The New TA


elisabeth_icon.gif simon_icon.gif

Scene Title The New TA
Synopsis Simon gets called on in class to be the new TA to the hot substitute
Date November 13, 2008

Washington Irving High School

As she rushes in to the first class of the morning — God, *must* the start of her day and the end of it be calculus? Really? — Elisabeth is carrying a styrofoam cup of coffee and her backpack. She sets the cup down, drops the bag on the desk, and just shakes her head. "This is getting ridiculous," she mutters to herself. But she's got a Plan! Oh yes, oh yes she does. She's been keeping a close eye on the kids in this classroom for the past month and a half that she's been the substitute in Mr. Albright's math classes. And now that plan's going to go into action. All she has to do is wait for the star pupil!

The star pupil, at least that's what Simon calls himself when nobody is looking, is late as usual. It may be only by five minutes this time, but he still wanders into the classroom after the bell has rung. He has a thermal container full of coffee as well and two heavy bags under his eyes. If asked why, he'll claim that he was up studying until late.

"Hey, Jimmy," Simon says to the kid next to him as he takes his seat. He sets his drink on his desk and his messenger bag under his chair, and then looks up at the substitute who has been trying her hardest to teach the class in Mr. Albright's absence.

With the class already getting underway, Liz can't grab him as she'd intended. So instead, she says, "Simon, stay after class please." And then the day begins. Attendance, then going over last night's homework, and then doing the best she can to teach the next section of the chapter. She does okay, but it's clear to anyone who actually understands the material that she has been struggling for the entire time in this class. When the bell rings, she looks relieved. "Don't forget to do the odd-numbered exercises 1 through 40 tonight. Simon?"

The class ends and Simon has managed to doodle out an entire comic strip involving the adventures of a curious cat and his duckling sidekick, fighting space aliens from Andromeda. He takes one final look at his masterpiece before slamming the notebook he was writing in shut. As Jimmy next to him starts to leave, he gives Simon a nudge. Why? Because the substitute has asked to see him. The HOT substitute.

Simon stands and wanders over to the desk at the head of the room as the other students rush to leave. "Hey, Ms. Harrison. What's going on?"

Waiting until the rest of the class leaves the room, ignoring the snickers and what have you, Elisabeth then looks at Simon. "What do you have for the last period of the day?"

Simon doesn't mind the snickering. He's used to things like that, sad to say. The question catches him just slightly off guard. He had guessed that she was going to touch on his tardiness. "Spanish literature," he answers, "I'm reading Don Quixote in its native language. It's pretty cool. Why?" He lifts a brow curiously and inclines his head towards the teacher.

Elisabeth gestures to the classroom behind him and has a rueful look on her face. "Look… it's not as if you, at least, can't tell that I'm entirely faking it up here with calculus. I do well enough with all the rest of the classes, I can actually teach them. But I'm doing your classmates and you a huge disservice in calculus. After the holidays, they'll have a graduate student in mathematics in here to sub until MR. Albright returns or they get a new teacher. Between now and the end of the year, I'd like to ask you to act as the TA for calculus. Both this class and the last period of the day … if you'd be okay with that."

Simon blinks a few times at the request because he wasn't expecting it at all "Well, um, I can't exactly skip my last period, you know. But I can help out this period. Maybe I can even teach you enough to get through last period." He grins and shrugs. "You're doing fine, by the way. I mean we all know you're not a math teacher."

There's a nod. "If you think you can teach me enough in this period to get me through last period, I'd be eternally grateful," Elisabeth replies easily. "But I cleared it with the principal already that if you were doing as well in your last-period class *and* you wanted to do it, you could skip the last period until the holiday break. You would still have to take your tests and such, but he was willing to work with us because he konws I'm not a math teacher, and it's looking like Mr. Albright's not going to make it back." She shrugs a little. "You guys have the AP test at the end of the year, and if we don't do SOMETHING, there's no way any of you are going to make it. With the possible exception of you, that is. You're far enough ahead of the game all the way around that this seemed like a good way to work around my lack of math savvy."

Simon thinks about this for a moment and nods. "Well, I am basically just working on Don Quixote for the midterms, so if it's only until the holidays I guess I can do both periods. You know, if the principal says it's alright."He grins and nods, "Yeah, you know I think I will do this. I always wondered if I could actually teach a class."

Elisabeth grins at him. "Well, now you'll get to learn whether you have what it takes to impart your grasp of this topic to your peers." She actually looks more than a little relieved. "Thank you, Simon. Tell you what — I don't want you to be late to your next class. Go ahead and get going, and meet me after school this afternoon. We'll go over what the lesson plan calls for and get a working plan on how to handle class tomorrow and for the next week. I'll speak to your literature teacher today and let her," she looks at him, "him? … know what's going on. Okay?"

"Him. Mr. Espinoza," Simon says. He looks happy enough to have the gig, even though it doesn't pay and very well may make him even less popular than he already is. Still, spending time with the music teacher here is enough of a reward. "Thanks for thinking of me, this could be fun." He grins and starts to head back to his desk, which isn't too far away from the teacher's. "I'll see you this afternoon," he says as he grabs his bag and slings it over his shoulder. "Later," With his thumb resting under the shoulder strap, his other fingers give a wave before Simon starts to head for second period.

November 13th: A Captive Audience
November 13th: Tea and Sympathy
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