In a continual campaign to enlighted the outside world about the
which their eduation tax dollars are spent, I offer this account to you.
First you should know I have this head and chest congestion that
go away. It makes me tired and my whole soul kind of fuzzy and apathetic. I
took two days off last week and I'm still dragging.
Yesterday I was so tired at the conclusion of school that I just
sat at my
desk. Hours passed. I picked up my son from daycare just before they closed.
But somebody's got to keep opening these rusty gates of knowledge,
There's Tennyson to teach and other wonderful stuff I learned in college.
Today, last period, with a good twenty minutes yet to go before
bell, Ronald accused Lionel of farting.
Lionel, who is demonstrative to begin with, protested loudly.
I didn't want
to hear it. No, I didn't want to hear it. I can hardly breath. But my last
period class finished their work early and there must be congestion in my
brain--I decided to ask Lionel if this particular accusation had merit.
Ignoring the whole thing or trying to contain it seemed like it
was going to
take too much effort in my diminished state. "Lionel, is what Ronald said
Ronald was ready to swear to it on a Holy Bible and he also said
appreciate it since he has to sit next to him.
Lionel said he didn't smell a thing. April was quick to point
never do." It was a vague observation that didn't require clarification.
Lionel couldn't believe it. He played with a pimple on his face
and said, "I
made a grunting noise because I was streching my back." He recreated the
action and the noise for us. The class moaned with disblief but they were
predisposed to convict, no matter what Lionel said. In the seventh grade,
I've learned during my long tenure, when accused of this particular crime,
you are always found guilty. Always. But we continued.
With my serious tone which masked exhaustion, the class remembered
their hands to take turns speaking. Their orderliness helped me maintain my
An office girl entered the room with a note. I asked her if she
stepping over to one side of the room. "Do you smell anthing?" Everybody was
looking at her. She didn't know what she was supposed to say. She looked
afraid so I said she could go.
On the surface it looked like I wanted to get to the bottom of
chronically depressed Monroe had to cover his face because nobody has ever
seen him smile and he wasn't ready to start today.
I was running out the clock but my class seemed to think they
had fallen into
the twilight zone. In the 7th grade, a teacher will stop everything and
conduct a serious inquiry if a wallet is stolen but not to find out if
somebody had actually farted. Not until today.
I wondered aloud if the involuntary passing of gas, though unpleasant,
actually a punishable infraction if it were indeed involuntary....
Ben said that he saw Lionel eat a bean burrito for lunch implying
action for which he must take responsibility.
Betsy, who sits up front, rolled her eyes and quickly passed
me a note
saying Ben was a stupid liar. I looked up and announced to the class it had
come to my attention that Ben might not be a credible witness.
I asked for volunteers (five kids raised their hands) to approach
sniff him carefully (all hands went down) and to report back their findings....
Lionel sprung from his seat and launched into an impassioned monologue
defense but he was so flustered that he tripped up on his words and it
sounded like a confession. He collapsed in his chair and put a newspaper over
The bell rang.
Tomorrow we might enter the penalty phase of the trial but I hope
to have a
much, much clearer head.