And now, a first for the BeowulfBlog! Instead of telling you something that happened in my distant past (on which the statute of limitations has probably run out), I'm going to relate something that actually happened this week!
We're coming down the home stretch here at Very Serious University. Monday afternoon at 2:45 was my first final exam of the term. The class wanted to go out to dinner after the exam, at Applebee’s. I said that would be lovely.
There’s this kid in the class named Dave. He’s freaky looking. He’s very short and has an enormous head. He’s kind of proportioned like Timmy on South Park. In the last 15 weeks, I have never heard him speak. All he did was sit there in the back of the room and stare at me with these creepy, creepy, crazy eyes. Nobody talked to him because he was just so damn scary.
About one-half of the class was left when Creepy Dave finished his exam. He came up to my desk and wordlessly handed it in.
“Are you coming to the dinner?” I asked, hoping he wasn’t.
“No,” he said, dully.
“Oh, that’s a shame,” I lied. “Why not?”
And Dave looked at me with his crazy eyes and suddenly yelled: “I don’t want to go to dinner with YOU! You’re a terrible teacher and I hate this class!”
I was too stunned to say anything. The rest of the class looked up in horror. Dave stalked out of the class in a huff.
There was silence until Chris, one of the brighter beads on the rosary, asked; “Um…you don’t think he’s coming back with a gun, do you?”
“Jesus Christ!” I said.
Jason, who sat next to Dave for the whole term, suddenly said: “Professor BeowulfGirl, I think you should know something. This whole semester he hasn’t been taking notes. All he’s been doing is drawing pictures of the Devil in his notebook!”
By now I was really freaked out. Everyone hurried up with their exams and we bolted out of there. It was time to go to Applebee’s.
There were nine of us altogether. I had to give Aliya, far and away the best student in class, a ride because she didn’t have a car. We got to the Applebee’s without incident and secured two large tables in the corner.
I was sitting between Jason and Marissa, talking about engineering. Time was flying by until suddenly Chris, who was sitting at the neighboring table, approached me and said in a whisper; “Professor, I think we have a problem.”
“What’s up?” I asked.
“I think Aliya’s drunk.”
I looked over at the other table. Aliya was babbling at the top of her lungs, apparently to no one. In front of her were several empty beer-bottles. From what I could hear, she was talking about bacon.
“What do we do?” asked Jason.
“Well, don’t give her anything more to drink, that’s for sure,” I said.
“Should we get her coffee?”
“No, that doesn’t work,” I said, “she’ll be just as drunk, only wired.” I got up and went to Aliya’s table. “Does anyone know where she lives?”
“I really like bacon,” Aliya said, wobbily.
“Aliya,” I asked her, “where do you live?”
“I’m going to look in her purse,” I said.
“Can we do that?” asked Chris.
“Well, we have to find out where she lives,” I said. Loudly; “Aliya, honey, I’m going to look in your purse, okay?”
“Whatever, dawg,” said Aliya, and slumped backward.
I found her I.D. (no driver’s license) and found out that she lived only a few miles from my house. “I can take her home,” I said.
Chris said; “No, you can’t.”
“Think about it,” he said. “You’re her professor. She’s drunk and underage. If you bring her home in this condition and her parents freak and call the school, you could lose your job.”
I blinked. I hadn’t even thought of that. “Well, Jesus, what are we going to do?” I asked.
“Let’s walk her around outside a while,” Chris suggested.
Chris, Jason and I hauled Aliya up and dragged her out the door. She kept insisting she wasn’t drunk. Chris finally said he would take her home and deal with her parents. We all agreed this was very brave. They took off.
Two days later I received an e-mail from Aliya, who was happy Chris had taken her home. She didn’t say if she got in trouble with her parents, but to cheer her up, I told her that she had earned an “A.”
Sometimes, that’s all you need.