Sunday, August 21, 2005

Please excuse Crumblord

"... he had a tummy ache."

I have a note to explain my absence. It's signed by my mother (she's used to this sort of thing.) So what homework have I missed?

Although I was your usual little brainiac-genius, there were many periods when I just didn't like school. Usually it was fine, but every so often I just couldn't face it. My mother had a refreshingly direct attitude toward school - she has often said that the only reason she sent us to school at all was to make friends, as she suspected we were smart enough to be unlikely to learn anything there that we didn't already know. So, after a while writing normal notes like, "Please excuse Crumblord's absence, he had the sniffles," she decided to just tell it like it is.

"Please excuse Crumblord's absence from school. He did not feel like going."

This was received rather frostily by the school administration, but really, what were they going to do about it?

Occasionally my mother would drive me to elementary school - looking back, I cannot imagine why, as we lived literally across the street. This must have been my extreme procrastination kicking in. I remember one instance in particular when she, wearing a nightgown and robe, drove me to school in our white Datsun; she didn't just pull up in the front circle drive, but drove right up onto the sidewalk and deposited me in front of the office. These days, she'd be in danger of being some kind of Fox News Channel story. "Nightgown Mom Goes Beserk!"

Even in high school I was perpetually late and treading the line with absences. My sophomore year, the chemistry teacher had a policy that if you were late, don't bother coming to class. Luckily for me, I was a whiz at chemistry, because I missed the bell many times.

It all came to a head when I got into college, and no one was making me go to my early classes. So, I didn't go. After a high school career of As and the occasional B, I was flunking out of every class except my theater classes. What to do? It was a horrible combination of procrastination and sleep deprivation.

I still am a sleep junkie (8 1/2 hours is perfect for me if I'm caught up on sleep - otherwise it can be 9 or even 10 hours), but for many things I'm actually early. When I was having to commute to NYC from Baltimore on the days I was teaching, my train was at 5:30 in the morning. This got me into the city with enough time to eat a leisurely breakfast, read the comics page, and still be the first faculty member into class. (I hope I don't jinx it now. Eeesh.)

So, pardon my absence. I was doing many things - putting on a show, lecturing on a cruise ship (who knew people did such things?), recovering from a stupidly acquired sunburn, writing articles, having the summer blahs. For much of the summer my brain has felt like a gelatinous mass of uninteresting thoughts (most of which were variations of "When is Battlestar Galactica on?") But now I'm back. Lucky, lucky you.

Pssst. Can I borrow your notes for the quiz tomorrow? I swear I'll pay you back.


Blogger Hanuman1960 said...

Welcome back Crumblord!!!

5:01 AM  
Blogger Sherry said...

Aaaah, you're alive!

8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding 'excuses' for being late or skipping school ...

Produced during the era of the IBM Selectric WITH memory, a template and accompanying list of reasons to fit within the socially acceptable tenets of the [elementary; middle or high] school] managed contingencies well. Upon hearing your reason and evaluating its effects if used verbatim, should it would fail the "acceptability" test, the Selectric selected the next in line "closest" statement not proffered recently.

Unfortunately, the Selectric lacked capacity to manage the college freshman year GPA (0.9)! b

Anonymous author of those brief statements and responsible parent

8:54 AM  

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