The warm sunshine that was streaming through the classroom window was doing nothing to help my concentration as I sat in class trying to pay attention. The teacher’s monotone voice droning on about some dead men who fought in a battle hundreds of years ago was slowly putting me to sleep.
I was taking notes as best I could when suddenly I would realize that my eyes were closed! I opened them quickly and looked at my notebook. The last line I had written on the page ended in nonsensical words before it became a straight line that ran off the page. I tried to focus on what the teacher was currently saying only to realize that she had moved on to another topic. Maybe this topic would keep me awake.
A few minutes later, I was dozing again. I awoke with a start and glanced around quickly to see if any of my classmates or my teacher had noticed. The guy next to me rolled his eyes as if to say he was just as bored as I was. The difference between him and me was that he seemed to be able to stay awake. I glanced furtively at the clock hanging over the door to the classroom. How was it possible that only nine minutes had passed since the class started? I still had forty-one more minutes until the end of the tortuous lecture. Forgetting about taking notes, I had a new mission. I needed to make it through the next forty-one minutes without falling completely asleep. I hastily picked up my pen that had fallen out of my hand and began scribbling hurriedly down the margin of my paper. Anyone watching would think that I was intently following the lecture and taking detailed notes. In actuality, I was writing the numbers 1 through 41 down the left-side in reverse order. As each minute ticked off the clock, I could mark one off, slowly getting closer to my goal. My quick writing task seemed to energize me slightly and when I was done writing out the numbers, I triumphantly marked off the “41”. I only had forty more to go. There! I turned my...
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