Long legged, tall and thin, he’d walk into the room with an air of aloofness and boredom. Seat himself nonchalantly into a chair a bit too short, and call out names halfheartedly, as if playing with each letter like a toy in his mouth would make his day a bit more amusing.
Occasionally he’ll remark something witty on a student’s name, picking on the shy ones, chancing to see if they’ll remark back. But all they’d do is smile and shrink into their seats, afraid of attention. He’ll look unsurprised and continue tossing out names like casting fishing lines on an unproductive day.
Time for teaching lessons. Those were boring for him, unless it involved emotional, confrontational issues, which his students preferred to stay away from. How sad it was for a teacher to try and tease his students out of what the harsh discipline from other teachers had done to them. For him, tossing ideas into class was like trying to stir ripples in a frozen pond.
So he’d do what seemed to be his saving grace; stray into talking about far, sweetly melancholic, memories. Talk about how he used to ditch school so he could hang out with friends at coconut plantations, where they’d climb trees, steal a few ready fruits, drink their juices, eat their meat beneath the shade. Talk about Segunda, such a pretty name. Segunda, a girl he loved, who thought him only a friend. Segunda, somewhere now on a far island, as far as his memories.
Eventually, class will end. And so will his day. He’ll climb into his small, green buggy, drive to his small house by the school. Answer his cell phone which rang to Mr. Bean’s theme song.
Her last name was as drawlsome as the way she read stories aloud to us. Syllables dripping with snobbish pride. She thought she read with emotion, drawing us in her words like flies to honey. She only succeeded in enhancing the lazy atmosphere of a warm, humid day, and the lull of the overhead ceiling fan.
Favorite way to educate class? Memorization. After the exams, she’ll read aloud the scores. Highest is granted with applause, and a little rant about hard work. Lowest receives this look from her… it’s a smile, very satisfactory, like she’s proved a point. This coming from a teacher who thought Peptobismol was an American dish.