, which isn’t that fast. I put it in a bun and toss the brush on the couch. The curse of the curly-headed. Oh no. The bus is honking outside! I snatch my sweatshirt, and grab a handful of cereal from the box. “Bye, Mom!” I yell as I take my knapsack and race down the stairs after my two little sisters. I forgot to close the door! I run as fast as I can and slam it shut, zooming down the stairs as fast as I possibly can. I jump in the bus seconds before the door swishes shut. I collapse in a seat and sigh deeply. Made it.
Oh no! I just remembered! I have a dikduk quiz today! Of all quizzes to have on a day I didn’t study, why does it have to be dikduk? Not only do I loathe dikduk, I stink at it! I open up my knapsack and look for my dikduk booklet. Yes! I have it! I open it up and try to concentrate. Ani amarti, ata amarta…
All too soon, the bus pulls up in front of school. I stuff my booklet into my knapsack and get off the bus.
As I huff my way up the fourth flight of steps, I realize that not only have I not finished my English homework, I didn’t do my math homework- for the fifth time in a row. OK. I am officially dead meat. As I get to my classroom, I groan in annoyance. We just switched seats, and I forgot where I sit. I walk up and down the aisles, trying to see if maybe I can find some sort of clue to where my desk is. No, too neat. No, that’s not my dictionary. Finally, at the last row, I find my seat. How do I know? Well, there’s my American History textbook and part of my orange from yesterday’s snack. And…Eew! What is that? I run my finger through the pile of goo on my desk. I have no idea what it is, but maybe I shouldn’t have touched it. I walk into the bathroom holding my breath, and quickly wash my hands, and grab a bunch of paper towels. Using the paper towels, I open the door– heaven only knows who could have touched the doorknob.
After cleaning up the gloop on my desk, I take everything and stuff it under my desk. I sigh. I really need to clean it up someday soon. Oh well, no time for that now. After going through my knapsack (which really needs to be cleaned someday soon), I pull out my Animal Farm book, question sheet, and my answers. Pen…pen…aha! Pen! Darn. It’s broken. Another pen…yes! It works! OK, Chapter Two, question two- Describe Napoleon. How am I supposed to know that? It’s not like I read the chapter yet. I flip open the book. Blah, blah, blah. Aha! Here we are! I start writing- Napoleon is one of the pigs on Manor Farm…
BRING! I jump out of my seat, startled. The bell!
“Good morning, girls!” says Morah, as she stands at the door. “Please start davening.” Oh, darn. My siddur is in my locker! Good thing it’s in my classroom. I rush over to my locker and try to open it. It won’t budge. I try a bit harder. Nothing.
“Ahuva, what are you doing by the lockers? I just asked the class to begin davening.”
“I forgot to take my siddur out of my locker before, and now my locker’s jammed.” I answer.
“Probably ‘cuz of the tornado that’s gonna come out if you open it.” Says Malki jokingly. But it’s not really a joke– it’s true. My locker…gee, how’d you guess? It really needs to be cleaned out someday.
“Well, then you can use my siddur.” says Morah, with an annoyed expression.
You think Morah is annoyed. I despise her siddur. Not that I have anything against siddurim, it’s just that hers is really annoying. The pages are paper thin, and considering my clumsiness, I’ll probably manage tearing a few pages. And not to mention you need a microscope to read the words. Oh, well, what else am I going to use?
“Girls, I have to go to a meeting.” says Morah. “Please daven to yourselves.”
I start to daven. When I finish davening, I take out my Animal Farm and start writing. I’m up to the seventh question, when suddenly I feel someone leaning over me.
“Ahuva, is that Navi?” says a voice softly.
Oh no! It’s Morah! She takes away my notes with an evil stare. “Banot, please take out a piece of paper. We’re having a quiz.”
Oh, wonderful. I didn’t have time last night to review Navi, because of all my other homework.
“First question.” begins Morah Klein. “Which king switched the capital of Malchus Yisroel?”
Huh? How am I supposed to know that? We learned it two days ago! And I was busy doodling on my notebook cover which was a lot more interesting at the time. Oh well.
A few minutes later, I hand in my quiz certain that I didn’t do well. I miraculously find my Navi and notebook. Morah Klein starts teaching and soon I’m lost in daydream land. All of a sudden, a voice snaps, “Ahuva, are you with me?”
“Huh?” I ask. “Oh, yeah. I am.” I say quickly.
Morah Klein looks at me suspiciously. “Really?” she says, and by the tone of her voice, I can tell she doesn’t believe me. “What did I just say before?” she asks.
“Uh, if I was with you?” I answer feebly. The class bursts into laughter. Morah Klein does not look very pleased with my answer.
“Before that,” she snaps. Uh oh.
“Uh, I don’t know?” I say.
“Are you asking me, or telling me?” says Morah Klein, as she gives me a very dirty look that clearly states I’m testing her patience, which is shrinking very rapidly.
“I’m sorry,” I say. “I’ll pay attention now, really I will.”
Morah Klein doesn’t say anything, but starts to teach again. I keep my word and pay attention for another five minutes before slipping into daydream land for the rest of the period.
The bell rings loudly, and pulls me out of my daydream. In walks Morah Adler. “Banot, itz time for the dikduk mivchan,” she says in her thick Israeli accent.
As I expected, the quiz went horribly. As did Morah Bauman’s class (yehadus), and Morah Nueman’s Chumash class. In Morah Bauman’s class, I fell asleep. Yes, really. When Morah Bauman saw that I was sleeping, she quickly woke me up and kicked me out of class. Some of the kids were laughing so hard they were crying.
Well, what a lovely day this is turning out to be. And I don’t even have my Animal Farm homework with me to finish it. Morah Klein took it away first period. So I just sit outside in the hallway until Morah Gross, the principal walks by. I try unsuccessfully to hide, but she sees me anyway.
“Ahuva, what are you doing out of class?” she asks.
“I got kicked out of class,” I mumble, hoping she doesn’t hear me. Unfortunately, she hears me quite well.
“And why is that?” she snaps.
“I fell asleep in class,” I whisper very quietly. I’m sorry to say that Morah Gross has extraordinary hearing, and she hears that too. For the next ten minutes, she gives me a speech about how I shouldn’t be falling asleep during class. It is not a pleasant ten minutes. Luckily, the bell rings for next period, and I am saved from a longer speech from Morah Gross.
Morah Nueman walks in and Chumash begins. “Girls, who would like to read the next pasuk out loud?” she asks. “Ahuva, please read the next pasuk, and the Rashi, too.”
I look at my filthy desk. No Chumash. Uh-oh. When Morah Nueman finds out, she sends me back out to the hallway. I am getting to know it very well. Thankfully, Morah Gross does not pass by.
Finally, the lunch bell rings. I run inside and discover that someone has thrown away my lunch. And that being after she spilled it all over my desk, chair, knapsack, the works. She offers me her lunch, but she has tuna, mayonnaise, cheese, peanut butter, mustard, ketchup, duck sauce, and various spices on a stale roll. So I say, “Thanks, but I’m not really hungry,” which is a complete lie, but do I want to eat that sandwich?
So I spend lunch period doing homework and trying (but not succeeding) to ignore the fact that my friend has pizza for lunch and is not sharing it. By the time history comes, I am starving. Luckily, history is one of my best subjects, so I am not that worried. The light suddenly goes off, and I realize that my normal teacher is not here. Instead we have the meanest substitute teacher on the face of this planet.
And I thought my day could get no worse. Mrs. Engel, the substitute, hands out a thirty-paged booklet that we have to finish by the end of class. Yeah, like that will ever happen. By the end of class, I finish only ten pages. Mrs. Engel tells me the rest is for homework. Oh, great.
I grab my stuff and run into English, happy I’m ready for one class. I slide into my seat seconds before the bell rings. In walks Ms. Farber. “Good afternoon, girls,” bellows Ms. Farber.
“Good afternoon, Ms. Farber,” we chant together.
“Okay, straight to work,” she begins. “Take out your homework for Animal Farm.”
I open up my knapsack and start to look for my homework. It’s not there. I look through my knapsack frantically. Still no homework. I look again. Still not there. Ms. Farber comes over to me. “Ahuva, where is your homework?”
“I don’t know, I can’t find it!” I say, looking through my knapsack again. “I did it, I promise!”
“Ahuva, this is the third day in a row that your homework isn’t done. I want to you to write it over ten times, starting at recess.” she snaps. Giving me an evil stare, she goes to the next girl to see her homework.
As you may have guessed, English class is a disaster, of course. Ms. Farber calls on me and since I don’t have my homework, I can’t answer the question.
I barely make it to science class on time. As I rush in, Mrs. Seigelman gives me a stern look.
“Sit down, Ahuva, before you’re late again.” Science class is as boring as usual. But Mrs. Seigelman is in a surprisingly bad mood.
“The next person that talks must copy three chapters out of the textbook.” she threatens.
The class is immediately becomes silent. Suddenly, something pokes me in the back.
“Ow!” I shriek. Because whatever it is, it hurts a lot.
Mrs. Seigelman stares at me. “What did I just say, Ahuva?” she hisses.
“The next person who talks will write three chapters from the textbook,” I say in a puzzled voice, having no clue why she’s asking. I didn’t talk.
“Which is exactly what you are going to be doing right now.” she snaps.
“But Mrs. Seigelman–” I begin.
“But me no buts,” she nearly shouts. “Out!”
And out is where I spend science class. Math class is just as bad as every other class of the day. One word? Catastrophic. Well, to make a long story short, I get kicked out of class for arguing with the math teacher, Mrs. Silverberg. Well, two times three is NOT seven. So it isn’t my fault.
At this point, a day can’t possibly get any worse, right? Wrong. My bus comes a half an hour late, and I have to wait for it in the rain, without a raincoat or umbrella.
When I come home, my mother is waiting at the door, and boy, is she furious. “Ahuva, where have you been?” she rants. “I’ve been waiting for hours!”
“Mom, it hasn’t been that long!” I protest. My mom tends to exaggerate when she’s upset.
“Are you contradicting me?” she snaps. “I hope not.”
I trudge upstairs to my room, very annoyed. A few minutes later, Mom calls, “Supper!”
I run downstairs. I haven’t eaten, and I’m starving. But what’s for dinner? Brussels sprouts and meatloaf. Yuck.
Unfortunately, Mom makes me eat it all. Sara behaves like an angel and I am confined to my room.
As the day ends, I sigh heavily. Maybe tomorrow will be better. And maybe not.