Even adults can be caught sans homework

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 17, 2006

Oct. 12, 2005

For the organized, prepared, good students in school, one of the most frustrating things is being with students who aren&8217;t organized or prepared.

Excuses are the lifeblood of the unprepared.

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You had a week to complete your diagram of the state, so why does it matter that your dog got lost on the night before the assignment was due? Shouldn&8217;t it have been done already? Mine was.

I was that prepared student. Can you tell?

So what if it stormed and the electricity went off at your house last night, you had all weekend to do your homework.

My mom taught me early on not to wait until the last minute to do what had to be done, because you never know when a case of the stomach virus is going to set in.

So, being the prepared one, I had no viable excuse Tuesday morning when I rolled up in front of McLaurin Elementary to hang out with Mrs. Tuccio&8217;s class in hopes of getting material for today&8217;s column.

The day before the column runs is too late to be visiting the class anyway. I usually go once a week, and I try to go on Thursday&8217;s or Friday&8217;s so there&8217;s plenty of cushion before my Tuesday night deadline.

For one excuse or another, that didn&8217;t happen last week, and it backfired Tuesday.

Apparently, students now have the luxury of something called fall break.

It&8217;s a two-day holiday that encompasses Monday&8217;s Columbus Day.

Sure, there were only two cars parked in front of the school Tuesday morning only minutes after I dragged myself out of bed.

That struck me as odd, but I still parked my car and walked toward the building.

It wasn&8217;t until I reached the big sign out front that declared Oct. 10 and 11 fall break that I realized I&8217;d been caught without my homework.

This column was supposed to be about PE class, the three PE teachers and all the funny or telling things the fourth-graders said during that hour.

Instead, you get this &8212; a lesson on preparedness. It&8217;s not my strongest writing, but there&8217;s still a simple, yet challenging lesson to be learned from a fourth-grade class (or the lack thereof).

And there&8217;s a subtle reminder that school employees and students have it made when it comes to holidays.

Columbus Day? Discovering America and all is important, but it&8217;s not enough to get me, and most other folks, out of work.

We had spring break in school, but I&8217;d never heard of fall break until college.

My fall break lesson, make use of the school calendar near my desk and know when the holidays are.

The class just wrapped up a nine-weeks grading period last week, so I doubt Mrs. Tuccio and Ms. Bell gave much homework over the break (they usually don&8217;t give Friday homework, how nice), but if they did, it&8217;ll be interesting to see who comes in prepared this morning, and even more interesting to hear what the excuses are.

Julie Finley is the education reporter for The Natchez Democrat. She writes a weekly column based on experiences with Marty Tuccio&8217;s homeroom class at McLaurin Elementary. She can be reached at 601-445-3551 or