I'm sitting in front of the room while my students scribble merrily away on their first exam of the semester and all I can think about is getting out of here--not just because it's Friday and I'm tired and I have a ton of grading to do but because I've never given an exam in this room before so I was not aware that the chair up front was designed by the guys running Guantanamo or maybe the torture experts whose skills were so central to the Spanish Inquisition. In fact if the actual Spanish Inquisition were to come bursting through the classroom door carrying chains and shackles and thumbscrews, I'd fall at their feet and thank them for the interruption. Anything to get out of this chair!
If I'd known at the beginning of the class period that this chair would soon have me begging for mercy, I would have dragged one of the student desks up front, but making that kind of racket right now would be a bit disruptive. I can't sit on the big desk up front because it tips. I suppose I could sit in the window well, but then I'd have no place to put my laptop. Getting up and wandering around the room offers temporary respite, but I can't pace and proctor and grade papers at the same time.
And so I sit here squirming and inventing vivid scenarios vis-a-vis this wretched chair: beat it, burn it, toss it out the window. Somehow I doubt that this chair would inspire anyone to stand and recite "O Captain, My Captain," but can pain inspire poetry? Let's see:
The spot on my back
where the chair hits aches, tests my
patience. Where's my hacksaw?
Nope. Better go ahead and send in the Spanish Inquisition.