This I Believe: Always Do Your Homework

by Kelsey McCauley
I believe in always doing my homework. My parents told me this when I was in first grade. And at the time, homework was a lot easier.  So I told them I wouldn’t let them down.
Well, years later, I was in one of my classes and we were reading a book and completing study guide questions. It was almost time to go to my next class.
Suddenly, my teacher said, “I have bad news, class. You have homework tonight.”   The whole entire class booed and complained because she had told us at the beginning of the year that we would never have homework.  So then she got angry and told us that we were going to have double the homework.   She gave us another worksheet full of reading questions and told us that the paper would be graded. Lastly, if we didn’t do it, she would call our parents.

Just then, the bell rang. The whole class darted for the door, eager to escape. However, the day’s events lingered.  My friends and I talked about my teacher and how unfair her homework assignment was.  Because we were angry, we decided not to do it.  Just to see what would happen.

When conventional excuses didn't do, I got creative...

So the next morning we came into class without our homework done and scared to death. Everybody had a nervous look on his or her face. I sat in my seat, sweating bullets like everybody else in the room. Then our teacher walked in.

“So did everybody do their homework?” she asked. Everyone in the class looked at one another.  And I could hear everybody murmuring “no” under his or her breath.  I was relieved that I wasn’t the only one that didn’t do her homework. But then it got worse.

Our teacher divided the class into two groups, first one the students that did their homework and the students that didn’t.  She then made the people in the second group explain why they hadn’t done their homework. I was so nervous that I thought that I was going to faint. But then it dawned on me.  As the teacher neared me, I could feel the plan building and growing in my mind.  When she got to me, I knew just what to say.

I told the teacher that my 90-year-old great grandmother died.  My family had to clean out her house, which took the entire night. I was still shaking as I finished my story, playing the part.  And the best thing was, my teacher bought it…or at least seemed to.   Before moving onto the next student, she said that she would call my parents to confirm the story. When she said that I almost died.  I figured out that I would probably get grounded (or killed) that night.

I went home and saw that my dad was not there.  I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking I could delete the message on the answering machine if my teacher had called. I started doing my homework right away. Then the phone rang. I began to feel nervous; my legs started shaking again. I picked up the phone. It was a man’s voice, and I suddenly felt relieved.  It was my dad.  But then, I no longer felt relieved.  He said he was coming home to talk to me. Now I felt like I was going to die again.

Twenty minutes later his car pulled into the driveway.  He walked in with a stern look on his face,  looking very angry and disappointed.  He started talking in a slow voice.

“Kelsey,” he began, “did you tell your teacher that you couldn’t do your homework because your great grandmother died?”

To make a long story short, I caved.  I told him everything.  After a long discussion surrounding the multiple ways in which I had disappointed him, he told me not to do anything like that again, and to write a letter to the teacher saying I was sorry for lying to her. He also told me that I was grounded.  For a week.

The next day I handed the note to my teacher and walked away. She said that I was a very nice girl for writing it, but that I shouldn’t lie or not do my homework. It turned out that that afternoon she called my house again and told my father how lovely I was, delivering the apology note.   She also gave me half credit for the homework assignment. And when my parents found out, they decided to unground me.

I learned my lesson, though; always do your homework, even when you don’t feel like it.  This is what I believe.




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