There isn’t alot I can say about the Thursday apart from I had an interesting English lesson. Oh yes. Very interesting. Super interesting.
“Miss Wilkinson,” Mr Blake, my English teacher, said icily. “Come out to the front.”
She hesitantly, stood up and, after stealing a puzzled glance at Rick, strode to the front, stepping over the foot that was stuck out to trip her. “Yes sir?”
“Here’s a pen,” he told her, giving it to her. “Write colour on the board.” She did so the pen squeaking slightly. “Now write favourite.” Again she did so. A snigger rippled through the class.
“Miss Wilkinson, please spell those two words out loud.” Mr Blake continued.
Joanna did so, still not realising what the teacher was getting at.
“U, Miss Wilkinson, there is no U,” He hissed. Joanna rolled her eyes. So that’s what it was about. Her English spellings of English words in her homework.
“Actually sir, there is.” She replied.
“Look it up in a dictionary Wilkinson,” was the curt reply, as he turned away from her. “You may sit down.”
She stayed where she was; her arms folded. “You mean an English dictionary sir? Or an American one?”
“An American English one girl. We’re not in England,” was the brisk response.
“But you’re teaching English.” She said stubbornly. “You may as well teach it properly.”
“What did you say?” Mr Blake’s voice was a deadly whisper and carried across the deathly quiet classroom.
“Why is this lesson called English if you’re teaching American?” Joanna asked with an innocent smile. “Cause I can teach English a hell of a lot better than you.” No-one moved, no-one spoke, till one person began to slowly clap and others joined in.
“Get out!” the teacher demanded. “Out!”
And out she sauntered, amid whoops and cheers.
I got a lecture after that. It didn’t really bother me. Something about him being lenient as I was new and that he didn’t expect that sort of behaviour. I forget what. I wasn’t actually listening properly. Anyway, Maria couldn’t believe that I’d done that. Apparently it was too American like.
“No way!” she exclaimed, her brown eyes wide. “There is no freakin’ way you did that!”
“I did,” Joanna replied calmly. “Seriously.” She skewered a chip on the end of her fork and shoved it in her mouth.
“But, that’s like something we’d do” Maria told her, her face showing admiration and respect.
Joanna shrugged. “Just because I’m English doesn’t mean he can pick on me.”
“True,” Maria conceded. “But still!”
Mikey laughed. “Maria chill. Anna’s cool. If she said she stood up to the teacher, then she stood up the teacher.”
”Yeah,” Rick agreed. “I was there. It was-“
“Uh, Joanna?” The conversation halted as someone else started to speak. Joanna raised an eyebrow at Maria before turning around. There was another second of silence before she replied with, “Yeah?” It was another boy with tousled blonde hair.
“I, uh, just wanted to say, that what you did in English, was awesome.” He smiled nervously at her, scratching the nape of his neck. She flushed slightly.
“Oh, um, thanks.”
“’Cause it’s like, it was really brave. Did you get into massive trouble?” he asked, shuffling his feet as Rick, Mikey, Will and Maria began to talk again.
“No, it was just a lecture, you know?” she replied, looking up at him. “Are you in my English class?”
“Oh yeah,” he laughed uncertainly. “Uh. I’m Benji Wilson,” he held out a large hand. She shook it and smiled. ”Cool.”
“Oh!” he suddenly exclaimed. “Lucy told me to tell you. You’ve to go see her after school. Make sense to you?”
Joanna frowned for a minute then nodded. “Yeah, it’s gotta be about the cheerleading squad.”
“You tried out?” he asked. “Cool. I’m on the swimming team.”
“Oh! You’re Benji!” she cried, her hands flying to her mouth. “I, uh, mean, uh, yeah. I didn’t just say that okay?”
He laughed. “I’ll see you later. Nice talking.” He began to saunter off, hands in his pockets.
“Ditto,” she called and turned back to the table to see four pairs of eyes looking back at her.
“You gonna be another notch on his bedpost Anna?” Will asked sardonically.”
“What? No! I…”she trailed off, a smile on her face. “Can I still borrow the Black Flag tape Mikey?”
I said that when I turned around that there were four pairs of eyes looking at me. Looking back and I remember that two of them were filled with despondency. And I’ll tell you one thing. Neither of those pairs of eyes belonged to Maria.