Sometimes I like to be an annoying pest. Not necessarily to upset people but to entertain myself. Is that wrong? It’s all innocent fun. When I was in high school I was in history class and anyone who knows me, knows what I think of history class. Hello? All this stuff in this book…yeah? It already happened. Yesterdays news. We can’t change it and I can’t talk during a lecture. Basically, we just listened to our teacher and took notes on his recap on what already happened. I don’t know. It just bored me to death. His voice was monotone. Just Coach Jones talking for 50 minutes. [I don’t even know what he coached by the way? I think they just called him “coach” because he was a male teacher and that sounded cool.] He knew his stuff…nobody could argue that…. but he just talked and I was forced to listen to story after story of stuff that has already happened. It drove me crazy, it made me sleepy, it was a form of torture for me. I had no patience for things that made the class feel longer. Grrrrrrr. Why are my classmates asking him questions? Didn’t they already know this stuff? Certainly this wasn’t the first time they have heard this. This was information introduced to us in 3rd grade, then 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th…etc. ugh? Who cares???? I made an A in the class, just for the record. Because….why you ask? Why did I make an A? Because I had already heard the same freaking stories year after year. History is not my thing. My husband thinks that makes me ignorant but he lost his credibility the first time he DVRed Sasquatch huntings. What does he know? Give me some science or math. Give me a problem and I’ll find an answer or let me figure out why things work the way they do… but history? ZZzzzzzz.
Anyway, I was zoning out in history class one day and we had a student teacher. He was a Citadel cadet in his last year of college and his name was Mr. Miller. Now that I think about it, he was probably only 21 or so but to a room full of high school kids he seemed old. He thought the world of coach Jones…you could tell. He looked at him like he was cool and hung onto every word he said. This annoyed me. I wanted to stand up and save the world [thinking] “Don’t do it dude! Don’t teach history the same way he has! Please! He should not be a teacher you envy?? Mix it up. Do something different? Show me a slide show. Anything so I don’t have to sit through 50 minutes of something I already heard. Lecture after lecture.” But I didn’t say anything. Instead I decided that I needed to take matters into my own hands and find some entertainment.
It was a Monday afternoon. Today was Mr. Miller’s first time teaching a real classroom full of students. He was nervous. He kept rubbing his hands together while he lectured and giggling like a little girl. I don’t know why he was nervous? We didn’t care that he was a rookie. We were easy. A new voice. Yippee. Coach Jones sat behind his desk grading papers ignoring the student teacher. He wanted the cadet to get some real experience. And so it began…the lecture…he started off asking questions to engage the class but then slowly shifted into the same format as Coach Jones. Then his voice…it went from speaking with inflection and interest to monotone and boring. I couldn’t have this. I needed to spice things up so I made eye contact with Mr Miller. He looked at me and looked away. He kept lecturing. The timing was perfect. I stretched my arms over my head and did a fake yawn then quickly without speaking shook my head as to say “I’m so sorry”. He nodded as to say “it’s ok” but kept lecturing.
Then I waited. Nothing. No wait…..here it comes…ahhh ..YES! Mr. Miller started to yawn. He followed up his yawn with an “excuse me!” to the class. I giggled. You see I love to play the game of contagious yawns. It’s annoying and possibly rude but……soooo entertaining. Don’t judge. It’s all I had. At this point Mr. Miller has no idea that I was the cause of his yawn. Perfect..this could entertain me for an entire history class.
I wait…an appropriate 10 minutes and then I yawn again. I don’t think he even looked at me but apparently he saw me out of the corner of his eye and then he yawned again. Ah!!! Not a soul has a clue what I am doing. Now this is fun! I put my head down on the desk and giggle to myself. Now I have turned my history class into a science class.
Perfect! The power of the human brain. I wait again…this time about 8 minutes…I bend over and pretend to get a notebook out of my backpack..the movement must have caught his eye. As I’m pretending to get something out of my bag, I feel him looking at me but he is still lecturing. I yawn a big yawn and finish the yawn as I gently place the book on top of my desk being careful not to disturb the class (wink wink). This time he can’t help it. He has to stop lecturing and cup his hands over his mouth to hide a huge yawn. The classroom realizes that nobody is talking and they look up from their notebooks. He feels awkward for a moment and he gives the class the hang on one minute finger. We all wait as Mr. Miller finishes his yawn. “Geez! I don’t know what has gotten into me. I apologize! Ok. Where was I?” and then Mr. Miller began his lecture again. He still doesn’t realize that he is participating in my science experiment. I look around the classroom and notice that every few minutes another classmate joins the yawnfest. They are dropping like flies.
I wait…this time 10 minutes. Then I start to yawn but I giggle as I’m yawning and I call attention to myself. Busted! Dang it! I have messed up everything. Now he is on to me. Despite the fact that he saw me yawn and then giggle he still yawns which makes me laugh harder. He definitely knows that I started this yawning phenomenon but now he can’t stop. Alright? Now I feel guilty. My yawn has crippled this poor student teacher. History class flew by that day and before I knew it the bell was ringing. I packed my bag and bolted for the door. Mr. Miller stopped me at the door and thank goodness he had a good sense of humor. “What the heck was that?” I tried to play dumb and turn the situation around on him. “What? You were making me yawn.” He just looked at me and the guilt got the best of me. I blurted out “I’m sorry. I really am. Silly entertainment on my part. I’m more of a science girl and less of a history girl.” He chuckled, shook his head and let me know that it was ok and sent me on my way. I tried to hold in the laughter as I made my way down the hall and I heard Mr. Miller yell to me “By the way, that was a good one! Very funny!” Then I laughed a good belly laugh and put my hand up and gave him a backhanded wave. I was glad I didn’t offend him. Sometimes I’m a pest and I annoy people. Ya know? Not to be malicious but for desperate entertainment in history class.
I added the photos to this post to help my readers understand exactly how contagious yawning can be.