In the 11th grade I was in some sort of creative writing class. My high school up until the 11th grade had not been stellar, though I did manage to get accepted into college, but this class was different. It was easier for some reason, I don’t know if it was because the teacher was not trying very hard to challenge us, but I like to think the teacher was just better at his job than his coworkers. I also don’t remember the name of the class, it was easy for me in part because of the homework assignments. They were always simple to understand homework assignments, “write an example of something” type assignments. Plus the teacher was a laid back guy who “got” me, unlike almost everyone else at that school.
One homework assignment was a guide, a five hundred word paper on how to do something. I did not do the assignment, again I don’t remember why, but knowing me in high school I probably didn’t do it because fuck it, right? Fucking schoolwork. And again, knowing me, the next day I probably regretted my decision.
Luckily for me that was a Friday where I had a free first period. The class was the second period, which gave an hour to write something.
At this time I was playing Resident Evil O on the Nintendo GameCube, having recently gotten into Resident Evil thanks to the REmake and the S.D. Perry novels. Wikipedia says Resident Evil 0 came out in November of 2002, but I didn’t play it until April of 2003. Like with the REmake I owned the Prima strategy guide because I wanted as much information about this series as possible and this was before fan wikis took off. I read through it several times, and knew how to get through the game. Which I did, I just beat the game around the time of the homework assignment. I might have even beaten it just before going to school that day, if not the evening before. Now that I think about it, was that why I blew off the assignment?
For those of you who don’t remember, the last boss in Resident Evil 0 is a bunch of zombie leeches mushed together by their “mother”, the Queen Leech, into a horrible thing. The main characters Rebecca Chambers and Billy Coen run around a heliport shooting at the Queen Leech while trying to open the heliport’s shutters so it will be exposed to sunlight, its one weakness.
It takes me forever to write something. It’s taking me forever to write this because I can’t focus to save my life. But this time I had a lethal combination: I was severely under the clock, and unlike literally every other thing I had ever written for school I knew exactly what to write. For I had come up with a crazy desperate idea. Encouraged by the openness of the assignment and the positive encouragement I got for actually doing well in a class I decided to write about how to beat Queen Leech.
Once I got to school I made a beeline straight for the computer lab, running on this never before felt mixture of confidence in my writing ability, a desire to write something for school, and a fear of facing the teacher if I didn’t turn something in. I got to the computer lab, logged into my account, and started right away.
It must have known exactly what to write because I burned right through it. Taking into consideration getting to the lab, printing it out, and getting to class, I probably wrote it in fifty minutes tops. I have never written anything that quickly, ever.
And thanks to my obsessive desire to hold onto all my papers, I can look at it on my current computer. Man, looking at this is weird, I haven’t looked at this in fifteen years. Even though I got all my old papers I’ve never looked at them before. It’s not bad though, especially for me. The first page is perhaps a little too backstory-heavy, but at least it leads into how the Queen Leech is sensitive to sunlight. The rest of it is a straight guide, and at worst reads like the reader would know about game mechanics. Still, I can see how much better it is compared to most of my school papers, where I was struggling to fill in a page.
I finished the paper and made it to class on time, no one the wiser that I had just written the paper before. Even better, I got a B on it, not bad for a paper written in less than an hour. A shame I lost the paper with the grade on it, I wonder what my teacher’s comments were.