One Essay to Rule Them All

Where: Sub-Junior (Year 9) Classroom with Br Powell (aka Wilbur) for English

I was one of those annoying kids who couldn't understand how anyone could find Maths difficult and, perhaps as a consequence, was not a hard worker.

I didn't mind writing an English essay, but just couldn't see why I needed to prove it every week, week after week.

So I hit upon a scheme.

We were supposed to write an essay on an assigned subject every weekend.

On Monday, we had to hold our essays up on our chests, while Wilbur walked down one side of the class room and back up the other, checking that the essays had been done.

Then we handed them in for marking.

Now in this particular classroom, Jim O'Brien and I sat together in the back row, right hand corner.

I figured that Wilbur would be swiveling as he passed us and surely would only be able to take in the title of the essay, which would match the assigned subject.

So I took an essay that I'd written the previous year, in Scholarship. I remember it was about what animal we'd choose to be if we could.

And changed the title!

Every week, week after week.

And then didn't hand it in, of course.

Seemed to me that Wilbur would simply be working through and marking the 40 or so essays handed in, without ever pausing to reflect on the possibility that one might be missing.

Did it work?

Absolutely. The only essays I wrote that year were the ones set for the end of term tests and the end of year examination.

Like I said, not the most conscientious student.