Henry VIII and Newts

I didn’t start enjoying school until I was in college. Well, for the most part at least. I liked certain classes and excelled in them, but the instant my butt hit the desk seat in a math or science class (except for physics), I zoned out. I was all about English and History, so when I started college I’d already taken four of each before I took my first psychology course (and I was a psyche major at the time!).

That changed, of course. I flip-flopped between Psychology, English Education, History, and English before I settled on History. I was stuck. Seriously stuck on it. I didn’t have the best grades, but I learned so much. It helped that most of my professors were the absolute best and made their lectures amusing. I mean, how many times have you heard priests and nuns referred to as “pretty boys” and “hot mamas” in a Renaissance and Reformation class? Probably never.

But that wasn’t my favorite class. My favorite was Tudor England. My best friends were History majors as well and since this class was only offered once every two semesters, we took it together. It was a graduate level course taught by one of our favorite teachers. She loved us back, I’m almost positive she did. Of course, that didn’t mean she made it easy on us.

I remember that final like it was yesterday. The three of us ended up at someone’s house to study for that final. It was a night class and we had to take our final with her History 102 class. We started studying around 4 p.m., hitting our notes and the book (which she never used) hard. We also hit the coffee pot hard.

By 3 a.m., we were delirious with knowledge and hyped up on so much caffeine, sleep was something we daydreamed about. In between more cups of coffee. Our hands shook and our eyes were bugging out of our heads and we looked at each other and said, “There is no way we can take this final.”

The internet was a godsend because we hopped on the computer and sent an e-mail to our professor from all three of us.

It went something like this (And mind you, we were half-crazed from Tudor history, coffee, and sleep deprivation):

Dear Dr. M,

We regret to inform you that we will be unable to take our final today since we’ve been turned into newts by an evil, medieval witch and will not be able to hold pencils since newts don’t have opposable thumbs.

Thank you,

Of course since it was 3 in the morning, she didn’t e-mail us back. We all trudged off our separate ways at about 5 that morning even though we knew there would be no sleep in our near future. When we arrived in the class, we looked like zombies. We sat in the far back of the room, our eyes shifting left and right, our hands drumming the desks, our legs bouncing.

In walks the professor. Her eyes found us the instant she entered the room and she said, “As amusing as I found your e-mail, I really would have preferred that you were sleeping at 3 o’clock this morning!”

I don’t remember much about that test, but from that class, I learned that Henry VIII exchanged letters with Martin Luther when he was trying to justify his divorce from wife #1. I learned that there are some people who think writing “Why I wrote this term paper? Because the teacher told me to” is acceptable in a college research paper. 

I don’t remember what I made in that class, but I do know that what happened during that class and final will stay with me forever. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to tell the cat to stop typing this since an evil, medieval witch turned me into a newt again.


About danicaavet

Danica Avet lives and writes in the wilds of South Louisiana. Unmarried with no children, she's the proud pet of two cats and a dog. With a BA in History, she decided there were enough fry cooks in the world and tried her hand at writing. Danica loves losing herself in the antics of her characters and blushes more often than not at the things they do. She likes to define her work as paranormal romance with a touch of Cajun spice, but most times her characters turn the notch up to "five-alarm fire"!
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7 Responses to Henry VIII and Newts

  1. jeff7salter says:

    I’m sitting here thanking Providence that all my schooling occurred many moons before the Internet was available. I shudder to think what I may have been party to, had we known the ease of such communication avenues.
    In my day, it was a note tied around a rock … tossed through a window.
    I did — in my wilder days — actually stay up so late studying that I realize the futility of taking the exam … so I didn’t. Yep. took a ZERO rather than struggle through an exam I knew I would fail. Of course, even if I’d gotten a D- it would have been better than a ZERO … but try applying logic to someone who’s 20 and knows everything. Ha.


    • danicaavet says:

      Young adults have no logic. It wasn’t logical for us to stay up for 24 hours to study for an exam when we spent most of the time talking about our professor’s wild hair. Really. For hours!


  2. I love this story- sounds like a great teacher with a sense of humor. I was always amazed at the fun things I learned about history and all those lusty people when I was out of high school where we get the sanitized version!

    As to the witch, that line “I am not a witch, I am not a witch” was my ringtone for a very long time!


    • danicaavet says:

      Burn her! BUUUUURN her! Bwahaha, sorry. It really isn’t funny since stuff like that happened, but Monty Python had a way of making the most depressing things hilarious. And yes, I learned a lot of really cool things about the great figures of history when I was in college. I mean, if they taught that stuff in high school, kids wouldn’t be so blah about it.


  3. Micki Gibson says:

    Like I’d said on Monday, History wasn’t my thing unless we’re talking Mel Brooks’ “History of the World Part I.” I was very disappointed that there never was a Part 2, but I’m still hoping. Somehow, I never ended up with history professors with a sense of humor. Or with a willingness to break out into musical dance numbers or refer to priests and nuns as “pretty boys” and “hot mamas”. I’m sure I would have paid much more attention if they had. On the other hand, when reading aloud “The Crucible” in eleventh grade, our teacher asked who wanted to read the part of “Abigail the slut.” And yes, I did raise my hand.


    • danicaavet says:

      LOL, Oh I had my share of profs who were dry, but luckily most of my courses were with 3 of the best professors in the university who actually made their classes interesting.


  4. Pingback: Those Friends | fourfoxesonehound

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