Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Excuses

Sept. 2009


This morning I was late to class because a spider was building a web in my car. I explained to him or her that this would be a fruitless endeavor, but you know how it is trying to reason with spiders. And I told this spider what I was about to do, in its own best interest, and then started chasing it all over the car-- hoping no one was watching, particularly when I toppled into the back seat like a large sack of uncoordinated potatoes-- until I lost track of the spider and had to leave it there. All I could do was pray it would look for and find its own way out before the heat of the day killed it.

I wouldn't have been running late if one of the construction workers across the street hadn't been standing in the road waiting for me to drive by so we could have a long, friendly chat about the vulture I've been tending.

And I wouldn't have been running behind to begin with if a woman I didn't know hadn't called this morning to ask me to measure my wrist. While I did that, she measured hers too, so we could then discuss our results and their ramifications. (This was not totally nonsensical since I ordered a tzitzit bracelet online yesterday, she was out of the size I'd ordered, and she was trying to make sure I got something I'd be happy with.)

I had not allowed time for talking to wrist-measurers, bird-watching construction workers, and recalcitrant spiders. That's why I was five minutes late to class.

For sixteen years my students' excuses have always involved alarm clocks and logging trucks. There's a lesson or a message or something here somewhere, but I don't get it and never have.

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