Students of Dr. Larson’s 11:30 a.m. physics class knew something was awry when a severely malnourished, unwashed man walked into class halfway through their third exam.
“He seemed a bit confused,” one student remarked. “But he just went up to the teacher and apologized for being late.”
The class would soon learn that freshman Paul Lawrence was late –three months late. Shortly after walking into class, Lawrence collapsed. Paramedics transported him to the hospital, where he came to and told The Black Sheep his incredible story.
“My first class was at 11:30. I decided to get to school early to try and find a parking spot.” At this point, Lawrence began to cry. “I should have come earlier. I shouldn’t have slept so late.”
Paul Lawrence, like many students, lives just off campus in an apartment. This means he is one of many commuters who have to find a parking spot on the very outskirts of campus. For Lawrence, this meant missing half of his second semester of college. Though confused and severely fatigued, Lawrence was able to give authorities enough information for them to piece together what happened. Lawrence spent the entirety of the semester looking for a place to park.
“I managed to find a spot across Nicholson,” he said. Police speculate that it likely took Lawrence an entire day to walk from the parking spot to his class, as is typical for many commuting students.
When asked about the incident Dr. Larson told The Black Sheep, “While I have never seen a case this severe, there have been countless incidents of tardiness due to a lack of commuter parking. I am not surprised in the least. But the reality is that this young man has missed three of the four exams. He will have to retake the class next semester. I simply cannot pass him.”
Paul Lawrence’s family drove in from Hammond, Louisiana to see their son, who they had not heard from in months.
“We assumed he was busy studying,” his father, Peter Lawrence, told The Black Sheep. “We should have known something was wrong. He didn’t ask us for money even once.”
Paul Lawrence will be detained at Our Lady of the Lake for the next week as doctors assess his physical and mental condition, though he is expected to make a full recovery.
When asked to release an official statement on the issue of commuter parking, LSU representatives refused to acknowledge the problem, stating that Lawrence should have simply “taken the bus.”
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