The Magnifying Glass
By Anonymous, Chappaqua, NY
Author's note: Roosevelt is my high school. All the characters in this play are my friends and peers. Granted,... Show full author's note »
Scene Three: Broken RecordsSCENE 3: BROKEN RECORDS
NARRATOR: Scene Three – Broken Records.
ELLIE FEINMAN: The first thing my dad asks me every morning is if I have a test that day.
MIRANDA STEVENS (joins ORA STANLEY and ELLIE FEINMAN in spotlight): Parents talk – parents have friends that have kids getting into college, kids not getting into college, kids doing super well in school, or kids failing out of school. That’s when I get compared.
ELLIE FEINMAN: The first thing he asks me every night when he gets home from work is if I got any tests back.
MIRANDA STEVENS: But my parents don’t realize that yelling at their kids isn’t something that is actually, like, effective! (Sits in an empty chair).
ORA STANLEY: Whenever I get a bad grade, I make sure to tell my parents that the test was actually significantly hard and I’m not the only one that didn’t do well. They respond, like they’re scripted, saying they don’t care how other kids do and it only matters how I do. But then, they go comparing me to kids that did do well. “How come you didn’t get the same grade as them?” “Did you do better than this person?” “So-and-so got a good grade and is a third-generation legacy.” And so on. Of course they are comparing me.
LISA STANLEY (walks briskly from stage right, just to right of spotlight): Now, that’s not true, Ora. Don’t be unfair. You know I’m just looking out for your best interests! Besides, there’s nothing wrong with a little competition from time to time. We all know that you could use some academic motivation right about now.
ORA STANLEY (monotonously): Okay, Mom.
LISA STANLEY (smiling): Great. Don’t forget, you have SAT prep this afternoon! (She kisses ORA STANLEY on the forehead and briskly exits stage left).
ELLIE FEINMAN: You have to succeed in every possible way for them to be happy.
ORA STANLEY: Fights arise every day having to do with school and grades, and now it’s become almost the only topic of conversation. They ignore any of the other stuff I do. My life isn’t just my schoolwork. Only mostly.
ORA STANLEY: It makes me unmotivated and angry, and tired of hearing them being broken records. And so I’ve stopped telling them about my grades – good or bad – altogether.