Arlene Patterson was new to teaching in an inner city school- brand new- but she knew, after her extensive teacher training, that she could reach out to these kids and make a difference. The fact that she was a white, hardline mormon from a middle-class suburban middle-America made no difference in her mind. She knew, right through her very soul, that she was the one who could teach these delinquent kids- the ones the Principle of PS 101 had called “unteachable”, “hopeless” and even “Seriously dangerous, and not at all stereotypically gang members, but actually gang members.”. Arlene knew when “the Man” was talking, and she knew she didn’t have to accept anyone else’s prejudices or “written warnings from the city police force”.
As she walked down the litter-coated hallways that were covered in graffiti, she readied herself for what she had to do. She ignored the jeers of the students as she passed them- her pressed white blouse in stark contrast to their bloodstained correctional facility hand-me-down coveralls. The school had no money to buy textbooks, and had spent most of this year’s capital budget on a dubiously functional metal detector. Arlene knew she was walking into a bare, stark, brick and mortar room with no support materials, no new media, no fashionable means of engaging the stuents. Only her wits, and her unflappable sense of self respect. These kids were going to learn, and she would open their minds like spring flowers open their petals.
She paused briefly outside the door of her class, and nodded a polite and casual “thanks” to the military escort assigned to walk teachers down the hall. She gathered herself and strode into the room.
As she entered into the classroom. some of the students, shocked by her audacity, briefly stopped test-stabbing a side of beef with homemade shanks. Not beef shanks, steel shanks. There would be no suppleness to these shanks.
Arlene slammed a copy of “Romeo and Juliet” hard down on the front desk, disturbing a small colony of cockroaches, who scuttled to safer territory.
“Alright, students, listen up!”
30 pairs of eyes swivelled forward in abject shock. Who was this woman?
Arlene started rhythmically stomping her heeled shoe on the floor and clapping her hands creating a beat.
“Yo, My name is Mrs P and i’m here to say,
I’m gonna be yo’ teacher every day,
gonna learn about Shakespeare, who isn’t gay,
and get you educated in the old school way!”
She finished her carefully crafted “rap”.
At first, there was only stillness and silence.
Then, one student moved. He stood up from the very back of the room, and approached the front. No one moved, and Arlene stood proudly, but stone faced, waiting.
The student took millenia to reach the front. He looked Arlene straight in the eye. He inched closer to her. Their noses nearly touched. Arlene Patterson didn’t flinch, or blink, or give way in the slightest. She knew that she had reached this child.
The student stood silently like that, eye to eye with her for ages more. Finally, he removed an automatic weapon from his pocket and shot Arlene 7 times in the chest, and twice in the nethers.
Then, because of what she had done to Hip Hop, NWA burst in and shot Arlene’s now nearly bloodless corpse 18 more times. Then Tupac’s ghost shat ghost poop on Ms. Arlene Patterson, and then released four more never before heard tracks, one of which was suspiciously called “dead teacher I ghost pooped on”.