I walk in and put my backpack and coat away and make my way to my desk. Amy makes her way over to my desk and starts telling me about her weekend in excruciating detail, this is Amy and will be Amy through high school. Keri is talking to Mr. Sullivan about her lead role in the upcoming musical “The Pirates of Penzance” which Mr. Sullivan will be directing. Mr. Sullivan is my fifth grade teacher and also the Director of the Theater department. Running his fingers through his comb-over Mr. Sullivan thoughtfully regards Keri’s artistic decisions in playing Edith, the mischievous eldest sister. They share a laugh and Mr. Sullivan moves on to talk to Angie, she is one of my good friends and is blonde. Did I mention Keri is also blonde? Mr. Sullivan creepily teases Angie about her readiness to play one of the daughters in the ensemble. She doesn’t engage him like Keri does and with ego a little bruised he moves on. He never makes his way to my desk though, I am playing a daughter in the ensemble.

He calls the class to order and begins to engage in intellectual banter with his favorite students. When its obvious the other kids don’t get the “inside” humor, he smiles smugly to himself, pleased. In his class, if you don’t raise your hand and say “ooh ooh ooh” over and over then you don’t exist. All the smart kids will speak up and make themselves heard and those that are shyer must be dumb. We start working quietly on our assignments and Angie and I look at each other and chuckle as we overhear Kevin showing Mr. Sullivan a ream of printer paper covered with zeros and ones as Kevin hypothesizes on what his Commodore 64 might be trying to tell him.

The bell rings signaling the end of the day and I gather up what remains of my ego after its taken an ever so subtle beating, indistinguishable to the naked eye.