Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Third Grade Music Teacher

A million dying screams ring out in unison.
Ms. Allison sits on a worn-out and uncomfortable chair, with a stale cup of Folgers,
trying only to blink,
and remain conscious.

The third graders hold recorders, drumsticks, and tambourines in their hands
with sweaty palms and itchy trigger-fingers,
the same way criminals hold a gun during a robbery.

She thinks about the whisper of rain on the windowsill that she loved as a child. She thinks about the first time she truly appreciated Mozart, and the years she spent longing to share her passion with younger minds.

But every day is the same.

The third graders are a barbarian horde, far more subject to their personal whims and desires than her central leadership. Musical notes are ancient and forbidden symbols, and instructions are nothing more than the sound of sand
shifting in desert wind.

So she sits on her worn-out, uncomfortable chair, and she tries to embrace the chaos
with the third graders.

On the few days she is not incredibly hungover, she plays her flute with their cacophony. She glides along the discord like a kite in a hurricane, sometimes opposing their noise with melody, sometimes joining in like a jazz musician stricken with madness.

She hears Tchaikovsky’s cannon blasts ringing in her mind.

One time
she even screamed at them like a deathcore vocalist.

And on those days she simply can’t cope with the madness and nihilism of the third graders,
she just has a substitute come in
and play a movie for them.

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