Dear Mr. Clark,
I am writing to inform you of an unfortunate event. This event will not involve orphaned children, eye-shaped tattoos or carnivorous leeches. It will not end in you being chased by a mob of people with pitchforks and torches. It will most likely not cause you to fall while ice skating, step on a Lego, get a paper cut or contract malaria. In fact, this event occurred about nine years ago, so it probably won’t affect your day-to-day life in the least.
It all started with Six Flags Over Texas. Actually, that’s not true at all. It all started with a boring assignment given to me in boring World History class in the boring tenth grade. I had to read a boring book about boring Athens and write a boring one-paragraph book report in order to complete the assignment. In reality, all you really cared about was the book report, so I suppose you won’t be very concerned about what I am about to tell you.
I procrastinated reading A Day in Old Athens. In fact, I think I only got about thirty pages into the book, which contained at least one hundred more pages. And then I went to Six Flags Over Texas, reasoning that I could read it that night. I’m pretty sure by the time I made this decision, the paper was due the next day, so I had already procrastinated substantially. What I’m about to admit really shouldn’t be surprising, all things considered.
Regardless, I do have a confession to make: funnel cakes and Six Flags’ signature Pink Things are both supremely delicious.
Also, I didn’t actually read A Day in Old Athens.
Yes, I turned in the assignment. Yes, it was written based entirely off of the titles of the chapters of the books and a small amount of text skimming. Yes, you barely noticed the lack of quality in my work and you gave me a B. But, I felt guilty for years.
At first, I reasoned that I would read the book sometime that week to make up for the fact that I didn’t read it before writing the assignment. Then I didn’t do that, but I decided I would read the book at some point.
I’m writing to you today, nine years after the fact, to tell you that I still haven’t read the book.
I’m sorry if this letter disappoints you in any way. If it helps, I never pretended to read an assigned book again.
Until I got to college and realized my teachers didn’t really care.
But that’s another story.
I hope this letter doesn’t come as too much of a shock. I’m glad to finally get this off of my chest.
Thank you for your patience as a teacher with a class full of students who hated Greco-Roman history as much as you loved it.