Ransom County Gazette, April 3, 2006
|My sister from Minnesota called me last week. She had a worried tone in her voice and said, "We have a problem." I immediately got worried, wondering if mom and dad were okay, and my other sisters and brothers, and nieces and nephews...
"Chelsey has a paper due on Meso-, Mefe-, Morphi-, oh, some guy named Fust," she said.
"Oh," I said, relieved. "Mephistopheles, and Faust?"
"Yes, that's the one. She has to write seven pages."
"When is it due," I asked.
"Bummer," I said with a chuckle.
Chelsey is my 17-year-old niece. I recalled all the times I did the same thing in high school and college, waiting until the last minute to write a huge paper, and then feeling like I would have an anxiety attack as I sat up all night writing it; and finally running at top speed through campus as pedestrians dove off the sidewalk into the grass, and finally handing my paper to the teacher as I panted to my desk.
Chelsey wanted to know if I'd ever written a paper on the subject that I could e-mail her. I laughed and told her I hadn't, although I did remember reading the story.
My sister told me Chelsey was having a heart attack because she couldn't figure out where to begin, and maybe I would be able to give her some ideas or tips.
I wasn't surprised they called me to help them with that particular situation. My family has always considered me the quiet, thoughtful type. My sister was a popular cheerleader and socialite in high school. I was not. At all. When we rode the bus together, she kept me from being peppered with spit balls.
Although I missed the rest of the show I was watching on the Travel Channel, "Britain's Top Ten Castles", I was able to calm Chelsey somewhat, and give her some tips on dragging seven pages out of one thought.
As for me, I watched the rest of "Britain's Top Ten Castles" later that night when it aired again.