Overheard in the Halls Part 24: Generational Divides

Due to changes in personnel and the need for space, some of the band equipment has been relocated to a space closer to the classrooms. Namely, the percussion instruments. One might almost, almost, suspect that the orchestra teacher, Miss Strings, disliked trying to do Hayden over drum solos.

Thus, as I made my way to the workroom to fetch something caffeinated, enthusiastic percussion erupted from the now-band-room. Sister Scholastica [aka The Dean] and Mrs. Noun were coming from the other direction. We paused, carefully not congregating.

Me [glancing toward source of percussive eminations]: I have this strange urge to throw the door open and yell “More Cowbell.”

Mrs. Noun: [much muffled laughter]

Sr. Scholastica [eyes gleaming over her mask]: I fear you would then have to explain the reference.

Me: Alas, yes, Sister.


I’m trying to get ready for my first hour class. The commotion from the commons reaches “free ice cream at lunch” volumes. I go out and glare. No response from the junior high cohort.

Me: Es tut mir leid, aber Sie sind uber laut. Bitte ruhig bleiben! {Excuse me, you are too loud. Be quiet.}

Short horde [blinking up at teacher speaking in tongues]: ?

Me: Por favor, silencio.

The short horde gets quiet, more from confusion than comprehension. I return to my classroom.

Confused kid: What did she just say?

Irked Upperclassman: She told you to be quiet in German and Spanish.

CK: Oooohhh, that’s cool!


A very kind soul brought hot, fresh popcorn for the teachers. We could go to the main workroom and collect a bag for carry out.

Jealous Junior: It is so not fair!

Studious Sophomore [looking over top of study carrel]: What?

JJ: I’ve been smelling popcorn since third hour and I’m starving!

Brother Vector: [loudly rustles popcorn bag]

StuSoph: [muttered] No fair.

No, it wasn’t but the kids got cotton candy and hot dogs at lunch (if they wanted them) and we didn’t.


Spooked Senior [skidding into my classroom]: Guys, guys we’re in big trouble.

Serious Senior: What happened?

SpookSen: Sister Mary Conjugation . . . is back.

A chorus of moans, groans, and wails arises. I pretend not to hear a thing. Sister M.C. had been out with bronchitis, and her substitute was far, let us say mellower, than Sr. M. C.

Secondary Senior: Sumus culpae, sumus culpae . . .

Me [turning around from the board]: Dare I ask?

SecSen: Just practicing, Miss Red. We have a quiz in English class today and some of us didn’t study much.

Me [trying not to laugh behind my mask]: I quite understand.


17 thoughts on “Overheard in the Halls Part 24: Generational Divides

  1. Much laughter. “Sr. Mary Conjugation can split an infinitive twice, at 50 yards, with her back turned. We’re doomed!” Every well- ordered school has one; other schools are in desperate need.

    Hmm, reminds me of a great-aunt. Very reliable sources recounted that her classes, over 5th – 8th grade ages (especially 8th grade), were very well-prepared and in even better order. She was undersized but overly fierce.

  2. “Me [glancing toward source of percussive eminations]: I have this strange urge to throw the door open and yell β€œMore Cowbell.””

    When in doubt, consult an expert:

    “Yield to temptation; it may not pass your way again.” — Lazarus Long

  3. When I was in high school band (slide trombone) we thought the drummers were rather strange, and most likely to either go into politics or be arrested for various crimes. To be fair. the strings and woodwinds thought the brass section was too loud and obnoxious for polite company.😁

  4. CK was right: that was cool.

    Although I notice that you added subtitles for the German but not the Spanish. Possibly significant, in that I didn’t need subtitles for the Spanish. Even though I’m more familiar with Quenya than Spanish.

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