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The dreamy teacher and the realistic pupil

By sii_kei All Rights Reserved ©

Humor / Fantasy

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9th grade classroom, 6:34 pm. Individuals of animal kingdom present – two Homo sapiens sapiens and a Musca domestica. Light source: three neon tubes strategically placed in the shape of an equilateral triangle.

The TEACHER (round, short, like a flowery bush): “I called you, Peacheable, in regard to your English homework for today.”

The PUPIL (tall, squiggly, similar to a bent window blind): “It's 'Peaching', teacher, not 'Peachable'.”

TEACHER (double as flowery): “I'm sorry, dear, I'm sorry. It seemed much easier to pronounce that way. But getting back to the subject.”

PUPIL (serious): “I've submitted my homework, teacher.”

TEACHER: “And I've corrected it. I've corrected all of them, not just yours, mind you.”

PUPIL: “Then what seems to be the problem?”

TEACHER: “Peaching, do you feel that this world is limiting you?”

PUPIL (confused): “Sorry, teacher, could you please repeat that?”

TEACHER: “I'm asking you whether you feel bound by limits. I couldn't help but notice a lack of imagination in your assignments ever since the beginning of the school term. It's been visible all over your homework.”

PUPIL: “Could you please be more specific...?”

TEACHER: “Look, Peaching. I'm talking to you in a serious manner right now. Yesterday I gave you an assignment entitled 'Who am I?'. Look what your classmate, Andra, wrote.” (Takes a piece of paper from the pile on the desk and starts reading admiringly):

'I am a forgotten being of imperfection, an abhorred creation of darkness, an insipid fury escaped from the inferno of the claustrophobic society. Why, oh why, am I guilty of being a fury? Why wasn't I born a nymph, a singing, wandering nymph?'

PUPIL (all mumbling): “Oh geez, such a showoff, Andra. I bet you can't even explain what 'insipid' means.”
TEACHER: “Did you say something, dear?”

PUPIL (serene): “Nothing, madame, please go on.”

TEACHER: “Look what Glad wrote.” (Takes another piece of paper)

'Who am I? I am the last Marathon hero, I am the essence of the past and the future, I am the one that once was and the one that shall transcend. That's who I am.'

PUPIL (mumbling to himself again): “Drat your internets, Glad. Love the way you copied from the first Google search page.”

TEACHER (as if shaking a flower from the branch): “Like your classmate's talent, Peaching?”

PUPIL (biting his lower lip): “I absolutely adore it.”

TEACHER (happy): “That's my boy. And now... let's read your masterpiece.”

PUPIL (eyes rolling quickly): “Sure, go ahead.”

TEACHER (with a dreadful intonation): “'Who am I?' by Peaching Livius. 'I am just a whiny teenager. So what? I could as well have been a phosphorescent orangutan. It's not like I would've been different from all those other phosphorescent orangutans around me. Let the world be full of phosphorescent orangutans. Why should I whine, since I don't even amount to a larger quantity of phosphor?'”

PUPIL (daydreaming): “I wish I were an orangutan right now.”

TEACHER: “Peaching, not to be rude, but that's not how you write an essay.”

PUPIL: “And why not?”

TEACHER: “Look here, dear. Why don't you try writing like your classmates? Write about dreams, hopes, impediments... you know what? Consider this: an essay entitled 'How I became able to fly'. What would you write? Mmm?”

PUPIL (seeing the fly): “Well... I was a maggot of an unspecified species of insect. After a long and tiresome metamorphosis, I took off and maintained my path until stumbling across a neon, upon where I was inexplicably attracted by the light source and got burnt.”

TEACHER: “No, no, no! Don't you understand? Don't you get the fact that the flight is a metaphor? You should describe your flight as a human being!”

PUPIL: “Well all right, but I cannot overcome gravitation, you know.”

TEACHER: “This is your problem, see?! You're bound by limits! In literature, you have to think beyond the borders of science!”

PUPIL: “I want to abide by my own ethical code. Mine says I cannot fly, therefore. I. Cannot. Fly.”

TEACHER: “Dream a bit more, Peaching! Last month, when you had a test with the question 'What is your greatest desire?', all your classmates wrote they wanted to become plane pilots, doctors, or to try bungee-jumping. You were the only one that wrote something among the lines of 'Well, cleaning under the heater in my room would sure be nice, with all those cables and cobwebs stuck underneath'.”

PUPIL: “I was being frank.”

TEACHER: “Well, stop being like that! Learn to have imagination! Learn to dream on!”

PUPIL (exasperated): “That would mean lying.”

TEACHER: “Learn to distinguish between fantasy and lie then!”

PUPIL: “In the end, what's so wrong with my orangutans?”

TEACHER: “They aren't representative, my boy! They don't have any symbolism attached to them. You can't form an emotional bond with an orangutan.”

PUPIL: “Alas, but they are a metaphor on their own.”

TEACHER: “A metaphor? What for?”

PUPIL: “For... mmm. (Pensive): The orangutan is a species of primates that resemble human beings quite a lot in appearance. But it is exactly because of this incomplete appearance that we, humans, see orangutans as being ugly. I wanted to show that -err- that's how teenagers are seen through the eyes of society nowadays. And the phosphor represents the quality of their soul. Because something phosphorescent only spreads light during the night, the teenage soul only shines under... mmm, heavy stress.” (Poker face)

TEACHER (stricken by the metaphor, like a tree stricken by the wind): “Nice, Peaching, you left me speechless for a moment. Unfortunately, had I not heard the explanation, I never would have been able to understand your idea. Try, from now on, to use concepts understandable to... to us, peasants. Off with the orangutans and the phosphor!”

PUPIL (losing his patience): “But, teacher, I can't possibly write with furies and nymphs and Marathons and dunno what! These notions mean nothing to me! I'd rather use something coherent through a logical association!”

TEACHER (annoyed as well, especially since the fly has been bothering her for a while): “Don't drag logic into literature, my dear! In literature, you have to use your heart, not your brain!”

PUPIL: “Oh, ok then. Understood. Starting from tomorrow, that's what I'm gonna do.”

The scene fades out. The two Homo sapiens sapiens leave the room together, leaving only the Musca domestica to continue its flight towards the nearest neon light.


Next day, 2:45 pm. The teacher – now in the teachers' hall – is correcting a series of poems entitled “Intimacy” from 9th grade. Upon seeing the handwriting of Livius Peaching, she proceeds to reading this:

“Intimacy

is when towards my heart

there are no veins and arteries

but Dreams, Hopes, Impediments.

when there is no gravity

and nothing to limit myself

and I wish I were a plane pilot under the heater

But my head is not an orangutan's head anymore

because, apparently, brains are on the verge of extinction.

My head is a nymph's

and I'm shinning like a bush

and symbolically, I'm a representative of logic

and I'm not lying, it's just my fantasy

so I don't need to add punctuation marks

because I'm an artist, I have artistic license

and I can spew out anything

despite the fact that I'm currently suffering from a great case of intellectual randomness

due to lack of Phosphor.”

Pupil Livius Peaching got A+ on the second term of English Literature.

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