This is one of my favourite stories of an inadvertent life fail. Now you may be wondering, correctly, how does a writer fail a literature class. Well, I can tell you it wasn’t some Einsteinian moment where our ‘hero’ fails on the path they are destined to follow early on and then goes on to triumph. Not by a long shot. However it is quite amusing.
In my final year of High School I was adamant I was going to be a forensic scientist. Now I am old enough that they didn’t have Law & Order inspired University courses in the subject back when I was contemplating Uni. It was the hard way or the highway. So I was enrolled in Biology, Psychology, Chemistry, Maths and English …. But not Literature. See here the plot thickens. I wanted to study Literature but I was already exceeding the recommended 4 subjects per semester by doing 5. The Literature teacher at this particular school was a lovely eccentric, and coincidentally my free periods at school coincided with …yes, you guessed it… Literature class. So I would go and spend my free time in this class. The loveable but slightly mad teacher who took the class didn’t mind as long as I kept quiet. She even let me come on the school excursions (and I got to see Hugo Weaving in Much Ado About Nothing before he got mega famous), which I was truly grateful for.
However I wasn’t so grateful when we got to the end of the year and the teacher had failed me for not turning in any assignments! At first I thought it was a joke as she pulled me aside, and then refused to believe me when I told her that I wasn’t enrolled in her class. She had forgotten I was ‘just visiting’, and not bothered to check with the school records to see whether or not I was enrolled in the class. She simply added me to the roster! The worst part was that when she handed in this grade, the school itself (Forest Hill Secondary College in case you were wondering - bloody awful school as it happens) also didn’t bother to check their records and so for all posterity it will look to the world (if they even gave a damn) that I had failed Literature. A class I wasn’t even signed up to do!! Bravo! Well done Education System.
Yet I have to smile I guess. It’s not every day you can place yourself alongside the greats who failed a subject they were passionate about, however unintentional...