Welcome back to College! (A short story)

This is a letter I wrote to my instructor explaining my absence yesterday.

Hello, I unfortunately missed our first class this evening. I am fully
aware of your attendance policy, and as I was just explaining to my
supervisor, I’m currently experiencing time management issues. This is
not my normal behavior, and I certainly will do my absolute to ensure
that it doesn’t happen again.

If you choose not to read further than that paragraph, then that’s fine.
If you’d like to read why I was late, please continue on.

You see, I had been planning out how I was going to acquire my books
before your class started. I originally had intended to go to the
bookstore on Monday, when the time crunch wasn’t an issue, but I decided
to go home instead- it was quite cold outside.
Instead, I took off work a little early today (after being a little
late, this morning) to catch a bus that took nearly an hour what a car
could have done in 15 minutes- get me to campus. I arrived on campus
within the time frame I had planned out.

Please also understand, I had planned all the major points of how this
operation was going to go: Bookstore- get books. Be in checkout line by
ten til. Be on to class- 5 minutes late tops.
Possible alternative- bookstore- get books. be in checkout line by 10
til. Wonder around lost looking for the class, until finally getting
directions- 15 minutes late.

These are the only two scenarios I considered all day.

But this is what happened. I reached campus on time, took longer than
necessary trying to cross the really slick parking lot. Then, spent a
little more time looking for certain books than intended, and was in the
checkout line with 5 minutes to spare.

I walked up to the register and the cashier was kind and greeted me like
we were old friends, even though we had never met. I was planning on
using my wolfbucks card to pay for my books, and so handed her my card.
Even after budgeting the cost of my books, I was very surprised to see
they totaled over $400 for three classes.

“Ma’am, were you hoping to pay with your credit card for the rest of it?”

Excuse. Me. What?

“Your wolfcard only has this amount available.” Trust me, it was not
anywhere close to what it should been.

What am I supposed to do about this then? I’m 3 minutes late already!

“Student information desk might be able to help!” The cashier offered.

At this point, I was kind of defeated, and still had no idea where my
class was located. I wandered out of the bookstore, and after much
deliberation, decided to continue to follow the ridiculously plan I had
already set in motion, and went left, the way I imagined the class was,
each time I imagined this scenario.

The class wasn’t left. I was near the Wendy Williamson Auditorium before
someone came along for me to ask directions.

Excuse me, can you help me? I’m lost.

“Sure, where are you trying to go?”

SSB. I don’t even know what it stands for.

He cocks his head to the side. “SSB, you say?” Suddenly he sees
something in the distance. “You mean the Social Sciences Building?”


“The one that’s like, part of the library…”

On the other side of campus.


You know I just came from there, right?


From there, it was just a short hop skip and a jump through the up and
down sky way bridges, until I reach the social sciences building.

I’m hot. I’m tired. I take the elevator. I wind around the second floor,
until I find 258. I pull out my ipod, turn it off, unzip my coat so I
make as little ruckus as possible. I pull out my phone to make sure its
on silent, and to check the time. Its 6:21. Whew. It felt like an hour
had gone by.

I peak my head around the corner of the room.

No one’s there.

There was no one there 21 minutes later.

I took one of each of the handouts I saw on the table.

Again, I just want you to know, this really isn’t my normal behavior. I
would always prefer to be 20 minutes early, than 5 minutes late. I’m
really quite excited about this women’s studies class, and the only
thing that makes missing your class worse, is that I wasn’t able to take
any of my books with me either. I promise to see you next week.