Inside her Classroom. Boomer Episode 11 by Dewey Edward Chester. Today, enjoy another episode of the novel Boomer, American stories by Dewey Edward Chester.
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Samantha O’Neal was huddled inside her classroom —–front row, center. She looked up to Professor Pierce —- her teacher who was reading aloud a class-book on European Literature.
Samantha allowed herself a liberal bent at times, and was expectant. Professor Pierce had told her she was aristocratic; the perfect spot to be in!
The professor was chuckling aloud in response to her classmate, Laura Ellis: “Love, Laura, is like a train wreck; blood is always spilled.”
Samantha’s professor took distant views of change.
“—– But yes, Laura! I have had quality affairs; some were stormy—but never stormy enough to disturb my married life.
“The charm of married life, Laura, makes deception quite necessary. I never know where my husband is, and my husband never knows where I am. He never gets confused though. But I always do. And when he finds me out, he never makes a fuss. I wish sometimes he would. He merely laughs at me.”
Then the professor said —– “In romance, Laura, you must know when it’s over. What a fuss people make of it: young men want to be faithful, and are not! Old men want to be faithless, and cannot! That is all to be said of romance.”
These comments struck Samantha, oddly. She thought about the woods in Panther Hollow. The blue lagoon was there, and leaves were drifting about
“—Robespierre —-!” an aggressive voice declared; it was Nicholas, an intellectual possessed with style.
Professor Pierce replied: “Now that is a man I love to speak about: Robespierre had ambition. But he lacked common sense.”
I rose up and defended Nicholas, by saying aloud —- “Robespierre was passionate, about Love!”
Passion is irrelevant, young man, up there by the window,” she answered.
The professor turned around and pointed to a picture on the wall. “Suppose you built a railroad through those mountains? First off you’d get a survey and discover a dozen gaps. Which gap do you run your train through? How do you decide the route?”
Had I missed her point? What did passion have to do with running trains through gaps in mountains? “I don’t understand,” I answered.
“Well —-!” the professor began —- “You make a choice. Make it because one mountain is black, the other white…or green—-no matter the color —- make a choice! Passion is that way.”
I felt tentative. I was too young to know the truth. My professor had flown high up in the world —- on strong wings, she had stared into the sun.
“—- And may I remind you, Master Stahr,” the professor concluded: “Robespierre gave us the French Revolution. And that gave up ridiculous passion!”
“What’s wrong with passion?” I challenged.
“Your approach is simplistic, my son.”
She peered into my eyes and whispered —- “You are unconscious of who you are, and what you can become. But try to learn the game. That is the path toward wisdom. There’s so little time. Your limbs shall fail, your senses rot —- haunted by memories never glorified.”
“But passion burns forever!”
“Exactly my point,” whispered the professor. “When you get old and passion has scarred your face. You ‘will’ understand passion.
“Today you charm the world. But will it last? Don’t frown, young man, your talent is higher than genius….as it needs no explanation.
“Presently, you are a fact; a Yareah Moon reflected on water. Your existence cannot be questioned.
“You smile, Master Stahr? Ahhhh! But will you smile, later? Athletes like you are the wonder of wonders. The world’s mystery is the visible. Not the invisible! You have but a season to live. And when life fades, your passion goes with it: a cascade of faded joy.
“Ahhhh! Master Michael; realize who you are, now! Don’t stop to change what cannot be changed. Forget about passion; there’s never an engine that runs it.”
I listened to her —- open-eyed in wonder. A fuzzy bee came by and buzzed around …..then scrambled through the open window.
And as I watched it, my passion began to rise.
After a time, the bee flew away, and Professor Pierce seemed pleased with her lesson. She felt she must teach me the Rules. I must be taught the truth. Whenever I dreamed, she wanted to share her past with what I would make of my future.
She looked at the others and said —- “One day you’ll all learn that revolutions run out of fervor. Revolutions always run out that way!”
Professor Pierce’s neatly combed hair was unusually bright, in the eyes of Samantha O’Neal. She was waiting for something else.
“—-If I read your stories aloud in class,” the professor continued, “It’s because you will learn from what is good. I’m going to read from an unexpected source.”
Samantha held her breath assured her story would be read.
The professor announced, “I will read ‘Early Times,’ by Michael Stahr!”
Samantha turned quickly around to see me up there on the ledge, slouching in silhouette, near the open window.
The professor read from neatly typed pages: “‘In a way he was like the country he lived in. But at least he knew that. And if more often than not he believed in passion, at least he knew that, too. But once a month….in Panther Hollow he denied Love ever existed.”’
Samantha became dizzy. Her stomach plunged. She broke into a sweat. Why was the professor reading Stahr’s story? She was surprised and deeply disappointed.
Softly, the professor read toward the ending:
“‘Am I not enough?” the college girl asked.
“‘No,’” the college boy answered—-“‘I need more.’“
“‘But I need, You!’ “ the college girl replied, with apparent passion. “‘Why don’t you feel the same?’ “
“‘I’ve searched for love but never found it.’”
“‘I don’t believe that.’“
“‘Well….’” he insisted, softly, “‘Why should you? Our love is impossible.’”
“‘I will never believe that!’” said the college girl, defiantly.
Professor Pierce stopped reading and the classroom was silent. The clock ticked loudly on the wall.
There were tears dripping from my eyes.