Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

…and If I Find Out Who Left a Dead Kitten in the Teacher’s Lounge, I’ll Have His Hyde

with one comment

Nice to meet you, Mr. and Mrs. Jekyll. Please, sit down.

I’m sorry we don’t have very much time, just ten minutes for each set of parents. I know we have a lot to talk about, but with twenty-seven kids in the class, the time really adds up. I do wish we had more time to discuss Henry, but we’ll have to make do with what we’ve got.

And let me tell you, Mr. and Mrs. Jekyll, we could fill more than just ten minutes with this conversation. So let’s get right down to it.

First of all, I want to point out that most of the time, Henry is an absolute pleasure: he clearly studies hard, makes friends and does his homework. I’m sure you’re at least as proud of him as I am. Henry does quite well in chemistry, and he participates constantly in our discussions of philosophy, especially when we so much as touch on themes of morality and volition. Such a conscience that boy has!

Oh, really? His own chemistry lab? Well, Mr. Jekyll, I wish all parents were as attuned to their children’s aptitudes as you are to Henry’s. That’s very encouraging.

The thing is, occasionally Henry seems not to be himself. He has these, I guess you could call them episodes, when he gets disruptive in class, refuses to do any work and engages in what can only be described as bullying – please, Mr. Jekyll, let me finish; as I said, most of the time young Henry is a pleasure, and I know that’s largely thanks to his parents.

I assume I do not need to remind you that this school has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to bullying. I haven’t said anything until now because Henry is otherwise a stellar pupil, and I don’t want to jeopardize that. But you and I need to work together to set him straight, or who knows where he’ll end up?

So about those episodes. They seem to come and go – Henry will be sitting in class, his usual delightful self, and somehow a different persona comes over him. I don’t know how it happens, but in almost the blink of an eye he goes from charming young man to frightful devil; if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I couldn’t say for sure, but it seems clear that he goes right from well-kept to disheveled. Even his hair seems to get messier. It’s quite unnerving, let me tell you, to be teaching a lesson on algebra and all of a sudden one of the students undergoes such a transformation.

I any case, it doesn’t tend to last very long – usually he’ll rush out to the bathroom at some point, clutching his schoolbag, and come back in, charming as ever, a little while later.

So I’d like to ask you, Mr. and Mrs. Jekyll: does this happen to Henry at home, as well?

I’m sorry to have upset you, Mrs. Jekyll. Really, I only have Henry’s best interests in mind. I haven’t even called in the school psychologist, and believe me, according to the rules, I should have done so quite some time ago. But I like Henry too much to subject him to Dr. Enfield right now. Please tell me, is any of this familiar? I’d hate to have to take this beyond just you and me. Henry is such a sweet boy most of the time.

Oh. Oh, I see. Hmm. Well, I do have much more to discuss, but it’s already time for my next meeting. I do want to talk more about Henry, so I’ll give you a call later this week.

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Written by Thag

November 21, 2010 at 8:44 pm

One Response

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  1. Nice job of proofreading: the name was changed before I was able to think of a tactful comment…

    David Shaffer

    November 21, 2010 at 9:39 pm


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