I was rushing faster than greased lightning down the linoleum hallway now. I’d already bumped into a girl with a stack of library books, knocked over a plant placed unwisely on the corner of a tabletop, accidentally kicked a second-grader in the shin and sent a custodian reeling into his cart. Of course, I felt bad, but I was late, and it was report day, and in History class, tardiness means five points off each minute you’re late. So I was hoping to get lucky and slide in just a couple minutes after class started.
Skidding dangerously around a bend, I flew into the classroom, dumped my backpack on the floor, and breathed a sigh of relief as the bell rang.
Mr. Cardiff’s eyes sparkled. “Alexander, you’re so eager to get into class.” he said with a grin.
“Uh-huh,” I gasped. “And I needed a workout.”
A couple of people snickered.
“Today,” he began, “we will be giving our reports on a famous person who was influential between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Who wants to be first?”
I slowly raised my hand.
“Alright, Alexander, you’ll be first.”
Grabbing some notecards out of my bag, I went up to the blackboard. After yesterday afternoon’s cramming session with Chloe and Peter, I felt certain I would hit this report on the head.
“I am going to give a report on Andrew Jackson. He was born on January 11, sometime between 1755 and 1757. He was orphaned as a child and raised in the West Indies. He joined the army at age twenty, and was soon promoted to captain. He was also a close friend and aide of General Washington. He did many missions for him, helping him to give other generals information. Later, he drafted the Constitution and founded the Bank of New York and…Mr. Cardiff?”
Mr. Cardiff smiled as he shook his head. “They call you Maniac, don’t they?”
“I hate to break it to you, but it appears you’ve mixed up Andrew Jackson and Alexander Hamilton.”
My eyes got a little bigger. “Oh.”
Now everyone, including myself and Mr. Cardiff, was laughing. “Well, Alexander-Maniac, you certainly made your audience laugh!” gasped Mr. Cardiff. “Very good report on Hamilton, though. I promise you won’t get an F.”
I was just hoping I would get an E for Effort.