Contributions by Publius

Why We Have War

| Prose, Publius

by Publius This afternoon, we had a faculty meeting, during which the vice-principal explained that we need to be nice to foreigners. This is because, “When Ho Chi Minh was in Wisconsin, he hated it. They weren’t nice to him. And that’s why we had the Vietnam War.” I found this weirdly inspiring. For decades, …

The Vice-Principal

| Prose, Publius

by Publius Over the years, I’ve had several principals and vice-principals who were truly mentally ill. A drug addict. A sadist. Tons of narcissists. I’m no diagnostician, but I believe my current vice-principal had brain damage a few years ago, when she had two severe back-to-back falls. Some days, that makes me sad. But it …

Bullet-Points

| Humor, Prose, Publius

by Publius We had “an emergency faculty meeting”. So I took these notes. “– The state test is coming up. Get worried. — Teach the test and nothing else. — We need everyone to pass the state test. So don’t give it to any kids who won’t pass. — According to a new state regulation, …

A Dream

| Prose, Publius

by Publius In the dream. I work in an office. The company has something to do with aerospace inventions, which I know nothing about. In any case, it is my job to meet with clients, who are satisfied with my work. I have an elaborate office with a living room and a dining room. I …

Perky

| Humor, Prose, Publius

by Publius My student teacher gets back from a meeting at his university. So I say to him, “I see other teachers in this building teach all the time. So I know what I look like compared to Mr. North, say, or this one and that. But I have no idea how I compare to …

The Inspection

| Prose, Publius

by Publius On Fridays, it is my custom to do a reading for my students. I’ve done this for years. I am on the state arts council, which means that I get free subscriptions to great literary magazine published in the area. I also subscribe to several national journals, and am familiar with the production …

Student Teachers

| Humor, Prose, Publius

by Publius I love working with student teachers. Perhaps, in part, it’s a way of revisiting my youth. Perhaps, in part, it’s an act of hope. Today, Mr. Palmer, my student teacher, made one of those mistakes we all make when we are young teachers. My students, his students now, are writing non-fiction. So Mr. …

When to Run and When to Hide

| Humor, Prose, Publius

by Publius On Monday, the faculty of the Social Studies Department was informed that they wouldn’t need to teach for the next three days. Instead, they are to give a test. A standardized language test. The students will be shunted into the music rooms, because those rooms are big. There aren’t enough chairs, but there …