I learned my lesson about sleeping in class like I’ve learned most life lessons— the hard way.
I was in 5th grade and Mrs. Weathers was my homeroom history teacher.
One day when Mrs. Weathers started our history lesson, I suddenly decided that I was sleepy and needed to take a quick nap. I dozed off right about the time I heard Mrs. Weathers say, “The Boston Tea Party.” I thought, “OK, we’re learning about a tea party that took place a long time ago in Boston. Got it; time for a nap.”
I put my elbow on my desk and propped my head up with my hand. I was snoozing good until the commotion of my classmates putting their books away woke me up. I had missed the entire lesson and it was time for the assignment.
I asked my neighbor what the assignment was. “We’re supposed to draw The Boston Tea Party,” she said. “That’s easy,” I thought. I slept through the entire lesson, but I figured I could use context clues to do the assignment.
I got out my paper and crayons and started drawing. When we were finished, Mrs. Weathers displayed our drawings in the hallway for everyone to see. When we went out to admire our work, I suddenly noticed that everyone’s tea party drawings were completely different than mine.
The people in my classmates’ drawings weren’t behaving like they were at a tea party. They had guns, were throwing things, spilling tea into the harbor and tearing things to pieces.
My drawing, on the other hand, was of these friendly pilgrims and Indians having a quaint tea party on a big ship with huge white sails. They didn’t have guns, there was no tea spilled, the people certainly didn’t look angry and there was plenty of tea to go around.
I noticed the difference in my drawing the same time my classmates did. “Why aren’t they dumping the tea in the harbor?” “Why are they so happy?” “Why does that guy have a feather on his head?” All I could say was that they were having a tea party.
I was mortified and the worst part was that I essentially told on myself for sleeping in class through my uneducated drawing.
Our drawings were displayed in the hallway for a week. For a week I walked by and looked at that dumb drawing and kicked myself for falling asleep in class because my nap was not worth the embarrassment.
I eventually got up to speed on what The Boston Tea Party was actually about, but I never let myself forget how embarrassed I was.
A lesson learned the hard way is still a lesson learned, and if you ask me, I’d say that I learned my lesson about sleeping in class the hard way.
Kayla Beaty is the art director at the Times-Journal. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.