His alarm rang loudly. Another weekend already over… Another damn Monday. He tried to appease his anxious mind by speaking to himself: “Only 42 school days left teaching to these ungrateful students! You can do it Dave! Summer vacation is right around the corner”.
He drove off towards the school. Another day teaching pointless notions to evasive ears. The bell rang. Most of his students were late. Punishing them never solved the problem. Why start now. He simply endured. He began explaining a complicated math problem. A few kids listened intently. The ones that probably did not need to listen and would have good grades regardless. The others chattered among themselves, burying his voice beneath their own cacophony. He did not care anymore. 42 days left.
One of the students, Tommy Narchay, raised his hand and talked immediately. Surprising that he took the time to raise his hand if he’s simply going to impose his words upon us. The class fell silent. They respected this student more than the teacher. Damn Tommy.
– Why do we have to learn this useless shit. This is bull shit. How is this going to help us later on?
Every year, some student would ask this question. The question seemed late this year, but it did not surprise the teacher in the least. He quickly thought about what he would like to answer. School is simply an elaborate daycare. A way for the government to conform you to modern day life, entice you to follow rules and obey different authoritative figures, prepare you for 8 hour shifts. You will probably forget most of what the education system tries to teach you. And, yes, most of what you learn is pointless for any job you may have in the future. However, he decided to reply as he always did.
– You need your diploma if you want a good job. And the only way you’re going to get that piece of paper is by suffering through my class and all the others. You might think everything you learn here is pointless, but some of it might be useful for certain aspects of your life. You never know what might happen. That is why we try to prepare you to any eventuality. Furthermore, we try to teach you every subject we can in the hopes that one discipline might stimulate you more than the others. Our goal is to help you find your passion. A goal in life.
As it did every year, his speech commanded silence. Every student was mute… thoughtful. The teacher always relished in their pondering silence. Suddenly a loud Bang! broke his cherished tranquility.
A gun shot echoed through the hallways. Nobody understood at first. Puzzled glares flickered everywhere until they all rested on the teacher; the authoritative figure. He felt betrayed by the education system once more. It kept asking more and more from him. He felt a rush of adrenaline overpower him. He had to act quickly. He spoke to his class.
– Everyone stay calm and quiet. This room must seem empty. Block the door as silently as you can and hide in the corner. The police will arrive shortly. Again, I need everyone to stay calm!
He was surprised at his own rapid initiative in this chaotic event. His countless meetings about school shootings had finally paid off. Students began slowly moving their desks towards the doors. However, before anyone could advance, Tommy stood up and screamed “fuck this shit, I’m out of here!”. He ran out the door before anybody could block it. Damn Tommy.
The teacher followed after him. Pleading him to stay with the others. Hoping the shooter was far away. He looked to his right. Tommy was standing still.. paralyzed. He was staring blankly… passed him. Damn. The teacher screamed: “Run Tommy!”. He spun around.
Everything went dark.
His alarm rang. It’s already over! Damn it. He drove to work, mumbling complaints all the way. He walked through the familiar hallways.
The bell rang. All the students looked up at him intently. They already respected him, but did he deserve this respect? He introduced himself and started teaching. A student lifted his hand lazily. The teacher gave him a simple nod, urging him to speak.
– Why do we need to learn this? This is never going to be useful! We’re wasting our time!
Already. First class!
– What is your name son?
– I am going to be entirely honest with you Dave. You will probably never use most of what you learn in school. In fact, school is like a complex form of daycare. Our education system was made for you to conform to societal rules at a young age. Most teachers will say otherwise. Not because they want to lie to you, but because they want you to stay in school. Not out of spite, but out of love for students. You will learn things here. However, they are notions you did not expect to assimilate. You will mature. You will learn how to adapt and organize yourself. You will make friends and master communication skills. You may think that going against the current is a smart move. You may think that you are better than everyone here and that you have already mastered all these notions. Telling yourself that you can do everything your own way and much faster, but believe me when I tell you that you are wrong. We teachers have lived through what you are living now and we simply want what is best for you even if you do not see it at the moment. Appreciate your education and find a use for it even if that may seem impossible. Now, If you still believe your own path to be better, I simply demand one thing of you. Do not follow it alone. We live in a large society. We prosper together. Do not go against the current. Follow it. Push it forward. Become a positive leader for your friends and fellow students. Never sequester yourself. Never act alone.
– Woah… okay.. Well thank you mister Narchay.