May 12, 2013
Sunday, 4:00 p.m.
Letter #277: I Have No Class
I’m free! Free at last! My long ordeal is at last over, and I am released from all future restrictions. I’m so excited! Now I can get back to living a normal life. Thank you for those of you who were praying. You knew this day would finally arrive. Let me tell you just how it all happened, since I know you want details.
There I was, sitting in the Pre-GED class the day after I’d written to you last week saying how I know God is teaching me to trust Him through this process. I was having a great morning with my good attitude, unaware that my future was about to change dramatically. I was busy filling out little worksheets about science and math and gently correcting the teacher that the Southwest should be capitalized when referred to as a region. (The only other guy in the class who took my side was the Oxford-educated guy who, like me, also knows Latin. Gratefully, a dictionary got everything sorted out, and the only interesting part of the day thus far quietly ended.)
Then, without warning, it happened. Dr. DelSordi, my arch-nemesis (well, not exactly, but for the sake of this story, he is), arrived in the hallway outside the classroom with a manila envelope in his hand. He stuck it through the door, and my teacher took it. The seconds that followed dragged by as if I was stuck in a car behind a farm implement on a two-lane road. (Which I wasn’t, obviously. I would have passed it through the puddle on the right.) The suspense as to what was in that folder and who that folder was addressed to was quite nearly killing me, and possibly would have if I hadn’t applied Urban Survival Techniques at that very moment: namely, breathing.
Then it happened. My teacher walked up to MY table! (I say my table because I am the only one sitting at this particular table, since three days ago my table-buddy flunked back a few grades.) I couldn’t believe my own eyeballs—which I happened to be using at the time—the envelope was addressed to Dr. DelSordi with a notation that it was regarding me. I know you’re wondering if the contents were perhaps my GED certificate and transcripts that I’d been anxiously awaiting for two months. Of course they were, but it would be more polite if you could wait patiently until I arrived at that part of the story and act surprised when I disclose that fact, rather than jump ahead of my story in your thoughts, as if I wasn’t relating the facts quickly enough for you. Thank you.
I opened it, and there inside the envelope was my GED certificate and transcripts! (thank you for acting surprised.) My teacher shrugged and said, “Well, that’s what we’ve been waiting for. That means today is your last day in this class.” I thanked her and said that though I was glad to finally receive it, I was sorry to leave her class, as she is a great teacher. It has to be tough being a teacher of high school dropouts turned criminals, and I give her kudos for making progress.
My freedom in hand, I confidently strode out the classroom door, past the board listing the GED Graduates Hall of Fame, on which my name will never be listed. I passed by the classes of other students held prisoner (or is it prisoners held student?), suffering day-in and day-out. And I saw it—that beam of light at the end of the hallway as I rounded the corner and through the metal detector. A quick pat-search, and it was over! I was finally free! Aahhh … back in my cell at last! 🙂