February 19, 2004
The sorrows of young Cecile's teacher

I was quite right about how being Cecile Dubois' teacher has its ups and downs, and that most of them are downs. Now the poor woman can't make a move or say a word without being all over the blogosphere. Here's how Cecile's latest starts:

After noticing my apparent boredom this morning, my English bitterly teacher said, "And sorry Cecile if I'm subtracting from your learning - because the more work - the more it totals up to my mental breakdown!" And I didn't even acknowledge that one coming. I just nodded smugly to myself, as if she just threw a bag of dog poop past me and I hadn't noticed. Since my mom's NRO piece has been posted, I have had a layer of dignity.

That's the key to all this. A "layer of dignity". Nothing like writing up your entire decision to Take No Further Action about your daughter's difficulties at school on a mega-mega-website with a zillion-per-hour readership.

Meanwhile, Miss Teacher is having whatever layers of dignity she may once have had stripped away from her.

And then, my teacher shockingly showed us all her new ring her boyfriend of three months had given her. The irony is she spends half the time gushing over a Serbian baseball player rather than her boyfriend. …

Yes, I'm starting to feel extremely sorry for this woman. I realise that she's probably her own worst enemy, but Cecile runs her a close second. What the old USSR used to call the "correlation of forces" has definitely tilted in that relationship.

There follow more Cecile recollections about other mad teachers of various kinds. But what if it was Cecile who drove them mad? Final paragraph:

In eighth grade, I had a mad science teacher the first semester who, in her other classes, would elaborate on her love life. When she left, the administration curbed our grades generously. And now I have an English teacher constantly on the verge of a mental breakdown. And this is private school.

Yes it is. And what great places these things schools are for sharpening the teeth of promising comic writers. Which reminds me that we have photographs of Cecile's beautiful smile when she was here in London just before Christmas, but we'll leave them for some other time.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 12:35 AM
Category: The reality of teaching