by Mike Schutsky
Mr. Russell, may I use the bathroom?” I asked one day during my junior year.
Mr. Russell replied, “sure, but let me just sign your planner.”
“My planner? Look, Mr. Russell, I know that you are a RFH legend, but I really don’t want your autograph.”
Much to Mr. Russell’s displeasure, he explained to me that, first and foremost, I didn’t deserve his autograph. And, secondly, that there was a new school rule that stated planners would also be used for bathroom passes. When he told me this I started to laugh. Is RFH that cheap that they can’t afford to print out little pieces of paper that say BATHROOM on them?
During my freshman and sophomore years, there weren’t any problems with teachers making their own passes. Some teachers, like Mr. Barbiere, got creative with their passes. He gave us swords and other giant objects to carry up and down the halls, mostly to make us feel awkward. Other teachers would make nice passes and laminate them. I even like to think that some teachers enjoyed making these passes as a way to express their creative side or embarrass us in the hallways.
My other issue with these multipurpose booklets is its lack of sanitation. When you think about it, it is really gross that the pad that you write on every day and let sit on your desk or kitchen counter has also spent a considerable amount of time in a stall or on top of a urinal. I imagine that the masterminds behind this one got together late at night in a dark, sinister room with a single hanging lightbulb and thought of a way to make the grossest bathroom passes of all time. When they finally came up with the idea, they all probably joined in unison with an evil MUHAHAHAHA.
And then there’s always the horror stories. You know, those unfortunate accidents that can leave your planner/pass teeming with bacteria that you can’t even pronounce or hope to identify under a microscope. Luckily, this has never happened to me, and hopefully never will. Picture it: some poor soul has accidently dropped his or her pass in an interesting and unfortunate place in the bathroom. Not even all the foam Purell in the lunch room can clean that planner. If this has happened to someone, it will ruin their organizational life forever and probably “taint” their view on homework as well.
Lastly, teachers are smart people, but not when it comes to signing planners. Some teachers get into it and sign it like we are asking them to engrave their name in the history of our planners. Other teachers just sign wherever they feel like it. I have had teachers sign over my calculus homework, and others who write in such small handwriting that it’s like an un-fun version of Where’s Waldo.
When it comes down to it, using planners as bathroom passes is disgusting. I don’t want to write down my daily assignments in a cesspool of bathroom germs. I also don’t want my pass to look like the autograph book I took to Disney World to have Donald the Duck sign in the mid 90’s. The point of the matter is that RFH can spend a few extra bucks to buy normal bathroom passes. Just look at the student parking lot. We have the money; we just need to spend it wisely.