I may have mentioned that I was an irresponsible slacker who cut class and didn't repent. If for some reason I omitted these facts then that is another thing I screwed up. I had known the whole time that wrestling, debate and my seat on student council were at stake but I felt like I could just slack off and then at the last possible moment swing in and repair the damage in a flurry of charm and hard work like I had done hundreds of times before in my educational career. It would be touch and go but I would make it work. This time though I had burned the bridge past the tipping point and I was unable to rebuild. The first day back from the holiday break I ran into my wrestling coach who asked if I would be at practice after school. I told him I would be, he said he hadn't been sure because he just picked up a list of ineligible students and I was on it. My stomach twiddled and rippled as my body went cold and my mind raced. He told me he hoped that I could work it out because I had shown so much promise and had improved so much in such a little time that he hoped I would be ready to participate in the regional tournament in a couple of weeks. I told him I would get it straitened out and I went to my locker and then right back to the office to see what the story was. I knew that I had received several 'U' for unsatisfactory grades in citizenship based on my roughly 50% attendance in school. Those were no big deal I could work them off in detention or by paying a fine. What I hadn't counted on was that I was on the ineligible list because I had failed a class. I wasn't aware that I had failed AP English because I had turned in every essay on time and then the essays as a packet at the end of the semester. The grade should have been a 'B' or so. I went to talk to my AP English teacher who didn't like me much because we had argued about her qualifications to render judgment about what symbolism in stories represented. I went to her class that was about to start and I asked why she had failed me and she said it was because I had not turned in my essays at the end of term. I absolutely had. What was worse was that she had individually graded each essay and then required the whole portfolio to be submitted at once at midterm and then at the end of the semester to receive our final grades. I pointed out that I had turned it in and she said she hadn’t seen it. I reminded her of all of the individual essays of mine she had graded and she said that without the portfolio she couldn't remember and she had given me a 0 and now it was too late to find it and turn it in because the semester was over. I knew she had the authority to change the grade because the vice-principle had just told me that was the only way I could be reinstated to all of my extra curricular activities. She told me I had to leave because class was starting and she needed to teach. I ran back to my ocker and looked through my stuff and found the essays in the portfolio and felt relived that it had her mark on every essay and on the outside of the folder so I would just show her that and she would fix it up. I went into her class as she was heading out for lunch and showed her the folder with the finished and graded assignments that would save my bacon and she said that I should have turned it in on time that now it was too late and unfair to give me a passing grade for late work. I lost my cool and yelled at her that it was not late work that she must have made a mistake that she had written scores on every on time essay in the bunch and that I had received the portfolio back from her. She said she never received it and walked out. I sat down in her classroom and cried because she could save me, and justly so the work was there and graded by her, but she wanted to watch me burn. I cried at all my lost opportunities and I cried because if I would have come to class and towed the line and followed up she would have been left without recourse and I would have passed and would still do morning announcements, and wrestled, and debated, and counseled the students. I wallowed there in self pity and blind teenage angst hating that woman more than I had ever hated anyone. I waited for a lull in hallway traffic and because her classroom was right near an outside entrance I made my way undetected out the doors and around the corner and snuck to my car without anyone mentioning my tear stained and puffy face.