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Friday, January 7, 2011

F3 The Way It Should Work

     The bell rang, and Will Stevens sat down at his desk. All the other students did the same, but Will watched Sally Jenkins especially closely. She looked at him, and he quickly turned his head back to his desk, staring at the doodle he had penciled onto the desk.

     "Class," Mrs. Thompson said from the front of the class, and everyone looked up at her, "we're going to be reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for the next two weeks, but before that, I need to talk to you about some very important things. This book is more than just a story. This book is about our history, about who we were as a people in this country. It shows some very bad things about who we were, but also gives a little bit of hope about who we might become. Even though all this happened in the past, we need to know about it. We need to know about the bad things we've done and said, in order to not do them again. I want you all to ask questions about this book. It's important that you understand, and there are a lot of things you may not understand. We're going to begin today with two words."
     She turned around and began writing on the board, and Will pulled out his copy of the book, looking at the cover, a rough drawing of two people on a raft.
     "Now, class, I'm sure in history class you learned a little bit about The Civil War and slavery, "she pointed her chalk at the word 'slave' on the board, "and you know how horrible that was; however, I'm sure you didn't learn about this word over here." She sidestepped and pointed her chalk at the word 'nigger' that had been previously hidden. "We're going to talk about this word, what it means, and why it's a truly awful thing to say, even today. . . ."
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