The last time I checked, I had successfully completed the third grade. OK, successfully might be stretching it as a descriptor but I made it through. And no, I do not have a diploma or letter of recognition to commemorate the occasion. But then again, I come from an era where mediocrity was not celebrated.
It was expected.
It was generally assumed that if at the end of the third grade school year your name is on the list of students moving to the fourth grade that you had completed the requirements for the third grade. There were no ceremonies, no pomp. Just move along.
How is it, then, that I find myself once again in Mrs. Reed’s third grade classroom?
Zoë had a social studies project due this morning. We’ve had approximately three weeks to complete the assignment. Three weeks we have had to research and gather information. Three weeks we have had to organize the information and place it on a display board. Three weeks we have had to prepare a visual and oral presentation. Three weeks.
It took me two days!
Karma is a bitch. Don’t let anyone tell you that shit won’t come back and bite you because I just spent the better part of my weekend repaying 36 years of bad vibe for dialing-in that report on Grover Cleveland in the third grade.
(Karma is also very patient.)
You see, Zoë is what we might call in the business—a procrastinator. A dilly-dallyer. A why do today what you can leave for tomorrow type of person. The project was due this morning and as of Friday afternoon, she had not started it.
She was so far under the gun that the task of getting the project completed on time had become immobilizing. Left to her own accord the project would have never been completed. She needed help. Big time. And as much as I would have liked for this to become a life lesson, a monumental teaching moment, I couldn’t face the prospect of knowingly letting her fail, which she surely would have had I not stepped in.
So yeah, I spent the better part of my weekend helping Zoë with her social studies project. And by better part I actually mean my entire weekend. And by helping I mean doing.
Karma has been repaid.
I took Zoë to school this morning and as I made the way to her classroom couldn’t help but eyeball some of her classmates’ work. Decent for the most part but let me assure you kids—and you know who you are—karma will haunt you.