The Eighth Page

A Conversation Between a Struggling Student and His Teacher

Teacher: Hey Alex, do you mind staying a bit late after class today? I’ve been wanting to speak to you one-on-one. There is an important issue at hand regarding your mid-term performance in this class. Alex: You mean like a date or something? I’m flattered, truly I am. But no offense or anything, I just think you’re a little too old for my taste, Ms. Hathaway. Teacher: No, not at all like a date! How rude! I am just concerned about the fact that that you are falling behind and struggling with the material we have covered so far. Alex: Say what? Teacher: What I am saying is that you are currently failing this class and are making no attempt at all to accomplish the same level of work that your peers do. Alex: My peers can go suck on an egg. Teacher: Well according to my grade book, it currently seems as if you are the only one “sucking on the eggs” in this class. Alex: Whatever you say, babe. Teacher: Young man, do not refer to me as “babe.” That is exactly the kind of rude behavior and attitude that I wish to speak with you about. Alex: Okay, I’ll settle with you, honey. How’s abouts I get me and you into this hot Ryley dance next week Saturday. It’ll be off ‘da hook. You know, just the two of us. I think we can work this all out without any other complications involving parents or deans or anyone else. Teacher: Alex, I don’t think you are truly appreciating the seriousness of the situation. If you do not pass my class, you will not fulfill the graduation requirements of this school and you will not get accepted to college. Alex: Why do ya’ gotta hate like that? Girl, you be trippin’. Teacher: Please stop talking like that, Alex. You’re from a small farming community in Iowa. Alex: Please stop bashing my ‘hood, Ms. Hathaway. It hurts my soul. Teacher: I apologize for that, Alex, but it does not justify the fact that you need to step up your attitude and work ethic in order to do well in my class. Alex: I’ll tell ‘ya what, chickadee, I’ll level with ‘ya. I want you to meet some very good friends of mine, Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Jefferson. Teacher: What are you trying to do, Alex? Alex: What’s that you say Mr. Lincoln? You think it would be fantastic if Ms. Hathaway would just let me pass this class with a 6? Mr. Jefferson, you completely agree? Oh, how nice of you to say that! Now, Ms. Hathaway, do you see that window on the other side of the room? I’m just going to look out it for a while while I set my friends on your desk. Teacher: Alex, are you trying to bribe me with a penny and a nickel? Alex: That depends… Teacher: …I want to commend you on such a good job of improving your behavior so far in my class. Alex: Pleasure doing business with ya. Teacher: Alex. Alex, Yes, Ms. Hathaway? Teacher: This meeting. It never happened. Alex: What meeting? Teacher: Hmmm?