Mamacita says: Bonus points if you know the source of the title. It’s one of my favorites!
Perhaps it’s just because I’m a humorless old woman with no life, but I honestly do think that deciding to sleep in on the day of your mid-term exam was a really bad idea. I also think it might have been worth the excruciating pain your hangnail and hangover and sore throat and deep throat* (who do you think you’re trying to fool?) would have given you, to come to class and take your test. The room is large enough that you could have sat in the back and kept your germs to yourself, and when you were finished you could have taken a nap, completely undisturbed. Yes, I did receive your email explaining how you had to work late last night and were really, really tired, and when the alarm went off you just couldn’t get up, you just COULDN’T, so for the sake of your health you turned over and went back to sleep, and you thanked me in advance for understanding because you know I remember how it felt to be young and so tired it just wasn’t humanly possible to get up for just a test. I didn’t answer it because it’s hard to type when you’re laughing that hard.
I remember being so tired it wasn’t humanly possible to turn OVER, let alone get up. But I got up anyway, because I had responsibilities. I sleep-walked across campus many times, to take a test. I took tests with migraines so severe there were sparks shooting out of my head and I could barely read the questions. I took tests that I’d pulled two or three all-nighters in a row to prepare for, and I really believed I was prepared! I have fallen asleep with my head resting on my completed test. I never once cut class on a test day, even though there were plenty of times when I wanted to.
I think a great way of telling whether a person is an adult or still a kid is watching him/her to see if he/she is, on a regular basis, dragging the ol’ carcass out of bed to do something because it’s there to be done, you’ve committed to doing it, people are waiting for you to get up and get there to do it, you signed up to do it, you promised people you’d be there to do it, you paid money to do it or you’re being paid money to do it, and by golly you’re just SUPPOSED to be there to do it. No excuses.
Teenagers really do need far more sleep than even a baby, and they seldom get it. Many adults don’t understand this, and they insist that a teen GET UP on a Saturday morning or a vacation, because YOU’RE WASTING HALF THE DAY! COME ON, GET UP, THERE ARE CHORES TO BE DONE, ETC ETC ETC and these things can’t be done at nighttime, apparently. . . . Plus, there’s the absolutely ridiculous early-morning start of high school, which most experts agree is detrimental to most teens’ body clock and yet school systems insist on it, mostly for the convenience of the bus drivers and families who rely on their older kids to babysit the younger kids after school. Doesn’t anybody care about our sleepy teens? An average teenager’s body requires ten to fourteen hours of sleep sometimes! Why won’t some parents let the kid sleep? Just, you know, leave the kid alone and let him SLEEP? Wasting the day? Some people are night owls, plain and simple, and sleeping when they’re the most tired is just logical. Not everybody loves the early morning. I don’t. I hate it, in fact. “Jane, you’re wasting half of your Saturday!” No, I wasn’t. My Saturday was divided differently than certain other people, that’s all. And at nine or ten p.m., when those people were curled up in bed, I was just beginning to be at my mental-alertness peak. I’m still that way. Teens are wasting good daylight hours when they could be DOING something? No, they’re not. Teenagers desperately need that sleep, so leave them alone on their days off and let them sleep. It doesn’t do any good to insist that a kid go to bed earlier, either. Most of the time, a kid just isn’t sleepy enough to go to bed earlier. Mother Nature is a wily old thing and wired us all differently, sleep-needs-wise.
So who’s right and who’s wrong? Nobody, of course. But far too many adults can’t fathom a kid who wants to sleep so much. Nay, a kid who MUST sleep so much. I understand it completely. I sympathize. I’m all for leaving the kid alone and letting him sleep. He needs that sleep. He needs hours and hours and hours of blissful uninterrupted sleep, far more than adults need. Leave the kid alone and let him sleep!
Unless, of course, the kid, of his own free will, signed up for a job, or a degree, in which case, the kid needs to be there, #2 pencil in hand, or spiffy uniform donned and ready to fry, right smack when he/she contracted to be there, or else. Part of becoming an adult is forcing oneself to do things one really doesn’t want to do, simply because it’s the right thing to do. Many forty-year-olds still haven’t learned this.
HOWEVER, if that’s the case, these kids should have signed up for the midafternoon or evening class, not the morning class. And since they did sign up for it, they need to honor their commitment. Most of my students have jobs. That’s good. All teens should pay for their own car insurance, dates, and fast food with the pals. But if a kid can get up for fast food with the pals, the kid can get up for class.
Especially on midterm day. Because, you know, there are no makeup tests for the sluggards. And a person of any age, past eight, who doesn’t keep his/her promises and honor his/her commitments and do what he/she knows is the right thing, is a person who makes my ass twitch. Not the good way, either.
*PLEASE take a shower before you come to class. Nobody wants to breathe the aroma of stale tuna for three hours before noon. Or any other time. Ick.
You know, my older students never do this. Hmmmmm.