Julie's Funny Stories

Take a read. C'mon: You've probably got nothing better to do. :D

Chapter 1

GPAs

"Good afternoon class and welcome to the last class of the day!" Mr. Braxton cheered, taping his gavel against the podium. We all cheered back with varying levels of enthusiasm. Ninth period with Mr. Braxton. Awesome sauce.

I must admit I was kinda nervous for what was to come: I had been lazy the night before and hadn't taken notes on the index cards like I was supposed to. They weren't due until Friday, but my laziness had kind of put me behind in my work. So, I had to get busy ASAP.

My second favorite teacher was about to set us off on out studies when it happened. Stupid Venchenzo asked him to tell us each our averages for the term. I tried to suppress my fear. Mr. Braxton put on a crooked smile, like a murderer before assault and said in a somewhat hushed voice, "I can give you your averages." The class cheered except for me. I was swearing like a sailor in my head. Were they TRYING to die young?! He then reminded us that not all teachers had our GPAs yet, and to not harass them for it. Then he called us in alphabetical order. Luckily S is in the middle of our dialect.

Let's get this straight now: I work very hard in Braxton's class. I take pages and pages of notes in Harvard outline form in my notebook. I always try to go above and beyond average. However, his quizzes are going to be the death of me. I score in the mid eighties for his test...They're open notes. Okay, you're thinking, if you take such epic notes, why are you buggin with these quizzes? The answer: I only have a limited time to complete it in class. Five minutes. In that time I'm flipping through my notebook like a savage and picking the answers that make the most sense. I'm not thinking it through because I fear the consequences of it not being done in time.

I came in late to Braxton once because Adam Gidwitz came to our school and had a writing workshop, which I simply had to go to. As he taught the day's lesson, I gradually filled in the answers and took my time. I was cool crisp and confident. I ended up getting 100% correct on that test. While I was doing awesome in other field of the class, these quizzes would kill me. While other kids were getting easy hundreds I was getting sixty-sevens and eight-twos.

I took out my work and pretended to do it. I was having trouble breathing. His warm classroom had turned into a toaster-oven. I tried to make myself breath but was failing. My breaths came out in short pants. I felt hot, sticky and clausterphobic with all these kids around me. I felt trapped-surrounded by my peers. My chair was scooted in so close to my desk that the tan table was pushing against my upper stomach. I had to get out of here for at least a few moments and collect myself.

I hurriedly signed out of the room and tried not to sprint toward the bathroom. Once there, I slammed the old, dragging wooden door. The air in here smelled tainted and foul, but somehow allieving to the humid classroom. I stood in front of the grimy old mirror, above the old and manuel sink. My dark brown hair looked slightly frizzy. I wet my fingers and stroked them through my knoted hair. I wiped the tiny beads of perspiration off of my forehead with a damp paper towel. I deep breathed and thought about the summer. Where I was swimming in Bermuda, seeing Wicked and going to the beach with Talah.

But those days were gone, baby.

I knew that eventually I'd have to face my GPA. I just didn't want that day to be today. Eventually, after what felt like the longest time, I began breathing again. I told myself that whatever it was, I'd have to just deal with it and keep going. Like I did for everything else. Worse case scenario I would guilt him into raising my grade by doing some huge and un-neccesary extra credit project.

I made myself scurry back into class, so I wouldn't have to think about it so much. I slid and squeezed back into my restrictive desk. I bit my lower lip and pretended to read an article. I really tried not to listen to Braxton scold kids on bad quiz grades, even though they were open notes. Surely he would understand my case and situation...or would my fears just be confirmed? If not, I would explain. With simple and broad English. I wouldn't let the words tangle up in my mouth because I was too anxious.

The bell rang. I thought I could have one more night to sleep on this when he called my name along with some others. Damn, I thought. I gathered my things, put up my chair, and made the stomach churning walk to his desk. Thump thump, thump thump, went my heartbeat. I swallowed the lump in my throat and somehow kept my cool. Somehow all of the other kids in the class had already left, leaving only me and Keke. I stopped in front of his desk and nodded a hello.

He looked at me, down at his gradebook and back at me. He stared deep into my eyes and gravelly said, "Thirty seven." I let the info sink in, looked at the floor, and was already coming up with ways to fix this. Or to heal the wounds I had idiotically caused...

Suddenly, he was laughing. A big and bellowing laugh. He leaned back in his chair and put his hand to his chest. "Oh-oh my God," he breathed, hysterically laughing. "That was just-the look on your face! That is priceless!" He clapped his hands and looked at me. "I'm kidding! That is NOT really your grade!" He grinned at me and I slowly started laughing along. Brightly, he added, "Gosh, I have never seen your eyes get so big."

"Yeah, Julie," Keke agreed."You were like a cartoon character." For the next thirty seconds they tried to do imitations of what I looked like. I laughed genuinely.

I asked hoarsely. "What is it really?" Except he thought I'd asked, "Is that it really?"

"No, no. It's ninty-four." He smiled normally at me. "Here look," He gestured to the book. I didn't see me in there amongst all the scribbles and markings, but I believed him. " See, you get one point extra for having always turned things in on time, one point for class participation, and three points for doing such excellent work."

"Thank you," I said sweetly.

"You're welcome," He said as he looked me over. Clearly pleased with himself he asked, "I really scared ya, didn't I?"

I nodded, still trying not to hyperventaliate. "You scared the daylight out of me," I confirmed. I wanted to say, "Scared the crap out of me," but I felt that would be a bit to raunchy for his taste.

"Okay, you can breathe now, " He said, patting my nearmost shoulder. I thought I saw a tinge of concern on his face. "You're doing a great job. Keep it up."

Will do Braxton...Will do.

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