A Civil Discussion of Literature

July 28, 2016
By Bach_Seat_Driver BRONZE, Yellow Springs, Ohio
Bach_Seat_Driver BRONZE, Yellow Springs, Ohio
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We take it for granted that the earth beneath our feet is solid and stationary." -After the Quake by Haruki Murakami

Thalia Renard sat at her desk, with a sharp, number 2 pencil, one orange highlighter, and a black ballpoint pen, all parallel to one another, pointy-ends facing away from her body. She made a slight turn towards her desk-partner Tim Cunningham, clad in pajama pants, and a polo shirt with at least 4 stains on it by Thalia’s count: all together an idle disappointment. Do not judge, and you will not be judged, Thalia reminded herself. She allowed herself a brief moment of shrewd observation, but soon redirected her attention to Mrs. Sullivan.
“I hope all of you enjoyed Chapter 1 last night, as I know each and every one of you completed the reading,” said Mrs. Sullivan. “Who would like to tell me about our narrator’s relationship with her Father?”
With no attempt at subtlety, Thalia’s hand flew towards the ceiling and her mouth was moving the moment Mrs. Sullivan gestured towards her. “Atticus is a complex and round character that deeply cares for his children, who occasionally fail to understand his affections. Jem and Scout say that their Father treats them with ‘courteous detachment,’” Thalia paused as to allow her classmates a moment to admire her use of a direct quote (which they did not), “and this in fact is Atticus’ way of allowing Scout and Jem to mature and flourish independant of any overbearing parental influence. In chapter 8, or perhaps it was chapter 9, the reader gets a greater insight into this relationship when Atti-”
“Alrighty, thank you for that Thalia,” Mrs. Sullivan chuckled uncomfortably, “I’m glad you’re… reading ahead, but let’s make sure not to spoil anything for the rest of the class. Now, who can tell me how To Kill a Mockingbird is narrated?”
Thalia wanted to give her less… experienced peers a chance to speak, so she resisted the urge to raise her hand this time. Tim’s hand also was not raised, and neither was his head, which rested on the cold metal desk, eyes closed. Mrs. Sullivan noticed this, and asserted with frustration, “perhaps Mr. Cunningham would like to share his thoughts with us: hopefully that will be stimulating enough to keep him awake in my class.”
The slumbering buffoon lifted his head and took a few moments to collect his thoughts, if you could call them that. “Yeah, it’s narrated by, y’know,” Tim laughed weakly, then continued mumbling as his eyes darted about randomly. As he babbled a succession of “like,” “umm,” and “yeah’s,” his hands blindly searched the nest of miscellaneous school supplies and crumpled papers in front of him. His eyes settled briefly on Thalia’s copy of the assigned text, stored in a ziplock bag to preserve its freshness and avoid ripped pages. “It’s narrated by that, uh, Harper Lee dude, right?”
A fool's lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating.
Mrs. Sullivan, peeved but professional, opened her mouth to speak, but Thalia was quick to interrupt (which Mother would deem extremely rude, but surely acceptable in the face of such horrendous ignorance). “Miss Harper Lee is the author, Timothy,” said Thalia, staring daggers into the groggy, astonished eyes of her peer. “Perhaps if you had read the chapter, instead of masturbating into your comic books all night, you would know that the novel is narrated in first-person.” She curtly cleared her throat, and re-focused her attention to the topic. “The narrative is told from an innocent child’s perspective, with more mature commentary from Scout’s older self, recalling the events.”
Mrs. Sullivan, now with only a flimsy hold of her calm facade, said “I would like you both to March to the principal’s office immediately. I’ll let the two of you explain the situation to her.”
Thalia, for one, was upset by Tim’s immaturity, (and from a fellow 8th grader, no less!) Thalia would be happy to explain to her principal exactly what happened, and how unprofessional Tim had been. The righteous stand firm forever.

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