Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Teacher's Worst Nightmare

Every year, during Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, I grade like a maniac. I may have been known to even neglect my family a time or two in favor of holing up somewhere to grade.

Well, apparently the Fates wanted me to change my anti-social behavior this year.

Before I left school yesterday, I thought, I will have so much time to grade while I'm in Idaho this weekend!  So I packed everything--two sets of quizzes, two sets of essays, a pack of journal responses--into my expandable file folder and stuffed it in my bag.

On the first leg of my trip, I graded a set of quizzes before settling down to read a good book.  (Hunger Games--it was excellent.)  I was so involved in my book that when I arrived at my layover airport, I continued reading for several hours before convincing myself, Rachel, you really need to keep grading!

So, grudgingly, I put down my book and opened my bag to find my expandable file...GONE.

This was my reaction:


I sat frozen and stunned for a full minute before I could compute the fact that, yes, I left the entire file on my first plane; yes, it's probably gone forever; and yes, I'm going to have to explain this to 150 teenagers on Monday.

I approached the Delta info desk and told them that I had lost something important and asked if there is any chance that I will be able to get it back.

"It's not likely," the worker said.  "A lot of times people aren't nice enough or honest enough to turn stuff in."

"Umm, I don't think it would be valuable to anyone but me.  I'm a high school English teacher, and it's all of my students' tests, quizzes, and essays," I responded, the pain evident in my voice.

He shook his head and started to laugh. "I bet some kids were just praying you would lose that bag!"

I bet they were.

Now I'm just praying they find it!


  1. oh no... that is THE WORST. my heart seriously stopped when i read that. ugh.

    but a piece of hope: i once left my journal and a copy of three cups of tea on an airplane. i called airport lost & found from both airports, the airline, etc. etc. etc. and everyone told me nope.

    but then two weeks later, i got a package in the mail... and inside was the journal (no novel, but that's not as big a loss) sent by the airline. don't know how they got my address, but...

    keep your fingers crossed!

  2. And now I am going to crush that hope. I left Sam's ipod in a seat back pocket--nothing. But maybe someone will open it and realize what it is and have pity. THAT STINKS! Let me know.

  3. Oh man. Oh MAN! It's a good thing those papers had to be typed! But you may have to scrap the quizzes! I am so sorry!

  4. so SORRY rach!
    that is just. . . horrifying!
    i will pray they find it. . . i do NOT want the wrath of teeny boppers on your doorstep!

  5. Oh that is great! I wouldn't be surprised if you get it back since it isn't something like an ipod that someone might like to steal. But in the meantime-in's the Hunger Games great?!

  6. Oh myyyyyy goodness. I think the "!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" adequately describes the emotion. Wow.
    I'd also like to note, I also loved Hunger Games... and Catching Fire is excellent as well! Now if she'd only hurry and publish the next one... :)
    Good luck w/the papers - maybe someone will follow through and it'll turn up in the next city (or the next, or the next...).

  7. Look at it this way Rach, you can finish the Hungar Games book now and enjoy the family without guilt!

    By the way, I am going to Uganda with HELP next year. I am so excited!

  8. I was totally that kid who would be praying you lost my paper!
    who knew all the westover girls had blogs of their life????
    i love you ladies--rach we should really catch up sometime..

    love love love meg martin

  9. DUDE!!! i don't know how to get you, but as i was writing you a million blog comments i think you were leaving a message at my parents house! that is seriously weird! after i posted all this i got an email from my mom saying that you called. of course it happened that way! it's you and me, afterall. i don't have a cell phone so i am hard to get on the phone sometimes (all the time) but email me! and i will try to call soon...
    luv meg
    sorry for just leaving this for all to see but i couldnt find an email address anywhere. i can probably guess why. could you imagine if we knew our teachers personal email addresses hahahha

  10. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! Pardon my sensitivity. ;)
    Good thing I don't believe in Karma, though.

  11. Rachel- You have a great knack for making awful things sound amusing. Good luck!

  12. soooo.... did they show up yet??? did your kids kill you? we need a sequel!


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