Homework Deception


#1,2,6,9 and 15. That’s not so bad. Only five problems and you’re free.

You quickly try to psych yourself up for math homework. “You’re a math rockstar,” you think to yourself. Almost excited to get to work, you pull out your weapons: pencils, eraser, calculator and unit calendar. But it’s not until later, when you’ve opened up your textbook, that you realize the trickery of your teacher.

#1a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,j,k and l.

You gasp. You must have read it wrong. But, no,  your eyes didn’t deceive you–your five problems are actually 50 when you count the steps within each one. Did the teacher understand this? Was it a mistake?

What you once thought would be a relaxing day of math homework is now gone. There goes your dinner plans. And your dessert plans. And maybe your dinner plans for tomorrow.

How are you going to finish all of those problems along with three worksheets for Physics, a critical research paper for English, one chapter of reading for an English quiz  and a presentation on the origins of the Catholic Church by tomorrow? Maybe if you cut out all sleep tonight and refuse to eat and shower you can finish it all. You can sleep tomorrow can’t you?

Your mom calls up the stairs, asking about dinner.

“No time, Mom,” you yell back, “There’s a crisis at hand!”

While she mumbles about your insanity, you set to work. An hour later, you’ve finished the first number. Only four more hours of math…

—–      At 11:30, you’re completely done with math and luckily for you, there is only one chapter of reading for your English class tomorrow. You don’t like the book, but at least it won’t take you long.

You look over the unit calendar. Chapter 14. It is a Thursday, so the length isn’t too surprising; was the teacher being kind?

You gasp. Not this again. Chapter 14 is 95 pages. Chapter 14 is one fourth of the book. And you have to read it all by tomorrow. It’s already 11:30. It’s going to be at least 1:30 by the time you finish reading the chapter. And that is if you don’t fall asleep first.

Did the teachers plan this? Was it a trick? Or had all of the teachers conspired to ensure that you didn’t sleep at all?

Thoughts race through your head. Even though you are supposed to be reading, your anxiety is clouding your ability to read. What if you don’t finish soon enough and are only able to get to sleep at 4:00? What if you fall asleep and then fail the quiz tomorrow? Because there is always a quiz.

As you grab your steaming cup of coffee (extra caffeine for extra alertness), you steel yourself. It’ll be a long night, but maybe you’ll even learn something.