Pinky's Book Link

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Overheard in a Grade Four Classroom

My class of ten year olds was working industriously and in abnormal mute mode on some short division problems. I’d just beaten the Guinness Book of Records’ highest blood pressure reading and sacrificed a kidney whilst teaching them the arduous concept for the previous half hour.

Ah… I thought gratefully, “The Court Jester in Residence”, Seymour, was at home on his sick bed so hopefully I’d be able to grab a few precious minutes to mark some test papers.

Seymour, lovable as the boy is, tends to disrupt the quiet ambience of the room with his Tourette-like proclivity for tuneless whistling, humming and slapping his ruler/book/pencil on the desk in a water torture-like rhythm during work time. 

He also enjoys standing up at random moments and loudly opening with a knock-knock joke he’s just made up himself. (They’re never funny but the class curiously finds them to be.) 

You can understand why I was enjoying a day off.

It was after a only a few minutes I noticed Lucy, tentatively approaching my desk. N.Y.P.D. Lucy, who likes to ‘inform’ on members of the class involved in nefarious criminal activities.

“What’s up, Lucy?” I enquired patiently, hiding my mild irritation and noting her pursed mouth and outraged expression.

“Mrs Poinker,” she whispered in scandalised tones, “Sebastian licked my rubber because Cornelia dared him to do it and now I can’t use it anymore.”

“Sebastian!” I sighed. “Come here at once please! You too, Cornelia!”

Collaborative looks were exchanged between the two suspects as they scraped their chairs back and sidled up to my desk.

“Cornelia, did you dare Sebastian to lick Lucy’s rubber?” I asked, knowing how ridiculous this question would sound to a fly on the wall.

“Well…” stammered Claudia nervously, “I didn’t dare him. I just said that if he licked it then I’d give him two dollars.”

“That sounds like a dare to me. Where did you get the two dollars from?” I reciprocated in a slightly jaded tone, channelling Edna Krabappel and hoping to scare the truth out of them.

Sybylla gave it to me,” replied Cornelia, dobbing in her friend without a second’s hesitation.

“Sybylla! Come here please,” I Krabappelled in an even more raspy, ten pack a day style.

The impeccable Sybylla stood before me trembling like a frightened bird. Sybylla is NEVER in trouble. Her behaviour is usually unimpeachable.

“Did you give Claudia two dollars to dare Sebastian to lick Lucy’s rubber?”

“Yes, Mrs Poinker.”

“And where did you get the money from?” I questioned imperiously, eyebrows raised, peering over my glasses Edna-style.

“Mum gave it to me to buy an ice-block, Mrs Poinker.”

“And do you think, Sybylla,” I continued my cross-examination on a roll, “that your mother would be happy to know you wasted your two dollars on urging Sebastian to lick Lucy’s rubber?”

At this point I noticed my brand new teacher-aide had entered the room and was backed up against the wall staring at the scenario in alarm.

It probably hadn’t sounded that great when I think about it.
The remorseful trio were sent back to their seats and short division in contrition. 

I couldn’t help but admire their creativity in work-avoidance strategy… it was more entertaining than Seymour’s interminable low-pitched whistling anyway.