So, I and at least 2/3 of the school have come down with a malady of some form. There is a rather lengthy menu to choose from, as you would expect in a school in the downward slope of winter. Tummy crud? Yup. Head colds? Check. Coughs? Got that first. Something with spots? Probably, although spotted students are strongly encouraged to stay at home. As a result of illness and outside activities, we’re a touch short-handed this time of year, every year. You know, fatigue plus cold medicine, plus watching other people’s students work leads to some interesting musings . . .What if . . . there were a private school, highly selective, that has a few Catholic priests and nuns on the faculty but that is not part of the diocese for some historically important but vaguely defined reason? What if all the students are absolutely normal youngsters but some of the teachers and administrators are a little odd. Not all of them, but enough . . .
Sister Scholastica is the Dean of the High School and runs the place with an iron rosary, although she always defers to the headmaster. Ms. Ingrid Johanssen is a witch and teaches math. She is rather insistent that students always show every step. Señora Cuellar teaches Spanish and is a tad oblivious to some things. Father O’Connor, the Classics and Latin instructor, knows a little too much about the realities of life in everyday Imperial Rome. Rumor has it that the health instructor (and track coach) Andy Jackson was once accused of necromancy, but the parent who started the rumor also left the school a very large bequest after his untimely passing and no one believes a word of it. Coach Miller is as normal as someone with a PhD in history from Duke University can be, and the rest of the staff make allowances for his background. He and Fr. O’Connor, a Georgetown alum, have been forcibly separated during staff meetings in March. The headmaster, one Mr. Leonidas Onassis, stands 6’4″ and is rather well-known for his earlier work as a wildlife and nature photographer who specialized in night shots. Mr. Maximilian Luther teaches a religion section, earth science and physics one, and is the faculty computer wizard, although even he can’t save those three souls who allowed Windows (TM) 13 to auto-install on their classroom computers, despite multiple warnings not to touch it.
And then there’s Miss Ximena Nihil, who is assigned to Room 13. No one has found Room 13 in the same place twice, if they find it, but she’s very good about pitching in to help when needed and always has her grades turned in before the deadline. She teaches biology and literature, an admittedly unusual combination, but a valuable one. She’s not had a teaching evaluation for several years, though, because Mr. Onassis never can find her when he tries to do a class-eval. She’s always out, or doing a lab at the pond, or in the library, even though he just looked there.
I have no idea what’s going to transpire at St. Martin’s Institute, but I’m pretty certain the next faculty end-of-semester-survivors’-party will be fascinating.