Michael Dilts bares his sole: entry #6

Editor-in-Chief moderates disagreement among interns at A Word with You Press

Pesky students keep him on his toes

Literati

Here we have another author who has chosen shoes for a prompt!  That’s three out of the six we have posted so far.  Fair enough!  You can pick any of the prompts listed, or make up one of your own: any article of clothing that that left its foot print–OOPS!–I mean imprint upon you!  Chose from the prompts and follow the rules here: https://awordwithyoupress.com/2018/10/28/our-new-contest-high-heeled-sneakers/

In the meantime, here is an entry from Michael Dilts, following the gratuitous knock-knock joke:

“Knock-knock.”

“Who’s there?”

“Nietzsche.”

“Nietzsche who?”

“Nietzsche to submit your own entry to our contest to thorn@awordwithyoupress.com.”

 

Ecce Homo Bene Indutus

 

by Michael R. Dilts

 

Neil Thompson was ready for his first day as a high school teacher. He checked himself in the mirror. Crew cut hair. Navy blazer. Red silk handkerchief in his breast pocket. Windsor knotted tie around his neck. He looked down at his brand new pair of blue suede shoes. He was going to cut a very fine figure!

Neil was also ready to face his prospective students. Seven years ago he had been in their shoes – and none of them were blue suede, he was sure. He knew what they needed to learn, even if they didn’t – and even if the priests who ran St. Xavier didn’t. He was sure that not much had changed since his own student days in those same hallowed halls. Neil had been a football star – had the trophies to prove it – but his first year at the university had proved a rude awakening. He was too short (“vertically disadvantaged”) to play on the college team – a grasshopper among behemoths. ROTC? Not many officers returned alive from “Nam.” Medicine? He didn’t have the GPA. Law? Too boring. Neil had opted for History with a minor in Poly Sci and had taken his first Philosophy class by accident. His A-list courses were full and he needed something to fill his schedule. “German Idealism” had lots of empty seats and Neil ended up filling one of them.

He had always thought that Philosophy was for “egg heads,” but the challenge of abstract reasoning was irresistible. Before he knew it, Neil was deeply immersed in the perennial issues of ethics, ontology, epistemology. He wrote his undergraduate thesis on the meaning of free will. Finding a place to teach Philosophy upon completion of his degree had turned out to be problematic. St. Xavier, for example, did not offer classes in Philosophy. So Neil had applied to teach Sophomore English at his Alma Mater. What better way to learn the art of constructing an argument than by addressing the fundamental questions of reality? His unsuspecting English students didn’t know what they were in for, but they were going to have the experience of their lives!

Neil was standing at attention at the front of his classroom when the first students arrived. He had carefully inscribed a quote from Nietzsche on the blackboard: “One must shed the bad taste of wanting to agree with many.”

“You are going to start each day in my class,” he announced, “by making an entry in your journal. This is today’s topic. Agree. Disagree. But I want your thoughts. YOUR thoughts. Questions?

“Yes, your grade depends on the journal entries! Based on my opinion of your comments? Of course! If I were you, I would hurry up and start writing. You have 15 minutes! What were you whispering? Sounded like ‘dude.’”

By the end of the day, Neil was as blue as his shoes. Almost every student in each of his classes had shared deep thoughts about how stupid keeping a daily journal was.

 

3 comments

  1. Avatar
    David Jenkins says:

    High school English? Subject, object, pre-position, verb, noun, all that stuff. I can’t diagram a sentence to this day, but write? I love to write. It flows into poems, memoirs of my long life of good and bad. Publish?
    Hell no, that ain’t the point boys and girls.

  2. Avatar

    A scholarly pen, Michael, reminding us that no one really knows where we’ve come from and we’re always more than our influences. I love the way you mention the shoes and leave us to discern the ‘why’, up until the teacher overhears one of the students. Nicely done!

  3. Avatar
    Mike Stang says:

    The image of blue-suedes’ against a dusty schoolroom floor, got me going.
    The first day of class is for everybody. Thank you for a fine story.

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