copyright © 2004 by Adam Hahn

Workaday #8: Leftovers
by Adam Hahn

Adam is dressed as a substitute teacher. Dick Roberts is seated stage right.


Adam: The following are true events and observations from my first semester as a substitute teacher. Visual elements have been enlarged, but the circumstances depicted are genuine.
Dick Roberts will be reading from a list of statements that, to the best of my knowledge, have never been heard over a public school PA system.

Dick: Junior girls, if your boyfriend asks you for anal sex, that probably means he's gay. That's okay, because no one else will figure that out until you've both graduated. In the mean time, granting whatever sexual favor he asks is the best way for you to remain popular.

Adam: (producing lifeguard tank top from briefcase) Many years ago, I had a job as a lifeguard and instructor of swimming lessons. I was not allowed to teach children to float until I had completed significantly more training and more difficult testing than I would receive before I began substitute teaching.

Dick: Teachers, this month's paychecks are waiting in the office. Students, you've probably figured out by now which of your teachers are alcoholics. Expect two or three film days in their classes.

Eli: Are you married?

Adam: No.

Eli: Do you have a girlfriend?

Adam: No.

Eli: Are you Amish?

Adam: No.

Eli: Are you Jewish?

Adam: No.

Eli: Are you German?

Adam: No.

Eli: Are you Russian?

Adam: No.

Eli: Are you Amish?

Adam: You already asked me that.

Eli: But are you Amish?

Adam: No.

Eli: Are you sure?

Dick: I am about two inches from crying right now!

Adam: Brad Hansen, you've been given this period for sustained silent reading. Next time I look at you, I want to see your book open and your eyes on it.

Brad: You shouldn't be looking at me at all. I'm not gay.

Dick: The truth is, the Paris Hilton video just isn't that sexy.

Adam: ¡Beunos días, clase!
¡Beunos días!
This is fourth-year Spanish, right?
Beunos días.
It means, "Good morning."

Dick: Complaints from the Jehovah's Witnesses will prevent any official recognition of Halloween this year. First, they got all the Christmas carols pulled from the chorus program, now the school dance the night before Halloween is no longer Halloween-themed.
Thank God there are no Jews in this school.

Adam: Sometimes, even teachers assume that I have more training than I actually do.

Enter Teacher

Teacher: Mr. Hahn, you'll be me tomorrow.

Adam: Yeah, I wanted to stop in and see if you had any instructions for me.

Teacher: Special education can be challenging, but I've got everything laid out for you. The subject matter isn't difficult, but this kind of lesson structure is more common in elementary ed. You might have seen this--What are you certified to teach? What's your background?

Adam: Oh.
I'm not really a teacher.
Actually, my background is in engineering.

Teacher: Holy shit.

Exit Teacher.

Adam: The stage directions for Dick Roberts' next line read, "in the manner of a pirate."

Dick: (in the manner of a pirate) Yaaaarrr!

Mark Norris sneaks onto the stage, hangs, "I'm Gay," sign on Adam's pocket, walks away. Adam finds sign, reacts.

Adam: Mark, go to the office.

Mark: What did I do?

Dick: The difference between a normal teacher and a special ed teacher is training: special ed requires more education and certification.
The difference between a normal substitute and a special ed substitute is need. The sub willing to take special ed is desperate for money.

Adam: The only experience I had working with special education students before I was paid to substitute teach them came in health class.
Most health classes I experienced were pretty much the same. We watched a video about giving birth or read aloud from some piece of government-issued anti-cannabis propaganda, then we were given a review worksheet to make sure we were mastering the appropriate vocabulary.
I liked health class, because I finished the worksheets quickly and was able to spend the rest of the period reading science fiction and ignoring the students around me.
In the seventh grade, there were two special needs students in my class who could barely write their names and responded to most questions with polite smiles.
It became my job to complete my own worksheet then move these boys to the hallway and complete theirs.
Countless hours of my middle school education were spent in conversations like this: "Okay, David, Number 3: A painless sore on the genitals is called: A) Menses, B) Testes, C) Menstruation, D) Chancre
"No, I don't think it's A. Menses doesn't sound right. Think hard, now: painless sore on the genitals."

Dick: Senior boys, try to talk your girlfriends into anal sex. Tighter is better!

Adam: That's right! "Native American," should be capitalized, because it's a proper name for a group of people.

Mirri: Mr. Hahn! Eli drew this! (Stands up holding, "I'm omish," poster)

Adam: (taking the poster and making corrections with a fat red marker) Eli, this isn't quite right. "Amish" is spelled with an 'a'. Remember that "Amish" is a religious affiliation, like "Catholic" or "Jewish," so it needs to be capitalized.
You'll also need punctuation at the end of the sentence. You can add a period to make this a statement, "I'm Amish." If you'd rather, you can put in an exclamation for more enthusiasm, "I'm Amish!"


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