Topic: "I'll Get Back to You"(3)
"Good morning, Class."
"Good morning, Mr. Frodo."
"Please pass these bluebooks around, one to each student Miss Dana Something-or-other."
"Alright Class, your Mid-term Exam in Modern American History will be but a single essay question which I will now write on the board. You will have one hour, and your comments are limited to one bluebook. Should you finish early, you may turn in your bluebook to me and report to the Study Hall in Room 214. You will remain there until the bell sounds ending this period. Any questions? Okay, I'll write the question for you now. Good luck."
Mr. Frodo wrote the following on the green chalkboard: "Using the 'Cuban Missile Crisis' as a backdrop, discuss the decision-making in the 'Cold War' and the role played by the threat of nuclear warfare."
Mr. Frodo sat with his back to the chalkboard, resting his elbows on the faux pine desk, and began thumbing through a collection of poems by e.e. cummings. He did not look up, rather he merely listened to the shuffling and under-breath expletives.
"Mr. Frodo," came the plaintive query from the aisle nearest the windows.
"Yes, Miss Dana Some-thing-or-other," he responded to the perky little blonde tugging at her skirt as she crossed her legs, provocatively.
"Mr. Frodo, like I don't know anything at all about y'know the 'Cuban Missile Crisis'"
"I'm not sure I'd want to admit that were I you."
"Well, like it, y'know, doesn't seem fair, y'know, that half your grade y'know for the whole y'know term is based on something you could just like copy off of WIKIPEDIA."
"So what's your point?"
"Like what's so important about y'know this little island near where Natalie Holloway disappeared. History is a drag. How will this help me get a job and pay off my y'know student loans?"
"That's why you answer the question, so you will understand the significance of what took place there."
Frodo didn't even want to look at the little moron. Her cow-eyed stare made him uncomfortable, and he began to wonder, for the millionteenth time why he had ever gotten into teaching. "To learn from history, so that mistakes are never repeated," he spoke to himself as he recalled the visions of a young and troubled President stumbling against a crafty Soviet Premier.
Slowly, one-by-one, the students shuffled by his desk and placed their bluebooks one atop another. Dana Something-or-other, sure to someday be a news anchor on a local TV station, connected to her cell phone as she exited his classroom. Frodo opened her bluebook and thumbed through the drawings and the graffiti. On the final page she had written "I'll get back to you."
When he raised his head he could see her looking through the window in the class room door.
She hadn't aged a day standing there on the podium, laughing, feigning any awareness whatsoever of the events surrounding the Bay of Pigs. He turned off the TV and began to re-read "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." He never thought he would miss Ari Fleisher.