Log:Dirty French Limericks
It's late afternoon and the last class of the day and Mr. Stanhope is sitting on his desk, watching as the class finishes up a written test for a class that George has likely skipped the majority of. He idly glances from student to student, noting those who have their eyes on their papers, and noting those whose gazes seem to wander a little too far afield of their own work, occasionally making a light clearing of his throat to let them know that he's well aware of what they're doing.
See? When she does bother to show up for class, it's bullshit things like tests. George objects on a philosophical level to testing as a way to measure knowledge -- plus she really can't stand sitting quietly for that long. She's already asked to go to the washroom and the water fountain, so now she's just killing time by writing dirty limericks in place of each answer, peppered with absolutely terrible French. Maybe she'd be half-decent if she put in any effort, but if you don't try, you can't fail, and what the hell does she need French for anyway? She's running dry of witty rhymes though and getting antsy for a smoke. Raising her hand, she doesn't wait to be called. "Uh, yeah, can I be, like, done?" she asks, sliding her paper across the desk to dangle precariously over the edge.
Michael looks over at George, paper dangling precariously from the end of it, and raises one brow and then motions for her to come up to his desk, extending his hand for her paper wordlessly. The rest of the class continues to scribble, though one or two glance over at her to watch her and Mr. Stanhope to see what he'll do. There are no other sounds though, other than the scrape of pens and pencils on paper and the occasional sigh or shifting in a chair.
Relief breaks over George's features at the hope of maybe being let out of this one. She's getting a zero either way, so why drag it out? "Thanks, Mr. P," she says, as she slides out of her chair, carelessly grabbing up her paper and slinging her bag over her shoulder. Yes, she does actually know his name, but she's got an audience and she's bored, so the few titters and disbelieving murmurs are worth it. Dropping her voice as she approaches him, she thrusts the paper forward and gives him her best puppy dog eyes, "So... can I go then?" She inclines her head towards the door.
Michael reaches out and takes the paper when she approaches, "Considering how infrequently you attend this class, I'm impressed that you managed to get a letter that's present in my name at all, Miss Lester." He glances down at the paper and scans over the answers, expression not shifting at all as he does so. When she asks if she can go, he raises one finger as though she needs to wait while he glances it over. Once he's finished reading the dirty limericks comingled with some terrible French, he holds the paper back out to her and nods toward her seat. "No. Sit."
George gives him a shit-eating grin, like she's also proud of this accomplishment, or maybe just to hide the fact she's at least a little impressed he's rolled along with it so easily. "Yeah, but you know mine." As he makes her wait while he reviews her paper, she shoves her hands into her pockets, leather jacket worn even indoors, and bounces slightly on the balls of her feet. She looks back to him sharply when he hands back the paper, not rushing to take it. "Ugh, /why/?" she asks, irritation clear in her tone.
"This one's not in french," Mr. Stanhope says, gesturing to one limerick which contains no French words whatsoever. "Rewrite it in French." He remains sitting there, unwavering, paper in his hand. "The longer you take, the longer you're going to have to stay. I've got all day." The minutes of the class are ticking down and a few other students realize they've been watching and not finishing, and hurry back to scribble out their last few answers. Papers are turned over on desks and the rest of the class waits for the bell to ring that will release them once more from the confines of the building.
"Uhhh." George looks to the limerick and then back to the teacher, a skeptical expression on her face. He's fucking with her, right? She takes a moment, debating the best course of action here. She could refuse and storm out, but... that's what half of them would expect of her, isn't it. Nah, screw it. She snatches the paper back from his hand and drops into the chair, bag sliding from shoulder to floor. "Yeah. All right." She grabs the pen out of the hand of some kid next to her, ignoring his protest, and sets to work.
He certainly doesn't look like he's fucking with her, his expression dead serious, those icy blue eyes meeting hers unwaveringly. When she takes the paper and goes back to her seat, he watches her grab the pen and go back to work. The minutes tick by and finally the bell rings. Those who are finished drop off their papers, one by one handing them to him before they head out the door. "Miss Lester," he says, extending his hand for her paper. "You should consider creative writing. You have an eye for rhyme and meter even if your French is abysmal."
George has spent the time writing every French swear she can think of -- which aren't many and may include a few Spanish ones as well, but it's certainly more than any vocab words she knows. She watches the other kids finish up and lets them go first, before handing her paper over to Michael with an innocent smile. "Well, tell the English teacher then and maybe I'll pass something this term," she suggests wryly. Passing, failing, school is just something to pass the time, from all she cares to let show.
Michael takes the paper back when she hands it over to him and he glances down at the string of swear words in a mixture of both French and Spanish and he actually chuckles. "Now see, you missed your calling. Your Spanish here is actually better than your French." He slips the test into the stack of papers and then asks, "Why did you even bother coming to take the test?" with what seems like idle curiosity more than anything else. "You've barely shown up for class at all. And you've no hope of passing at this point."
"Guess it's too late to transfer now?" George guesses with a shrug. "Blame Taco Bell commercials, I guess." She tucks her stolen pen behind her ear and gets to her feet, picking up her bag. "I was bored. It seemed like something to do," she replied with an indifferent shrug. "Besides, they said they were gonna kick me out if I kept not showing up, and I don't wanna make it that easy for them." She flashes him another quick flash of a grin.
"Too bad we're not closer to Quebec, maybe you'd pick up more French that way," Mr. Stanhope says with a slightly amused smile when she blames the Taco Bell commercials. "It's a little late to transfer, but if you wanted to, I could talk to the Spanish teacher. Provided you actually intended to do any of the work in that class." He sets the stack of papers in the leather messenger bag that's sitting next to him on the desk.
"Do they got Taco Bell in Quebec?" George asks, playing dumb. She considers his offer and then snort and shakes her head. "Nah, probably not." At least she's honest. Sometimes. When it suits her. "What do you care, anyway? You hoping to Dead Poets Society me or something?" She laughs at that idea. "You're not as lame as most of the teachers, but really, don't sweat it. I think we're all just impressed I made it this far, right?"
Mr. Stanhope laughs then and says, "That's way more work than I'm interested in putting in. But it's easy for me to get Mr. Olsen to take you in Spanish if that's what you wanted." He waves a hand a bit, as though dismissing this whole altruistic Dead Poet's idea entirely. "Contrary to popular belief, I do give... an occasional shit. Sometimes." But not all that often, it seems. "No, I'm not really all that impressed. I'd be impressed if you could write all of those limericks in French. I'd probably have passed you with an A even if you didn't answer any of the questions for that."
George gives a little laugh. "Good luck convincing any teacher to take me. I'm /unteachable/, didn't you hear?" She wears it like a badge of pride. Might as well lean in on that reputation of hers. "Besides, Mr. Olsen's breath is awful and his hairpiece freaks me out." Does she even have the right teacher? She shrugs again, perching slightly on the desk she'd been using. "Fuck, /now/ you tell me," she deadpans, rolling her eyes. "Oh well. I'll settle for a B, B-. Whatever you think is fair."
"I took you," Mr. Stanhope points out, resting his hands on the edge of the desk to either side of him, fingers curled over its edge as he sits there comfortably. "Oh, and it's way, way worse when he leans over to tell you something with particular emphasis." He shakes his head a little, clearly having experienced that in the teacher's lounge one more time than necessary. One brow ticks upward then and he says, "So if I gave you the test back, and told you could get an A if you wrote me a page of French limericks, would you?"
"Yeah, and now you're trying to foist me off," George points out, not sounding injured about it. It simply is. She can't blame him for that. She wrinkles her nose at the picture he paints and then shakes her head. "Yeah, I'm gonna pass on that. I think I'd rather have that bitchy one with the mole." She gestures to her upper lip. His offer earns him another laugh. "Dude, I don't know French."
"No," Michael says with a shake of his head, "I was offering you an alternative if it was something that you wanted. If it's not, then it's not. I'm perfectly content to keep you in this class. You're very quiet when you're not here." Which seems to suit him just fine. "And your test answers at least don't bore me to tears, so that's something." Then he says, "That's too bad, really. They'd probably be even more interesting if you did." Then he says, "I'm still going to fail you, of course."
George can't figure him out as easily as she can most teacher -- or at least she thinks she does most teachers. She cants her head at him, considering his response, and then shrugs. "Nah man, I guess I'm good." Fail one class, fail another. His comment about failing her gives her a brief pause, and then she shrugs. "Yeah. Figured." She gives him a longer look. "You were /really/ gonna pass me with an A if I could have written them in French?"
Michael nods his head once when she says that she's good, apparently prepared to leave it at that. He makes no move to convince her or to otherwise sway her opinion on the matter. He slides off of the desk then and goes to grab his helmet from the closet, tucking it under one arm and slinging his satchel over his shoulder. He pauses then, leaning against the closet door and folding his arms in front of him. "Oh, yeah, I was serious. If you'd written them all in French, I'd have passed you with an A."
"Huh." George considers that for a moment, and then nods. She sort of believes him. "You're not actually as awful as most teachers are. Too bad I don't speak French." She readjust her bag and jacket, straightening up. "You really liked 'em? I thought the one about Nantucket was sorta cliche, but I was running out of steam by then..." She shrugs again. "Take care, Mr. P. Maybe I'll see you again before summer."
Mr. Stanhope gives a slight shrug of his shoulders when she says he's not as awful as most teachers are, "Don't tell anyone. I've got a reputation to maintain." He pushes away from the closet then and walks over to the door, holding it open so that she can go out first, so that he can lock the classroom behind them when they leave. "I could tell the material was wearing thin by the end, but they were much more entertaining to read than the dozens of other poorly formed sentences I'll need to read later tonight." Once she's out the door he steps out into the hall and locks it behind him. "Later, Lester. Be good, or be good at it." He lifts a hand in a little half-wave then and turns down the hall, heading toward the parking lot.