Life Lessons

You can bring your history book to class for three straight months and never use it. And the ONE DAY you leave it at home—you spot it lying in the corner of your room as you hurry out the door, and you weigh the pros and cons of lugging around a book the size of a small building that you never use anyway, and so you leave it behind—that, my friends, will be the day your teacher springs a surprise partner quiz on you. And—guess what? All the answers are in the book. Your teacher will raise his eyes to the heavens in exasperation as you arrive to class bookless, and he will wonder where he went wrong with that one.

And, even better! He will say, “I pick the partners.” And you’ll think, Not Robert Jenkins. Anybody but Robert Jenkins. Please, please, please don’t put me with Robert Jenkins. Something will get lost in telepathic translation, however, and against all odds, you will be partnered with Robert Jenkins. Categorically, the partners you might get for a Partner Quiz look like this:

  • The Perfect Partner. He’ll do all the work perfectly and make you look like a total asshole.
  • The Non-Partner. Conversely, he will do absolutely nothing. He’ll make an effort every fifteen to twenty minutes and he’ll glance at the top of the page to make sure you wrote both your names.
  • The Friend. This is, ostensibly, the best option—when you’re with a friend, you know his work ethic already, and it’s easy to say, “Get off your lazy ass and help me out with this!” Getting The Friend, however, is next to impossible, because your teacher is a sick, manipulative control freak who enjoys throwing together the worst possible pairs and yelling manically, “DANCE, PUPPETS, DANCE!”
  • The Partner From Hell. This one is inarguably the worst. He’s the one who thinks he knows all the answers but doesn’t, and you have to fight with him every step of the way.

P.S. Robert Jenkins—I hope we’re cool. It’s not that I hate you as a person, it’s just… well, okay, I don’t like you all that much. You’re kind of a dick.


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