Tales of a 13th grade nothing

Josh Benner and Josh Benner

I always hear these stories about criminals doing idiotic things. Like a guy robbing a bank, and then coming back a few hours later because he realized he had forgotten his tic tacs. And I always think, ‘Wow, that guy was dumb.’ But do you ever do things, and not realize just how absent-minded they are when you do them?

I know I do. I took my placement exam for English this past summer. I logged onto the Web site and did all of that stuff, and I didn’#39;t read the directions (fair enough, I’#39;m sure I wasn’#39;t the only one), but I bet I’#39;m about the only one who did what I did. I wrote about half of the essay, and I thought to myself, ‘Hmm, I’#39;m a little tired.’ And I think this, having not considered the possibility that there could be a time limit on the test.

So I take a nap. Thirty minutes later, I come to a blank screen. ‘That’#39;s odd,’ I think to myself. But I don’#39;t really think that much about it. An hour or so later, I get this phone call, ‘Hi this is Roger from the Bowling Green English department, and we had a blank essay turned in.’

That was before I arrived here. I remember in my first week here, they had all the freshmen go to this thing called the convocation, and I remember hearing this guy talking about ‘Dreaming B!G,’ or whatever he was talking about. I wasn’#39;t really listening, but I remember him saying, ‘And who knows? You might even be sitting next to your future life partner.’ At the time, I was sitting next to one of my friends thinking, ‘Yeah, he wishes.’

In the little more than a month since I’#39;ve been up here, I’#39;d say things have gone ‘pretty good.’ Look at me; I’#39;m even in the newspaper with my second column. My first column was two weeks ago, and I e-mailed it to, well, just about everyone I’#39;ve ever met, and some people who I knew from high school even posted feedback on the school’#39;s website. I thought, ‘Hey, I’#39;m going to post something too.’ So I posted this comment, and it was like, ‘Wow this is such a great column. I don’#39;t know how I do it.’

And I know, that’#39;s a little pathetic, but I haven’#39;t gotten to the bad part yet. I posted that comment, and I misspelled MY OWN NAME. It said ‘Josh Bennre.’

Then there’#39;s dorm life. Sometimes I’#39;ll look around and it’#39;s like the last scene in ‘The Sandlot,’ and I think of what everyone on my floor is going to be doing in 25 years.

‘Oliver became a billionaire when he wrote his own dictionary. Ryan finally did win that pie eating contest, and Bryan tragically died in a bull fight. Well, it wasn’#39;t actually a bull fight; he was thrown off of one of those mechanical bulls.’

Sometimes I’#39;ll walk past someone’#39;s dorm and see like seven guys in there watching someone play video games, and then I catch crap because I’#39;m not doing it too. And I’#39;m always thinking to myself, ‘Well, I guess I just don’#39;t have the same zest for life that all of you do.’

One thing the people always do–and I don’#39;t know if it’#39;s just my dorm or what–but sometimes there will be guys throwing a Frisbee in the hall at 12:30 at night, and I go out to ask if they really have to do that, and they always start talking to me like I’#39;m crazy or something.

‘What’#39;s the big deal Josh? We’#39;re just trying to throw a Frisbee in the hall at 12:30!’ And they act like it’#39;s as common as eating breakfast.

It would be one thing if they were throwing the Frisbee and catching it, but they’#39;re not. The hallways are so narrow that third class passengers on the Titanic would have been complaining. The Frisbee is banging against everyone’#39;s door, and I’#39;m trying to go to sleep, but it sounds like the Gestapo is outside on the night of broken glass.

But hey, what do I know, I’#39;m sure those guys all turned in completed English essays. Honest to goodness, I never did re-write it either. They just graded what I gave them. All that it took was a half started essay that ended in mid-sentence to truly recognize the genius.


Offer Josh help with his English assignment. Set up an appointment with him (or just e-mail him feedback) at [email protected].