Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sort Of Like Claiming The Dog Ate My Homework, College-Style

Saturday mornings are great. The work week is (typically) over, and you get to relax, have fun and do stuff with your friends and family.

First semester of freshman year of college my Saturday mornings almost weren't so great. I was scheduled to have biology lab then. That completely obliterated the excitement of learning that classes during the week didn't start until 8:00. I was used to getting to high school by 7:30 -- an extra half-hour of sleep sounded GREAT! Of course, I soon learned that getting up for an 8:00 class only provided extra rest if I went to sleep at the same time I did in high school. But I digress.

I was understandably pretty down about the whole Saturday morning bio lab thing. As I was complaining about it back in the dorm, an Orthodox Jewish kid named Paul laughed and said getting it switched would be a piece of cake -- I just needed to say I couldn't do it because I was "Shomer Shabbos."

Of course I had absolutely no idea what that meant, so he explained to me that it was Hebrew for someone who observes the Sabbath. That included not doing certain forms of work, in which dissecting frogs was most definitely included.

I was dubious, but I couldn't think of any other options. So I went to course exchange and despite undoubtedly butchering the pronunciation, it worked. My lab was switched to Tuesday afternoons.

Sure, it was dishonest. Looking back probably not one of my prouder moments. If you've never told a fib to get out of something you didn't want to do or made nothing but good decisions when you were 18, you may not even find it funny. It's a little strange that back then I felt the need to save my Saturday mornings for things like going to football games, and 20 years later I gave up going to football games to save my Sunday mornings for spending more time with my family.

At least in those 20 years, I grew up enough to be honest about it.

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