One Minute

December 19, 2012

One Minute

“No. No! No!” I thought to myself as I sprinted down the hallway as fast as I possibly could. Heads were turning but I couldn’t slow down. I couldn’t stop to take a single breath. I knew exactly where I needed to be. I knew exactly what I had to do. I had to do it for Andrew. I had to do it for Christina…

See, yesterday was the second day of our AP Chemistry Unit 5 Test…Knowing that we would only be taking a test, I didn’t bother to bring my binder to class. What good would it do me? So, I walked casually into class with Zach, the both of us attempting to recite half-remembered formulas about frequency and wavelength of electromagnetic radiation. Both of us made it into class just as the One Minute bell rang.

There was only One Minute until the official start of class.

It was just as I set my backpack down that I looked over at the turn-in box…and I watched as someone placed a packet of papers inside it.

In that moment, I gasped so powerfully I think I heard a couple people wheeze as they attempted to get their share of oxygen, seeing as I’d just sucked most of it in. It was also in this moment that I turned to face my maker…Mr. Portis.

I knew he knew. And he knew I knew he knew. And I think the whole class knew he knew I knew he knew. (Knew is such a weird word…)

The problem was…there was a Lab Report due…before class started. That’s how it always was. Every time. And that meant I had a little bit less than a minute to get to my locker…get my Lab Report…and turn it in. Because Mr. Portis is the kind of teacher who doesn’t accept late work without consequence…But it was also a risk. Because Mr. Portis is also the kind of teacher who doesn’t take to kindly to tardiness…Particularly on test days.

But I had to try, didn’t I? Especially seeing as it wasn’t just my grade on the line. My Lab Team, Andrew and Christina, were counting on me. I was in charge of making our Lab Reports and turning them in on time.

So, there I was. I stared at Mr. Portis for only a second before I made my choice and, with a lunge, I began my sprint. My sprint for the grade.

“Bye, Brian,” Mr. Portis said extremely casually as I flew out the door.

I run Track. I run Cross Country. We do speed work outs all the time that involve sprinting…I don’t think I’ve ever run as fast as I did yesterday. Luckily, the hallway was fairly clear because most kids were in class already so I had a straight shot to the Senior hallway.

I started pumping my legs as fast as they would go and I’m pretty sure I broke the sound barrier as I passed Mr. Blaesser’s room. I rounded the corner to the Senior hallway and was faced with the bottleneck.

The thing is, at the end of every hallway there’s this really annoying set up where there are two passageways split by a pillar. But this causes a huge amount of backup (a bottleneck) and usually turning a corner out of these passageways is kinda risky…because you’re pretty likely to collide with someone. Well…

I rounded the corner to the Senior hallway and Kylie and Sarah were making their way through one of the doors and they were taking their merry little time! And…this next part I’m pretty ashamed of…but I had to get through.

“Excuse me? Excuse me! I gotta go! I gotta get through!” I shouted, trying to halt my light speed sprint. Of course, Kylie and Sarah react by essentially stopping and turning to see who was yelling. I had to go. I had to. Well…I guess chivalry really is dead because I just went ahead and tried to run between them. But they were so close together and, well, I looked back over my shoulder just in time to see that I’d shoved Sarah into the pillar dividing the passageways.

“I’m so sorry!” I hollered over my shoulder as I reached the Senior lockers. I counted best I could and stopped at the one I thought was mine…And fate finally took my side. It was my locker. I was so happy I just slammed on the locker door a few times as I tried to quickly enter my combination.

Miraculously, the locker door opened on my first attempt and I dove for my AP Chemistry binder. I yanked the binder out of my locker and slammed the door as I turned to run away…But there was no satisfactory crash of the locker door closing. I turned around and saw, to my horror, that when I’d pulled my binder out of my locker, I’d jostled some of my other things loose and they were currently stopping my locker door from closing.

“You’ve gotta be kidding me!” I muttered as I ran back to my locker and started fervently kicking everything back inside. Once everything seemed to be out of the way, I slammed the locker door and took off down the hallway.

“No. No! No!” I thought to myself as I sprinted down the hallway as fast as I possibly could. Heads were turning but I couldn’t slow down. I couldn’t stop to take a single breath. I knew exactly where I needed to be. I knew exactly what I had to do. I had to do it for Andrew. I had to do it for Christina…

I opened my binder as I ran and desperately grabbed at our Lab Reports. I think a few random notes fluttered away when I yanked the precious packet of papers out of the side pouch but I couldn’t stop to pick them up! Who knew how much time I’d wasted by dealing with that stupid locker of mine?

Before that bell rang, I needed to be inside Mr. Portis’ room with our Lab Reports safely in the turn-in box.

I was so close…

How long is One Minute? How short is One Minute?!

Every step I took brought me closer and closer to the door that now seemed to be glowing with a holy golden light…I think I heard it calling my name, too. And I’ll go to my grave swearing that there was this random orchestra placed surreptitiously in the hallway and it was playing the score from Chariots of Fire.

I bolted into the room and skittered around the table that blocked me from the box.

“Hi, Brian,” Mr. Portis said in the exact same dull tone of voice that he’d used earlier.

I was going to make it.

I pulled open the AP Chemistry drawer and stuffed our Lab Reports inside. Just as I slid the drawer closed…the bell rang.

I turned to face the class, and the moment felt right…So, I raised my arm in a sweeping motion and took a bow.

I recieved some scattered applause.

I was panting like crazy and I was even sweating a little, part from the run and part from pure adrenaline, but I’d made it. I’d turned in our Lab Reports on time. I’d made the sprint from the AP Chemistry room, to my locker, and back all within One Minute.

Unfortunately, due to some silly mistakes I made on the Report itself, we only got a 16/20…But it would’ve been worse if it’d been late!

I worked for that 16/20.

And it’s the sweetest B- I’ve ever earned.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)


One Response to “One Minute”

  1. Cardio, cardio, cardio! 🙂

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