HOMEWORK is generally no fun, unless there is some game involved. There is this one assessment book where you get to solve a sum in stages by playing a puzzle at each step. Homework from school is hardly ever like that. It is boring, plain boring.
So when it comes to homework, my approach is usually this: Do it quickly and be done with it. I’m a busy girl, however, and sometimes that just doesn’t happen. I have this tuition, that tuition, higher Chinese on Fridays, a “Future Problem-Solving” project on Tuesdays, the list is tedious. But life must go on and assignments have to be done.
In this regard, I’m a really good student. I never fail to submit my homework, except this one day last year in the first term. I had forgotten entirely about my math homework, three whole pages of it.
Actually, I hadn’t deliberately forgotten, I genuinely forgot.
That day, a Tuesday, after my Chinese tuition, I returned home at six only to find myself collapsing in bed after a shower. At eight, I crawled out of bed for dinner. By half past eight, I felt like diving back in, but no! My mother wouldn’t have it. She prodded me to work on some science assessment, and so I did, completely oblivious to that due-on-the-next-day math homework.
The next day, Mrs. Chan summoned me to the front of class.
“How can you be so irresponsible?” she said. “And you’re a monitor, you know?” Then the big threat came: “If you do this again, I’ll have someone take over your position.” As if that weren’t enough, there came another: “I’m going to tear up your worksheet, and give you ten more copies.”
I felt lousy. I also resented the way she talked to me. No point defending my case. Say something, anything, and I knew she would say, “Don’t give me any excuses.” And so, with my lips sealed, I returned to my seat and turned to Kate, my best friend and confidante seated on my right: “I don’t really like Mrs. Chan.”
Granted, this lady was not nice, but I also felt a morsel of guilt. How could I have been such a scatterbrain? Oh well, I’ll do better next time.
Faith Yang, Primary Four
For more essays by Faith, visit Faith Writes.
This essay was written in response to the theme “Regret,” and three boxed pictures:
- a girl looking forlorn, almost in tears
- a picture of a happy family
- a girl, slumped against her desk, her chin resting on worksheets, working sulkily on her homework