5.16.2014

Harvest(arachnid)man

Gather 'round, children, and listen to the most embarrassing thing that I just remembered.

In ninth grade, I took a biology class. I went to a charter school and I was required to take that class, along with wearing a uniform, which included a cross-tie, a button up shirt, a khaki skirt, and some lovely knee socks that probably only went up to my ankles because I was so tall.

My proudest moment in that biology class was when my teacher wrote on the board, H2O2 and asked, "Does anyone know what this is?" Nobody did. Except me. So I raised my hand and said, "Isn't it hydrogen peroxide?" She was so proud of me. I was so proud of the science class I had the previous year that made me do a report on hydrogen peroxide. We were all proud.

Until one day we took a particular test.

I don't remember all of the content of the test, but I remember there was a list of terms we needed to understand, "niche" being one of the terms. I knew the definitions of each word, and unfortunately I can't remember what else was on the list, because it would make the memory that much more hysterical to me.

The last questions on the test related to a long paragraph, talking about the harvestman arachnid. However, while reading the paragraph (and let's be honest, I probably briefly skimmed the paragraph), I did not realize that the harvestman was a bug, but rather I thought it was a man who harvests things. So after reading the paragraph, the test asked questions that tested our knowledge of vocabulary. I only remember one question, it being, "What is the niche of the harvestman?" I thought it was weird that we were applying the terms we'd studied to real-world situations, rather than to something more scientific but I answered the questions the best I could.

We turned in the tests, and then we were all given someone else's test to grade (which is the most disagreeable method of grading, ever). We began going through each answer, marking down any of our peers' answers that were incorrect. And then we got down to the last questions. I looked at the answers on the test I was grading. I then realized that the harvestman question was about something scientific, and that I was totally mistaken when I answered the questions. WHY DIDN'T I REALIZE THIS QUESTION WAS ABOUT A BUG? I asked myself, mildly embarrassed about the misunderstanding.

Since the questions were open-ended, students began raising their hands, asking if the question they were grading was correct.

PLEASE DO NOT READ MY QUESTION OUT LOUD, WHOEVER HAS MY TEST. JUST MARK IT WRONG AND MOVE ON.

Then Katie raised her hand and said in a questioning voice, "This person said, 'The niche of the harvestman is to harvest the fields.'"

The class, including the teacher, burst into insane laughter. I laughed, too, so that nobody would connect the dots and realize that I was the one who answered the question. My teacher said, "I didn't know a harvestman could do that." Everyone kept laughing. Then the teacher said, "Mark the question wrong. They were probably just joking."

Everyone added up the points and started handing the tests back to their respective owners. Katie brought me my test, and I said in a laughing voice, "Yeah, I was just joking about that last question."

I'm sure she didn't believe me, because I was the most timid person in the entire school.


I have never shown my face in public since that day.

2 comments:

Lainy said...

Seriously funny story. When your kids are crying over their embarrassing story, you can share yours and laugh together.

Kaylee Andersen Coles said...

If it makes you feel better, I have absolutely no recollection of this happening. Then again, we might not have been in the same class, but if we were . . . you don't have to be embarrassed. Haha. I do remember talking about niches though and wondering what the heck that really had to do with Biology. That word really isn't scientific and it can be applied to so many things. It seemed like a stretch to me.