It’s May. You’ve almost reached the finish line. Summer break is a carrot and you’re a horse, but you are an exhausted horse. To motivate yourself, you may decide to get creative with your remaining school assignments. Do be careful; there is such a thing as “too far:”
You write a paper on the Salem Witch Trials like you’re writing Harry Potter fan fic. And whaddya know, you throw in a Hermione Granger Easter egg. Sure, your teacher will have fun reading it, but it IS history class. And there isn’t room on the grading rubric to award points for sorting persecuted “witches” into different houses.
Your final statistics assignment is to develop a real-life hypothesis, observe the related trend, create charts and graphs and use the results to generate a conclusion. You hear “trend” and think “Twitter,” so you choose to study a trend . . . ing topic. “#IfIWasJustinBieber” seems like it’ll be a fountain of usable data, so you analyze the tweets. (Note: This was a real trending topic. End note.) Your conclusion: “If any of these people actually were Justin Beiber, they wouldn’t be posting with the hash tag in question.” While this is a hilarious and logical conclusion, your teacher will dock you for not conducting your research outside of the cyber realm. But it would be awesome to read a stats report loaded up with strangers’ ridiculous tweets.
Forty percent of your grade depends on the last assignment. And you are tasked with delivering a Shakespearean monologue. Your monologue? Hamlet’s soliloquy. Wild card that you are, you choose to rap the monologue to an energetic hip-hop backbeat. It helps with the memorization, but you have a little too much fun with it. Given that the text is rather heavy, your performance is championed by your classmates but panned by the teacher for “missing the intent completely.” At least you receive points for memorization.
Art is subjective, and you decide to take that to heart. Your final project is to paint a still life portrait. You hand in a blank canvas which represents the still life of the singular blank wall in your bedroom. You cite the philosophy that anything can be art, it just depends on the person receiving the artwork. Your teacher is conflicted; she hates to place a constraint on creativity, but she senses that you’re trying to find a loophole. So she gives you an opportunity to redo the still life assignment under the condition you choose a more “complex” subject.
For your final creative writing assignment, you decide to take a story you turned in earlier in the semester but translate it into Pig Latin. That’s imaginative, right?! Initially, your teacher is annoyed you wrote the story in “gibberish.” After you explain it is Pig Latin, he realizes that he’s read the story before. You get full creativity points but zero story-telling points.
A physics lab report could have been tedious, but you have an idea. You will set up a camera to record yourself while you sleep. You’ll observe the footage and conclude you stay at rest until an external force (a.k.a., your mom wakes you up for school) is present. Then you wake up and your speed of motion increases. It’s a study of inertia! Your teacher docks points from your report because you didn’t actually stay still throughout the night (you tossed and turned), so it isn’t scientifically accurate. And she docks more points because she’s jealous of the full night of sleep you had.
Ugh . . . if there is a lesson to be learned, it is that it’s always great to think outside of the box, but don’t end up so far away from the box that you can’t see it anymore. Because at the end of the day, there are precious grades at stake!!!
Desk image by Petar Milošević, History class image by Thomkins H. Matteson, Statistics class image by Adam Sundana, Drama class image by Martin Droeshout, Art class image by Jennifer Rensel, English class image by Dusan Bicanski, Physics class image by jessica mullen