Stories That Entertain

It was 7:57 a.m., and all 20 participants were seated, four to a table. I could hear the rising and falling hum of chatter behind me as I stood at the receptionist’s desk, just a few feet outside the classroom door.

“I’m doing everything I can, Hadiya,” she said, as she waited on hold with the copy center.

“My workbooks are supposed to be here,” I said. “I can’t teach without books.”

I wasn’t sure whether it was true that I couldn’t teach without those workbooks, but I did know that it was now 8:05 a.m., and the volume of the chatter from the classroom was no longer robust enough to pass the doorway. This was back in the early 2000s, before everyone could pull out a laptop and do other work to kill time. Email had to ...

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