Mr. Martinelli’s Last Chalkboard Letter to the Class
Updated: Jan 3
By Sarah Pazur
It’s true, I was a shocking wreck. But so was everyone else last night at Brennan’s bar. All of your parents were there. Your middle school teachers, too. Miss Duffin. Mr. Rubino. Mrs. Desmond. We went for a few harmless drinks to unwind before the big game. I just happened to be the one that slid down the padded wall in the gymnasium like a snail without a shell. My stupid stomach hanging over my trousers. So what? You all have stupid stomachs too.
Yes, I smelled like whiskey. But so did the principal. And when Roy Savage hit that buzzer-beater nobody cared when I ran the length of the court shouting at all those losers from Benedictine. They only care now because this is Algebra 1, not basketball. Well, Sr. Dorothy and her lackeys can go fuck themselves. Good luck finding a substitute in the middle of the year and good luck to everyone with systems of equations.
Honestly, Shane Walker, it’s a relief that I won’t have to laugh at another one of your lame impersonations. And Bridget Gallagher, I’m through with your questions. I don’t want to hear from any of you. Don’t bother looking me up. At your ten-year class reunion, if someone asks whatever happened to me, mention the vector spaces, the matrices and scalars. Remind them about number nineteen’s parabola, the Hail Mary that won us all the game. Tell them I am an asymptote forever approaching grace.
Sarah Pazur has been a teacher, curriculum director and principal. She holds a PhD in Educational Leadership. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Pithead Chapel, JMWW, Exacting Clam, Connotation Press, EdSurge, English Leadership Quarterly and elsewhere. She lives in Michigan.