I’d just been massaging my sore hand after completing the extensive theorems from the board on what becomes of an invisible quantity of possibilities, when our instructor, Mrs. Plumbottle, asked us if anyone knew what an extensional was. “Anything at all?” she asked again as her cat-like gaze swept back and forth over our stupefied faces. Even I hadn’t heard of an extensional.
“Well, duh,” blurted somebody towards the back, “it’s a cross of exceptional and extension! Everyone knows that!” I didn’t have to turn around to know it was Waximitt St’ail, the biggest, most pompous, loud-mouthed clown I had ever known. I had the unfortunate schedule of having him in several classes. All the glitzy, short-skirted, caterpillar-eyelashed, popular girls practically worshiped him as they complimented him on his “vastly stupendous intelligence.” The other troublemaker guys were snickering at Mrs. Plumbottle as she stared, extremely unimpressed, at the mess of kids hanging around together defiantly in the back of the room. She stared at the space above their heads for a minute.
“You know what I was just thinking?” she mused out loud. I knew something great was coming. “I think it would be so much easier to teach if all you kids couldn’t talk,” she continued. Mrs. Plumbottle looked around at all of us. “Wouldn’t that be nice?” she inquired to the roomful of confused faces. “Don’t you think that would be nice, Miss Emmaline?” she asked me. “I think some of you would have a better chance of graduating if you stopped talking and started learning,” she added, smiling as I laughed quietly to myself. I got her humor. The other kids just sat there, glaring.
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