I was in my last year of high school in a class which also seemed like the seventh grade. The class was being taught by a woman who seemed somewhat like Mrs. Reese (my seventh grade teacher) and somewhat like one of my former law professors, Dohoney. Although we had just returned from being on vacation for several days, the school year was almost finished, and we had only one day of class left.
I suddenly realized that all the students were supposed to have prepared a book report and that I hadn't prepared mine. The teacher began going around the room looking at the papers on the students' desks and asking each student if he had prepared his book reports.
Most students had prepared their reports, but some hadn't. Finally, when the teacher reached me and asked me if I had prepared my report, I replied, "No, I haven't done it yet."
I told her I would turn it into her by tomorrow, the last day of school, and she told me I would have 24 hours. I thought that would be plenty of time. She continued on around the room.
When class was finally dismissed, I walked out into the play ground and began playing catch with a couple other fellows. We were throwing what appeared to be a large cigar butt back and forth to each other like a football. We continued the activity for quite a while, until I finally tired and sat down over to the side.
The other two fellows walked over to me, and I asked them if they had prepared their reports. They replied that they had, and one fellow said he had prepared his report in about two hours. He said he had read a book and then had concentrated on writing certain sections of the book. I asked him how long the report was supposed to be, and he replied it should be 10 pages long. I didn't think I would have much trouble in writing a 10 page book report.
As I thought about it, I decided I would write a book report on a book I had already read. When I told the other two fellows my plan, they seemed to think that would be a good idea.
Thinking more, I decided I might write the report on Miguel Cervantes' Don Quixote. I knew it was a large, acceptable book which I had already read. I also considered F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, since I had also read it; but I thought The Great Gatsby was probably too popular.
So I concentrated on Don Quixote, and I began trying to think of some of the central themes in Don Quixote. I thought of Don Quixote himself, of his eccentric nature and of how he had tried to do good for people in such an unusual fashion. I tried to remember episodes from the book and how I would relate them in a book report.
The more I thought about the matter, it dawned upon me I had already graduated from law school. It wasn't really necessary for me to complete the book report and graduate from high school. If I did it, it would only be because I wanted to.
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