Open House.

23 08 2007

School bell rings, signaling the beginning of a meeting between parents and a teacher at a private school in South America in the evening. It is the annual Open House, where parents will have the chance to meet the teachers and find out what their children will be doing this year in English class. Teacher, a 28 year-old woman, stands alone at the front of classroom. Parents drift in through door, stage right. Teacher greets parents by nodding, smiling, waving, calling out soft “hellos.” Parents take seats at small desks. All desks fill. More parents enter. Line the back and side walls of classroom. Teacher swallows hard.

Teacher: Hello, good evening.

Parents: [smiling]

Teacher: My name is Gina Coggio. I am the English teacher here for the 7th grade.

Teacher looks around nervously, seeing 30 pairs of eyes waiting expectantly for information.

Teacher: [clearing throat] You’ll have to excuse me. I’m feeling a little nervous speaking in front of you. I’m not nervous with a room full of kids, though, but that’s because I’m taller than they are.

Parents: [……………………………………….]

Teacher: [gulp.] So….

Parent 1: What about homework?

Teacher: Uh, homework. [Clears throat] My philosophy is…

Parent 2: Is it a lot?

Parent 3: How much do you give a night because last year it was ridiculous.

Parent 4, 5, 6: Yeah! They didn’t have lives last year!

Parent 2: Espcially on the weekends!

Parent 7: Homework! On the weekends! It’s insanity!

Parent 8, 3, 1: How much homework do you give? Do they write it in their agendas?

Teacher: Yes, I know, but…I mean, yes, they…

Parent 10: And what about the grade from the first assigment? My child wasn’t even here! And she failed!

Teacher: No, actually, because…

Parent 11: It’s just not fair!

Parent 14, to Parent 26: [shaking heads as if to say ‘no.’]

Teacher: I understand what you’re say….

Parent 2: Down with homework!

Parents 6, 13, 439: Yeah! Down with homework! Down with teachers!

Teacher: But if I could explain….

All Parents: Down with teachers! Down with teachers! Down with school! Vacation forever!

Teacher: But…please…if we could just….all…I mean…sit down please? Could we…I’ll answer….

Parents: Books are evil! School is evil! Burn the school! Burn the Ministry of Education! Burn universities and teachers and cafeterias! Death to anyone wishing to impart wisdom, critical thinking, and organization skills! Death to vignettes and the Short Story genre!

[Torches are lit and pitchforks are seen in the background. Some parents carry ropes and shot guns. A cannon is rolled in from stage left. A gallows is constructed downstage right.]

Teacher: Please! No!!!

Bell rings again. Action stops immediately. Parents are quiet suddenly. They fumble with the paper on which the evening’s schedule is printed. They look at their watches and at the paper.

Parent 5: Alright, everyone! You heard the bell! Onto Science!

Parents: Yeah!! Let’s go!!

Parents file out of the classroom, ignoring Teacher. Teacher collapses against the desk she’s been clinging to at the front of the room, crumpling into a deflated ball of emotion.

In the background, we hear noise of the Parents. “Death to osmosis! Death to plant cells and the scientific method!”


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5 responses

23 08 2007
Jennie

So what is your philosophy on homework? We were going to find out until the evil parents rudely interrupted.

23 08 2007
Tina (aka Mom)

Oh my god, I hope this wasn’t real, but just a dream (of the nightmare type)…

23 08 2007
kerrianne

Ah, open house. Ah, the nostalgia.

23 08 2007
ginacoggio

Let’s just call it an “exaggerated reality.” A “slightly” exaggerated reality.

23 08 2007
Sofy

That’s so mean! Aw, you should’ve taken me, Ms.C, I would’ve protected you…(I am taller than you, after all)

Parents are evil. That’s why I didn’t even tell mine about Open House. They’re not allowed to go and be mean to my teachers. (actually, the reason I didn’t tell them is because they go, and then they get bored and leave in the middle of the thing. And they don’t talk at all, so they never get to meet my favorite teachers…but it’s still very evil, don’t you think?) I hope everyone wasn’t awful to you last year.

If it makes you feel any better, you were my parents’ favorite last year. They thought you were funny.

It’s just because some parents get carried away and start giving more importance to going to the beach every weekend than to the fact that if there is no homework, there will be no learning. If there is no learning, there will be no college and no succesful future and definitely no retirement for them.
Too bad my parents aren’t like that…I love the beach…

-Sofy

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