Tuesday, July 20, 2004
"Fuck You, Mr. Babylon"
This was written across the chalkboard in two-foot high letters, sans punctuation, when I entered the maelstrom of my L3RE class for the second time ever. Students were running around screaming and laughing and smacking each other upside the head with their little flimsy shoestring-satchel Nike bookbags. They all stopped and stared expectantly when I walked in and saw the board.
“Oh shit,” someone said under her breath.
Someone else blurted out something in rapid-fire Spanish, and everyone laughed, some even falling down and kicking and banging furniture and the lockers, Def Comedy Jam style, for hilarious emphasis. I put my bag down, sighed heavily, and turned around with my best screw-face. The class paused, inhaled, and began to laugh even harder. I began barking orders at the students to sit down and shut up. They barked back in Spanish, or mocking English, but no-one obeyed.
A student walked in late, Dominican guy, with his curly hair died blonde at the tips and an over-sized pink t-shirt on. I had seen him walking out of the class as I arrived. He surveyed the class from the front of the room. Everyone seemed to hush slightly in anticipation. He looked at the board, which in the chaos, I still hadn’t erased.
“Fuck You, Mr. Babylon!” he read gleefully, and turned to me with a smile.
I screwed my face up even further. “Wh-what’s your name? Who are you?” I stammered, stabbing the air with the still unused eraser.
“What? I just reading the board. I reading the assignment!” He explained with a giggle and a wink towards the class.
“We s’posed to read the board, right?”