The Names Have Been Changed to Protect the . . . Innocent?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
I substitute teach in small town public schools. This is based off of actual conversations I heard while subbing in an English class made up mostly of juniors and seniors.

Submitted: May 26, 2008

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Submitted: May 26, 2008



“Ever notice how guys think two guys having sex is gross, but then ask you to let him stick his cock in your ass. How stupid is that?” I look up from my desk behind piles of papers to correct and pass back. I look towards the bookshelves that line the walls of the room at the four girls sitting in their desks and the one or two boys who are trapped there by a seating chart. One of the girls catches me watching their group and starts to laugh.
“Is any work getting done ladies?”
They smile at me, “Of course Ms. Joston.”
I shake my head and go back to my paper work. Even if the regular teacher was there they would still be talking about butt sex so I ignore it.
“You should write a riddle about butt sex,” The suggestion meets with laughs and “Yeah, I’m going to do it.” I stand up and wander over to their side of the room where the students were “working” on their assignments to write original riddles.
“Ms. Joston, if you were writing a riddle about butt sex, how would it go?” The question is asked with a completely straight face and such an air of seriousness I almost laugh.
“Honestly, I don’t know how I would do it.” They know it’s been running through my mind since I heard the call for perverted creativity, we’d had these types of conversations before in other classes. They knew enough of me to know I wouldn’t be offended or scandalized and would more than likely put in my two cents in if I thought if it was even mildly appropriate; normally it wasn’t, which had never stopped me in the past. “Let me think about it, but I doubt I’ll be much help to you.”
I walked away, the question of the riddle at the back of my mind, to wader around the rest of the room. Everyone was more or less doing what they were supposed to be doing; if they weren’t, they were quiet and that was all I asked. A group of boys sitting at the front of the room were on one of their favorite subjects, the profound beauty and fuckability of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and any other celebutant who crept into their hormone, sex crazed seventeen and eighteen year old minds. “She’s so hot!”
“Who Justin?” I stop, listening to their conversation.
“Paris Hilton. I’d do her in a second.”
“Dude, she’s probably diseased.” Another chimed in.
“So. She’s still hot.”
“No, She’s not.” Says someone else.
An argument ensues, I stand back watching the drama unfold, again trying not to laugh. So much of what goes on in a high school classroom is funny, but you can’t laugh because you’re a grown up and a professional. Justin stops and looks at me, “What do you think Ms. Joston? Paris Hilton is hot, right?”
I contort my face to mathc my apparent disgust, “She’s really not pretty Justin. Sorry.” The cheers go up form the students who agreed with me.
“Ms. Joston, you can’t be with them,” Justin’s smiling face falls.
“Sorry.” I shrug and wander away. A large part of a substitute teacher’s day is sitting behind a desk pretending to be busy or walking around the room, making sure they are “keeping on task,” code words for not letting them tear the room apart or try to kill or fondle each other.
Then I hit on the intellectual group and the kids that sit on the edge who, again are trapped by a seating chart, almost ruthlessly tease them. “Ms. Joston, I don’t like these grammar quizzes. The grading is too subjective.”
“Why do you even worry about it John? You get all of them right anyway.” Joyce say behind him and always picked on him because he’s incredibly smart, a perfectionist, but awkward and more than somewhat socially retarded.
I ignore Joyce and answer his question, “They really aren’t subjective. There is an answer key Mr. Pierce uses to correct them.”
He crosses his horribly this arms across his chest in a protective gesture anyone who has worked with John would know.” But that is the publishers idea of what is right, what if it isn’t?” He hates to be wrong and will argue even one point with a teacher. It gets to the point where you give up and let him have the points because it’s not worth the hassle. There’s a theory floating around that he’s has aspergers, but it’s just a theory.
“Well, they are using proper English and they know what they are doing. I’m sure they’re right.”
John shifted in his seat, pulling his legs under him, uncomfortable with the thought of being wrong. “But . . . what if they are wrong?”
“I don’t know John. I wouldn’t worry about it.” I knew the only way to stop the questions was to walk away, which I did. I walked back to the desk and sat down in the fake leather chair, stretching my feet under the desk. The voices of the students fade into the background for a moment. The ability to make them fade comes with experience, time spent in a classroom or just in close contact with kids. I glanced at the clock on the computer screen then to the pin clock on the shelf across the room. The bell would ring soon. There would be a moment of chaos, a moment of quiet, fifty minutes of chaos, and then the silence that comes with the last bell of the day.
The last minutes passed and the bell echoed through the halls. A chorus of “Bye Ms. Joston” goes up through the room as students start to leave to go to their next class. A moment of silence falls over the room before the next hour’s students start to trickle in. New personalities, new stories, new arguments and new problems come into the room looking for knowledge and understanding. And that is what I try to give them, one hour at a time.

© Copyright 2018 Anne Marie. All rights reserved.

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