IN THE CLASSROOM
At a quarter to nine the
schoolchildren gathered in School Number Seven. When they learned that Miss
Gunderson was ill and heard about a new teacher they began to whisper to each
other: "A new teacher! We shall have a new teacher!"
The news travelled fast.
1 The children were very glad to have a teacher whom nobody knew.
Stuart came at nine. He parked his car
at the door of the school and boldly entered the classroom. He found a ruler
near the teacher's desk, climbed to the top of it, and then to the desk. There
he found a bottle of ink, a pointer, some pens and pencils, a piece of chalk,
two hairpins, and three or four books in a pile. Stuart climbed up to the top
of the pile of books and said: "Attention, please!"
The boys and girls gathered around the
desk to look at the new teacher. Everybody talked at once. 2
The girls giggled and the boys laughed. They were happy to see such a small
teacher, so nicely dressed.
"Attention, please!" repeated Stuart.
"As you know, Miss Gunderson is ill and I am taking her place."
"What's the matter with her?" asked a
boy called Roy Hart. 3
"Vitamin trouble," 4
said Stuart. "She took Vitamin D when she needed A, and Vitamin В when she
needed С Let it be a lesson for all of us!" 5
looked angrily at the children and they did not ask about Miss Gunderson any
"Now everyone will take his or her
seat," commanded Stuart. The pupils obediently sat down and in a moment there
was silence in the classroom. Stuart got down from the pile of books, walked
to the front of the desk, cleared his throat 7 and asked:
"Anybody absent?" 8
The children shook their heads.
They shook their heads again.
"Very well," said Stuart. "Now we
begin. What is the first subject that you usually study in the morning?"
"Arithmetic!" shouted the children.
"Bother arithmetic!" said Stuart.
"Let's skip it." 9
At these words 10
the children shouted with joy. Everybody in the class was glad to skip
arithmetic for one morning.
"What is the next subject?" asked
"Spelling," cried the children.
"Well," said Stuart, "of course,
people must spell correctly. It is dreadful when people make mistakes in
spelling. I advise you to buy a Webster's Dictionary 11 and
consult it when you have doubts. So much for spelling. 12
What is next?"
The children were very glad to skip
spelling too, and again shouted with joy. They looked at each other and
laughed and waved their handkerchiefs and rulers, and some of the boys threw
paper balls at the girls. Stuart had to climb to the top of the pile of books
"Order, please!" he said. "What is
"Drawing," cried the children.
"Oh, dear," said Stuart angrily,
"don't you know how to draw yet?"
"Of course we do!" cried the children.
"So much for that, then," said Stuart.
"History comes next," cried a girl
called Elizabeth Gardner.
"History? I don't like this subject,"
said Stuart. "I don't like to talk about the past. Let us talk about something
The children looked at each other.
"What shall we talk about?" they
"Let us talk about snakes," said
"I don't like snakes," said Stuart.
"Can we talk about Miss Gunderson?"
"No, we can't," said Stuart.
"Then maybe we can talk about the
circus?" said Harry James.
"No," said Stuart. "Let us talk about
the King of the World." He looked at the children.
"There is no King of the World," said
Harry James. "Kings are out of fashion. " 13
"All right," said Stuart. "Then let us
talk about the Chairman of the World. The world often gets into trouble
14 because it has no chairman. I would like to be
15 Chairman of the World myself."
"You are too small," said Mary Smith.
"Nonsense!" said Stuart. "Size has
nothing to do with it. 16 The Chairman must be clever and he
must know what is important. How many of you know what is important?"
All the children raised their hands.
"Very good," said Stuart. "Jimmy Rock,
tell us what is important."
"Sunlight, blue sky, and a bird's
song," answered Jimmy.
"Correct," said Stuart. "These things
are very important. But you forgot one thing, Jimmy. Mary Smith, what did
"He forgot ice-cream with chocolate on
it," said Mary quickly.
"You are right," said Stuart.
"Ice-cream is very important. Well, I shall be Chairman of the World this
morning. But we need some laws if we are going to play this game. Can anybody
think of any good laws 17 for the world?"
The children began to think. Stuart
wiped his face with his handkerchief, because he was very tired, and said:
"Let us have a break now, and after
the break we shall continue our lesson."
And he sat down to have a little rest.
1 The news travelled
fast. — Новость быстро распространилась.
2 Everybody talked at
once. — Все говорили наперебой.
3 called Roy Hart — по
имени Рой Харт
4 Vitamin trouble —
витаминная болезнь (Стюарт на ходу выдумывает несуществующую болезнь)
5 Let it be a lesson
for all of us! — Пусть это будет уроком для нас всех!
6 did not ask... any
more — больше... не спрашивали
7 cleared his throat —
8 Anybody absent? —
Кто-нибудь отсутствует? (Сокращенная форма вопроса Is anybody absent? См. ниже:
9 Bother arithmetic!
Let's skip it. — Долой арифметику! Давайте пропустим ее.
10 At these words —
При этих словах
Dictionary — словарь Вебстера
12 So much for
spelling. — Итак, с правописанием покончено.
13 are out of fashion
— вышли из моды
into trouble — попадает в беду
15 I would like to be
— Мне бы хотелось быть
16 Size has nothing
to do with it. — Рост тут ни при чем.
17 Can anybody think
of any good laws? — Может, кто-нибудь придумает какие-нибудь хорошие законы?
18 to have a little
rest — чтобы немного отдохнуть