Overheard in the Halls – Part Three

Senior Boy: ” . . . and then he tried to put it in reverse! Took us twenty minutes to dig him out of the sand.”

Senior Boy 2: “He tried to back out? That’s so racist.”

Mr. Long-Slavic-Last-Name to Fr. Romanus: “Splash.”

Fr. Romanus: ‘Splash?”

Mr. L-S-L-N: “The sound of a shark jumping.”

Fr. Romanus: “Ah, Indeed. Indeed.”

[Racist now means inane, stupid, foolish, apparently.]


I was sitting in my classroom grading papers when a wailing, agonized cacophony arose from Fr. Romanus’s classroom. Since it was Fr. Romanus, I didn’t go see what was up, although I wondered if perhaps I ought to stand in the doorway and chime in. Later:

Miss Red: “What happened in Latin IIIa?”

Chipper Student: “Oh that was that birthday howl, Miss Red.”

Miss Red: “The birthday howl?”

Latin Nerd Dude: “Yes, ma’am. Fr. Romanus taught us that harmony comes from the words ‘harm,’ meaning to cause pain, and ‘moan’ meaning to wail and carry on. We wailed and carried on for [Junior Class Twin Girls.]”

Miss Red: “All is explained. Thank you.”


Concerned Student: “Miss Red, but the book says that all Indians wanted the British to leave.”

Miss Red: “that is true, but this is the latest research, and here are the documents,” [reads a list of letters from Jinnah and others]

Voice from the Back of the Class: “So the book is wrong again?”

Miss Red: “Not wrong this time, just outdated and too general.”

Concerned Student:”I wish history would stop changing.”

Miss Red [under breath as I clear board to make room for more notes]:”Now you know how I feel.”


Guy Student in study commons:” . . . and so we are inherently evil.”

Gal Student in study commons:”Do you believe that?”

Guy: “No, I believe that we are good. But that’s not what’s on the test.”

Second Gal: “For the English test, we are all evil to the core.”

[Sr. Grammatica was teaching Lord of the Flies that month]

Laconic Dude: “I can see that.”

Miss Red [thinking]: So we’ve got a Pelagian and two Augustinians.

Gal Student [sounding confused]:”Then why did Christ come to die if we are entirely good?”

Guy:”Because we have the free will to choose God’s will or evil, and He came to save us from sin.”

Fr. Martinez:”Thus the saving power inherent in the Real Presence within the blessed Sacraments. Good morning ladies, gentlemen. Peace be with you.”

Chorus: “Good morning Father. And Also with you.”

Miss Red [thinking]: An Augustinian, a Thomist, and a Pelagian walked into a bar . . .


Puzzled 6th Grader:”I don’t get Daoism, sir.”

Mr. Dvorak [world religion, computer science, CAD/CAM, and Physics]:”No one does. If you can understand it, you’re wrong. That’s what the Daoist holy book says, first thing on the first page.”

P6thG [sounding very relieved]:”Oh good.”


Miss Red [to self]: Do I need to take my jacket? No, I’m fine. [Leaves blazer in classroom]

Thirty two copies and a refilled water bottle later . . .

Mr. Dvorak: “Can I slip in to make one copy?”

Miss Red:”Sure. I’m done.” Starts walking down the hall to the Little Teachers’ Lounge when . . .

Blaaat! Blaaat! Blaaaat!

Fr. Pax darts out of office, Mr. Handy glowers at control panel for security system, Mr. L-S-L-N emerges from lair and peers around, Mrs. O’Neal and St. Scholastica hold doors open and start counting heads as students and teachers stream for exits.

We had an accidental fire drill. It was very cold. I was very ticked at myself.


5 thoughts on “Overheard in the Halls – Part Three

  1. Why does the phrase, “Out of the mouths of babes” come to mind??? 🙂 Kudos to you for putting up with that day in and day out!

  2. I do like the ‘splash’ and meaning thereof as a response to ‘racist’. Seems an ideal response to such a statement, and other similarly abused terms.

  3. Those are just great – I can almost picture these in my head from my own days in school. Somehow, thought, the English classes I attended somehow managed to avoid Lord of the Flies.

    The accidental fire drill reminds me of my very first day in an internship for software development. I’m being taken on a tour of the data center when my guide leaves me for a moment, saying she needs to check on something. I lean back against the wall to wait – and feel something poking my back. I stop leaning back and turn to look at what had been poking my back. It was a big red button for triggering the fire suppression system, which I believe was a halon gas system back then. That would not have been a good start to the internship. I carefully took a few steps to the side and leaned up against a section of wall free of such problematic protuberances.

    • That week we had an accidental fire drill, a planned tornado drill, and an accidental intruder drill. I am SO glad you can’t have an accidental tornado warning!

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