Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 5: I Lerned Alot in Skool
Part 6: Cool Teachers, Mean Kids (Revision 3)
Part 6: Cool Teachers, Mean Kids (Revision 3)
2 september 2014.
period 4. Algebra class. Mr Whitmer, fiftysomething and graying, started the high-school tutor program here and serves as the tutors’ advisor and homeroom teacher. College classes don’t begin till the 21st, so till then Shira assists his teacher’s assistant during his fourth-period algebra class.
Bart Green, who is supposed to be in history class, barges in to protest the very existence of math on behalf of the Civil Religion, accompanied by his lieutenants Beck Skeever and Rex Corson. “This is nonsense!” he barks. “This has nothing to do with the will of Jesus America!”
Shira laughs and strolls idly toward Bart. “Sorry to burst your bubble, massa, but you can’t make heads nor tails of those all-important codes that God and Bacon slipped into the Bible, the Constitution, and Shakespeare unless you know some serious math.” She sings, “Just sayin’.”
A light goes on in Rex’s head. “By God, she’s right! Bacon did write Shakespeare!”
Bart grabs Beck and Rex by their collars and drags them out of the class in a huff.
period 5. History class. Most of the guys and half the girls can’t take their eyes off new teacher Sylvia Plame, twenty-four and beautiful, a stubborn idealist who has volunteered to be the new Student Union’s faculty advisor. She is one of Hope’s most promising (and adoring) protégées, so Shira and Jennifer greet her with hugs and kisses like a close family friend.
As soon as the bell rings, Sylvia takes roll call, and class gets under way. She barely gets halfway through roll call before Kelly storms up to the front of the classroom and pushes Sylvia around to disrupt the class. “History is bunk!” she yells.
Jennifer gets in front of her to stop her. “As a philosopher once warned, you’d better learn history, or you’re doomed to repeat it.”
“Bull pucky! There ain’t no such thing as history! Only Jesus America and Satan Satan Satan!”
“Please cut the Jack-Chicky cliché storm, will you, Kelly?”
Shira stands up and laughs at Kelly. Embarrassed at Kelly’s outburst, the other students start to fidget and moan. Shira covers her ears and yells, “I can’t hear you, Kelly! La la la la la!” The other students giggle uncontrollably.
“Stop that, you idiot! Take those hands off your ears and listen to me!” Some students laugh at her misaimed insult.
Shira willfully ignores her and comically shrieks, “LA LA LA LA LA LA...” The whole class falls over laughing. Kelly storms out and slams the door.
period 6. P.E. class. Elspeth Currie, the youngest, best, prettiest, and most popular physical education teacher, is a magnificent athlete with short blond hair who towers over even Jennifer. Elsie was once a professional athlete; but shortly after the coup, whereas her older sister Amanda saved her job by selling out, she was blacklisted for refusing to take the loyalty oath. She’s the girls’ soccer coach, and half her players have a crush on her. Shira is the most ardent of them.
Shira worries that this class will go as badly as Polly’s first-period class. It goes perfectly smoothly, to her great relief. Even so, some of the students stumble off winded to the sides even before the light warmup ends. Shira notices that most of them are pampered rich kids.
Charmian asks her, “How come none of your kids are tired?”
“You wanna eat, you gotta work, and if you wanna work, you gotta work out.” Shira sweeps her hand in the exhausted rich kids’ direction. “Says volumes about your kids’ chances in a fight, O Pretty Team.”
In the locker room, half the girls cover themselves in their towels and try to sneak to the showers, terrified of showing their bodies. Some of them refuse to shower at all; they change from their gym clothes into their school uniforms as fast as they can and pray that no one can see their underwear. Shira strips naked and strides nonchalantly into the showers. The hidden girls are horrified to see her smooth shaved body; they assault her with cries of “slut,” “whore,”, and “EWWW!” Shira snaps, “Shut the hell up, you prissy prudes! What do you think this is, a madrassa?” Shocked at her accusation of Islam, the other girls fall silent. Out in the hall, they shun her like some grotesque.
Polly asks, “What’s gotten into them?”
Shira chuckles. “Seems nakedness got attached to their incest taboo.” Polly rolls her eyes and groans.
downtown. After school, Shira, Jennifer, Connor, Cory, and Polly reassemble in the back of a coffee shop on Fourth Street and order espresso drinks and Italian sodas. Connor reports, “So far, the Student Union proposal’s getting a good response.”
“Good response, Connor?” replies Shira. “I’d say ‘enthusiastic’ would be the understatement of the year.”
“But you know the Student Council’s gonna send all their Tournament fighters to crack down on us,” says a worried Polly.
“They can try. But we’re fighters too, and we already own ’em. They want war, we can hold our own.”
Cory points at Shira and winks at Polly. “I’m only the second best fighter in our capoeira class.”
Jennifer smiles sideways at Shira. “If we’re all such great fighters, why don’t we form our own fight club to take them on.”
“That’s a no-brainer. They’ll be crashing our party for sure, so we’d better be ready to take ’em on when they do.”
The alarm sounds on Connor’s phone. He takes it out to check the time. “Uh-oh, Karen’s waiting for us at the library, and we don’t wanna be late.”
Shira gets up for the door and winks. “So what’s keeping us? Let’s book!”
school. Colette decided to stay after class to assist Mr Whitmer with the week’s coming homework. She leaves him back in his office to pick up and prepare to go home.
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” Kio had said before he left.
“Why are you worrying about me?” she asked.
“You’re not a fighter. Those Valiant thugs don’t listen to reason. They get to you, you won’t stand a chance.”
She laughed. “Nonsense. They won’t risk their precious reputation over a mere girl.”
Kio looked into her eyes with a strange intensity. “If I were Jennifer, I’d have dragged you home with me.”
That look in his eyes still bugs her. But still she feels safe enough.
As soon as she exits the front door, a black-clad man in a ski mask punches her out. He and his maniacally giggling partner pick her up and throw her into the back of the rickety white van puttering along the curb.
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Copyright © 2011 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 2, 6/30/11: Added character and final scene of Nicole, edited story to fit Second Edition continuity, corrected text and continuity errors.]
[Revision 2.1, 9/29/11: Changed Nicole’s name to Colette to fit Third Edition continuity.]
[Revision 3, 10/1/11: Corrected text and continuity errors.]