“Landon, you never did the take home test from last weekend.”
The locker pod was full of loud, happy confusion as the kids prepared to leave. The big snowstorm of the season was coming and everyone was counting on a couple snow days. Mr. Abelman stood over Landon as he pulled on his backpack. I stepped over to listen.
Landon looked up, puzzled. “What take home test?”
“The take home test everyone was supposed to do on-line over the long break last weekend,” Mr. Abelman said patiently.
Landon squinted and furrowed his brow. “I didn’t know anything about a take home test.”
“Landon,” I interrupted, “You spent two days in class doing the study guide for the test. We went over the guide in my room to make sure you had everything you needed.”
Landon’s face brightened into a smile. “Oh that test! I did it last night.” He shrugged his pack higher and turned to leave.
Mr. Abelman reached out. “Hold on a minute. Let me check online.”
He walked back into his room.
“I’ve got to go,” Landon pleaded.
“You don’t ride the bus,” I said. “Is your mom picking you up?”
“No. She’s at work. But it’s important I go home right away.”
“Let’s check with Mr. Abelman first.” I steered Landon into Mr. Abelman’s classroom and over to his desk.
Mr. Abelman looked up from the computer, “There’s nothing recorded. You haven’t done the test. You haven’t even logged in to look at the test.”
“What test?” Landon asked again.
Mr. Abelman and I both sang out, “The take home test.”
“I . . . I’ve never heard of this test,” Landon sputtered.
“Yes you have,” I said. “Come in my room and let’s check your backpack to make sure you still have your study guide so you can do it this evening.” I walked briskly back to my room with Landon on my tail.
“What study guide?”
“Look in your backpack.”
Landon rolled his eyes, shrugged off his pack, and plopped it on the round table in my room. He unzipped the top and peaked inside.
“Yep. I’ve got it,” he said quickly and zipped the pack closed.
“Let me see it.”
Landon’s head collapsed to the side. He looked wearily at me and he sighed deeply. He slowly unzipped his pack again, dug his gloved hand around inside, but pulled it out empty. Suddenly he looked up and smiled.
“It’s at home.”
I walked over to the counter and picked up a blank study guide.
“You really can’t do the take home test without the study guide. Sit down here and I’ll help you fill this out before you leave.”
“I already did it,” he moaned. “Let me look some more.”
Landon took off his gloves and began pulling books, spirals, and wrinkled papers out of his backpack. Soon the round table was covered. It was as though the backpack had thrown up all over my table.
“Here it is!” he said suddenly waving his study guide triumphantly. “I have it. Now can I goooo?”
“Yes. Go. And don’t forget to do the test tonight.”
“I won’t. Promise.” Landon began stuffing things back into his pack.
I looked up and saw Mr. Abelman in the doorway. He was slowly shaking his head. I strolled over and began laughing.
My voice was low. “He’ll have another long weekend. There won’t be any excuse this time.”
Landon squeezed past us. “Bye Mrs. Jones. Bye Mr. Abelman. Have a good snow day.”
We watched him scurry down the hall, then both turned and went back into our classrooms.
The round table was still cluttered with trash from Landon’s backpack.
He better not have . . .
But he had. Nestled under some papers on the table was Landon’s study guide.