Emails from the teacher | Darcy Brixey

There will be no more forgotten book report assignments in my house.


According to family lore, my father would routinely return from school with a note pinned to his shirt by an exasperated teacher. Much to my amusement, my grandmother saved these notes, which were scrawled on school letterhead and reported dastardly wrongdoings like “Gary refused to wear his snow boots at recess” or “Gary hasn’t done his homework — again.” There wasn’t much respite for a homework shirking, bootless kid like my dad as the neighbors were delighted to call my grandmother to let her know another note from the teacher was on the way.

Teachers no longer need to pin notes to the shirts of students because they have email. I’ve received a few noting that my children may or may not have been involved in a sponge throwing incident in the school cafeteria or that one child is a founding member of Ninja Fight Club at recess. I really wished the Ninja Fight Club letter had been pinned to a shirt. Extra points would have been given to the teacher if she’d folded it into a throwing star.

During midwinter break, an email went out to the parents of my son’s fourth grade class to remind students to finish their assigned book during the break. She also informed parents that students had been given their assigned books two weeks before. I hadn’t heard about this book report so I asked my son about it.

“I forgot,” he said, as if that explained everything.

I reminded him that he could have finished the book during our lengthy flight instead of hitting his sister with the Sky Mall catalog.

I tried to fake sick to get out of swimming lessons as a kid, but my mom was a nurse so she never bought it. Her motto was “no blood, no excuses.” It’s that way a little when your mom is a librarian too.

Books are easier than ever to get when you know how to use a library. New titles are being added constantly to the collection of ebooks and I’ve noticed a quicker turnaround time for my materials. With choices between Overdrive eBooks, Axis 360, OneClick Digital, Zinio and the music and video downloads, I’m able to get almost anything I want from anywhere. There will be no more forgotten book report assignments in my house.

From the lanai in Hawaii, I logged on to the KCLS website, perused Overdrive and downloaded the book for his report.

“No excuses,” I said, as I handed him my Nook.

He didn’t say thank you. Maybe he just forgot.


Darcy Brixey is the teen services librarian at the Bellevue Library. She’d like to tell you she loves to read, but it’s an expectation of the job.