Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Sitting outside the Java Shack in the sun, grading papers, I looked over and saw the dreaded van pull up alongside Daphne F. The guy at the next table muttered, "They're not going to let you go."

I grabbed my wallet and sprinted over to the meter. "I was just inside getting quarters!" I shouted over my shoulder toward the meter people in the lurking truck.

"We saw you sitting there."

"I was! I had just put my stuff down and was coming over here!"

"No. You weren't."

Defeated, I gave up. "Okay, dude," I sassed back. I started walking away, leaving him to his ticket writing.

He beckoned me back, "Go ahead and put your quarters in."

I did.

I'm not sure why he let me go. He didn't believe my story. I should have just been straight with him. The truth was that I had simply forgotten to put money in the meter. I wasn't intentionally refusing to pay. Sometimes I leave the meter empty purposely. This time, I just plain forgot.

I spent the next hour or so feeling guilty for lying to this man. Why did I bother? Sure, it was just a white lie, but it wasn't worth it, even though I didn't get the ticket. It infuriates me when students lie to me about such minor, transparent things. Just come out with it. We all know you screwed up; at least be honest. And now here I am, lying to someone else about something silly and obvious.

Last night I stopped class when I noticed a student listening to an earbud during class. "Wow! That's a new one," I said, speaking to the whole class while staring at the student. "Wow. Actually listening to something else during class."

The kid said, "I'm listening to In Cold Blood," the assigned reading for the day.

I'm not sure if that made it worse or better. He hadn't done the work, but he was trying to do the work, but he was even too lazy to read the book subtly during class. At least he was honest, though, more than I can say for myself. Still, I mocked him openly.


[I just looked back at my previous post about bipolar news. I'm perfectly willing to lie to my doctor without any guilt. Apparently, health merits untruth.]

No comments: