The Erasers Fly High at Midnight

Welcome to the second installment of the weekly blog game. Today’s topic?


Here’s my take, and I’ll be linking in other contributors’ pieces as they come:

Ninth-grade me thought herself pretty clever, particularly when it came to practical jokes.

We had a brand-new English teacher – freshly graduated (from Yale, if I remember correctly) and eager to share her knowledge with our devious bright little minds. Unfortunately, she wasn’t much larger or much older-looking than many of her students. She was also fairly easily distracted.

One morning, a couple of friends and I arrived early to class to find a single eraser and three half-used pieces of chalk on the chalkboard rail. We had reason to suspect a pop quiz that morning, and knew the instructor normally wrote the pop quiz questions on the blackboard instead of passing them out in hard copy.

We also hadn’t studied.

In a flash of inspiration, I offered to hide the chalk and eraser inside the ceiling. (If you’ve ever seen a hung ceiling, or pushed up a panel, you know how this works.) In a flash, I was up on the teacher’s desk, and five seconds later the chalk and eraser were gone.

As it turned out, the teacher had planned a pop quiz for that morning, but rather than interrupt another teacher to ask for chalk she decided to simply delay it until the following day.

Score one for the pranksters.

That night, as usual, the custodians placed new chalk and erasers in the classroom. The next morning my friends and I arrived early and added the new writing implements to the ones already hidden in the ceiling. Once again, the teacher arrived to discover she had no way to write questions on the board. To our chagrin, she gave the quiz orally instead.

Still, a new game was afoot.

For almost three weeks, we continued hiding the classroom’s chalk and erasers in the ceiling. Eventually, the teacher decided to borrow some from the classroom next door, at which point we added that teacher’s chalk and erasers to our growing cache.

When we finally tired of the game, I decided the time had come for the coup de grace: that morning, instead of putting chalk and erasers into the ceiling, we removed everything we had hidden there and returned it to its place.

The erasers stacked five-high the length of the rail, and I’ve never seen a bigger pile of chalk. But the punchline came when the teacher entered the room – with an eraser and a box of chalk in her hands.

We’d returned the entire bundle the very same day she finally gave up and brought her own.

Fortunately, her sense of humor allowed her to laugh at the whole situation. Since nothing was harmed or stolen, she considered it merely a joke – on her, but a good one nonetheless.

I now realize ninth-grade me wasn’t quite as clever as she gave herself credit for being – but when it comes to the ceiling eraser prank, I’m still inclined to think of it as a good one.

Your turn! Tell me a story, share your thoughts, or tell me what you’d like to study if you could. Share in the comments or on your own blog – the point of the game is that I’d like to hear from you too!

L.J. Cohen has a fantastic post on “Staying in School” – and what it means for an author.

Marci Jefferson explains how “Piggy Saves the Day

C.V. Perkins shares how a school days’ passion has become a calling.

Julianne Douglas offers a story about a very original scholastic sin – The Forbidden Fruit.

Janet B. Taylor talks about When We Were Kings (or  So We Thought).

Arabella Stokes has a great call to action for all those with something to say about schools.

10 thoughts on “The Erasers Fly High at Midnight

    • October 22, 2012 at 10:41 am

      Thanks Lisa! Love your take on the topic too. And yep – I’m always looking for more neat ways to incorporate ninja elements into the novels!

  • October 22, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    I’m with LJ – never cool enough for pranks – or maybe I was never witty enough. I’d have been your giggly sidekick though!! 🙂

    • October 26, 2012 at 11:48 am

      Oh, you’re cool enough! You just needed a friend to tip the scales in favor of mayhem. (A position I’m glad to fill…)

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  • October 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Oh Susan. What does it say that I can actually picture you doing this? It’s kind of fantastic that you thought of the ceiling as a hiding place.

    • October 26, 2012 at 11:48 am

      Gotta love hung ceilings. I’m always wondering what might (or might not) be up there. Probably related to my mystery-author tendency to see a body in every trunk…

  • October 24, 2012 at 7:34 am

    Why does none of this surprise me? lol– I just KNEW you were a prankster like me! Psstt– we gotta come up with some to pull on the girls at HNS!!

    • October 26, 2012 at 11:47 am

      I’m totally in. We’ll figure out something good 🙂

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