It's Midterms: Do You Know Where YOUR Grandparents Are?
I should have started this blog a long time ago, because I fear the best stories are behind me. If you will allow me this trip down memory lane, my personal favorite (although not a grandparent - an aunt; aunts also seem to be particularly vulnerable and I just have to wonder, why not uncles?): "My aunt was killed in a freak scubba diving accident." This student e-mailed me about her poor, unfortunate aunt and proceeded to misspell scuba as "scubba" throughout her rambling, tormented, full-of-shit story. Here's the "short" version:
Whole damn family (except my student, of course) went to the Bahamas to celebrate the aunt's birthday. While on the aforementioned scubba diving outing, the aunt bites it. Ain't that a pisser? Your family takes you to the Bahamas to celebrate your birthday, and you die. Kind of makes any vacation stories about food poisoning or Montezuma's revenge sort of, well, not really very interesting. This whole time, I've been avoiding the seafood, when I should have been more worried about dying.
Now, here is where it gets really sketchy: The aunt has 3 little boys who also were apparently not invited to their mother's birthday party in the Bahamas. My student is (fortunately) not in attendance either, so she has to stay in a nearby suburb (near the university, not the Bahamas) to babysit and comfort her 3 little nephews(?) - I think they are actually her cousins, but she said nephews and what the hell do I know? And her grandma (her aunt's mother) was also not in attendance - hey she said that her WHOLE family had been saving and planning for this Bahama-birthday extravaganza forever. But it seems to me that a whole lot of people were left off the guest list. Anyway. Grandma lives nearby, but she can't babysit the nephew-cousins because Grandma is (sadly) waiting for the body of her daughter to be delivered from (say it with me:) the Bahamas.
Let's pretend for a second that this story makes one whit of sense. Heaven forbid I ever have to wait for a relative's body to be delivered to me from anywhere. In spite of my gut-wrenching grief, wouldn't it be possible for me to watch 3 small children at the same time? Or do you need to be in a special room to wait for a corpse? People take kids all kinds of crazy places these days. I don't see why she couldn't take them to do this. But, in addition to struggling with her grief, my student cannot take her midterm today or anytime soon because she has to watch her nephew-cousins. And her grandma, who could normally do it, can't, because she is waiting for this body to be delivered. And we can't begin to plan the funeral or arrange anything because, well, it was a mysterious scubba diving "accident" and the local Bahamian (sp?) police are involved and there will be an investigation that could go on for a very long time. Her nephsins are too little to watch themselves so she is now full-time babysitter until this all gets solved. Hence: she is not able to take my midterm today, or perhaps, ever.
If this actually happened, then I know I now have a guaranteed space in hell (like there was ever any question - but now I have double-secret reservations). But. Is anyone's family SO demanding and crazy that they would say, "Jenny, I know you're in college and all, but Grammy's gotta wait for your aunt's dead body, so how 'bout you move in and stay with your nephsins until we all get on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries?"
This student is trying to get into the radiology program. I think she's a shoe-in for a scholarship in the creative writing department. Or maybe she should go to NYU film school.
And if this shit actually happens or has happened to you, and I am a heartless bitch, well, I'm happy to take it on the chin and I will offer my sincerest apologies to this student. (Did I mention this is the same student who missed 5 classes and then presented me with her "doctor's excuse" which was a cocktail napkin with the words "Ovarian Cyst" scribbled on it?)