Cheat sheet maker –My diligence rose to the level of professional status the evening I embarked on a quest for my easy A.
I am recalling events from a quarter of a century ago. Purposely keeping details vague enough to focus on my culpability rather than the eccentricities of my teacher, referred to here as Mister.
If you read this story and recognize whom I am speaking of, keep it to yourself. Mister did not ask for stories about him to be published on the asinine web. I appreciate comments and shares; please respect Mister’s privacy.
And now, presenting “Cheat Sheet Maker: Obsession for Perfection Part One”
I was in the seventh grade and already had enough of learning. Actually not learning, but rather intense cramming of what felt like useless information into my brain through repetitivity. (thank you, Urban Dictionary)
I would repeatedly read or write things until I could see the pages in my head. I was a knockoff Xerox machine. After purging my copies onto an exam paper, my burnt-out copy machine brain would promptly purge pages into a shredder. Sometimes missing a sheet or two I might retain a little; however, most of the time my brain resembled a frantic CEO ridding itself of anything troublesome prior to an IRS raid.
My desire for good grades and lack of naturally substantial intellect required constant study. I studied like it was my job and I was going for nerd of the decade. I did not have a lot going on in the extracurricular or social departments so that left me ample time to obsess over grades.
disciplined anal retentive about my grades. An A was not enough; where was the plus? A 100% was great; but, how many bonus questions were there and why didn’t I get them all correct.
Perfection meant everything. I needed all of the questions to be right. Incorrect answers meant failure. I had a stick rammed up my ass so far a professional wrecking service could not have extracted it. I was a complete uptight asshole. Any dismay remaining regarding my lack of social engagements?
I wanted a study break. I craved an A+ but was willing to accept an easy A. I devised a plan. I was going to cheat on my next Geography test.
Cheating was the perfect solution to my problem. I had seen others successfully doing it. I was convinced that of all my classes, that one was perfect for a successful cheating bid.
Mister Geography was an interesting older fellow. He had a few eccentricities and a childlike naivety about him. Overall, a likable individual, quite possibly a genius, with the personality of an eight-year-old boy.
Mister’s tests were not difficult. He gave a study sheet early in the week. We completed it for homework and then reviewed it in class to make sure we had all adequately copied the answer from our textbook like good little monkeys.
Then, at the end of the week, test day, he handed out blank copies of the study sheet and I usually proceed to word vomit the information to get my perfect grade.
Not this week. I was making a cheat sheet. No more tedious studying for me. I was getting an easy A for once.
I proceeded to spent hours making the perfect cheat sheet.
That’s right. My time and stress saving plan took all evening. You see my anal personality was not satisfied with any old cheat sheet. It had to be perfect. Perfect takes time and determination and a whole notebook of college-ruled paper to get just right.
I sat on my bedroom floor, New Kids on the Block emanated from my Boombox, and made mini versions of the study sheet. At first, almost word-for-word. After completed, I sat, intently examined it and unsatisfied with its size, decided I could do better, and started again.
Over and over the process continued. I got so good that soon I did not have to refer to my study sheet. I cranked out enough cheat sheets I could have supplied my whole class of around 20 students one with a few (possibly a dozen) to spare. Hours later I was satisfied. Really my time was up; it was 9 p.m. and my mom said lights out.
The next day I was a paranoid mess. Mister handed out the tests. I awkwardly slide my perfect cheat sheet under my test paper. I would soon discover that is not the optimal place for a cheat sheet to be effectively utilized.
On previous test days, I remember Mister sitting at his desk or walking slowly around the room with his hands clasp behind his thin frame. Not on this day.
TO BE CONTINUED… Cheat Sheet Part Two next post
Tune in next time to find out how my cheat sheet saga ended (spoiler: badly). And to hear Husband’s experience with cheating in the same class (better than mine).
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