Another Vocab story.
Although silence normally eluded poor Mr. Bendell, something about the poem he had read aloud had sent the eyes of the girls gazing into some ethereal plane of metaphors and contemplation.
So they would not tolerate any interruptions of that. The whispers that normally would’ve wormed their way through the class and echoed uncomfortably on the indiscriminately colored walls tacked with Seattle sports memorabilia were instead beaten into submission by the pink mechanical pencils of those same girls.
They scribbled down notes and the quiet, rare rhythm of a harmonious classroom.
Until the rectangular lights, set against those ceiling tiles so enigmatically punched full of holes it was difficult not to imagine bored students of long ago flicking pencils into the air buzzed and turned off.
The tempestuous cocktail of hormones and homework-induced stress took action, and half of the students instinctively slid off their chairs and onto the thin, dark carpet. The other half felt a shockwave move through their stomachs, but laughed at the scaredy half anyway. As they dusted themselves off, the teens began to feel hyper.
Their ebullience was well founded. The teachers tried, of course they did, but they could only do so much. The kids, learning in the same place at the same time with the same people, often felt like they were living in a book called, “To Deja Vu and Back Again.”
But now, at least there was something out the window to gawk at, with those evergreens bending in the wind and the leaves swirling about.
Mr. Bendell didn't do the kid thing, to establish anarchy rule. This he made explicit after the effusion of loud whoops and high-fiving and chaos waiting to happen.
But nor did he do the adult thing, to insist that they return to their work. He didn't want to elicit a riot.
So instead, he did something in between. To enervate them of energy, he pulled out The Westing Game and had Emily pass around Dixie cups of Goldfish. He read aloud, with the class hanging onto every word, and things were peaceful again.
The prisses didn't priss, and the douchebags didn't douche. All was right. As they rose their empty cups in a salty toast and extolled the Westing Game and dark parties, the lights flicked back on.
Students blinked, and groans were engendered by the light, bright world they didn't want.
But then the bell rang, and there was no time for disappointment. It sent their adrenaline blazing and their hearts slamming to the erratic rhythm of lockers closing. They gathered up their things and left.
But nobody in Bendell’s 6th period had wanted that pesky government competence to expedite the power line repair too fast.