Class Notes

Jonathan Cardew


Date: 03/20/2021

Social Science

  • Somebody said, “The world is pointless, all we do is sit around looking at screens,” and the class went dead silent. 
    • First of all, who says such a dumb thing?
    • Second, d’uh, what else is there to do? 
    • Thirdly, I don’t have a thirdly, actually
  • Class dismissed 10 minutes early; Mrs. Brannington did not look well, shooed us out with the back of her hand and leant back in her chair for an afternoon nap and maybe some pills.


  • Substitute teacher, so worksheets. Long division? I’m not like four. 
    • Why are substitute teachers so hot?
    • Why are their talents not being used elsewhere, yet here they are in the semi-purgatory of a 2pm afternoon class for Year 10s? 
    • I finished the worksheets in like two minutes.


  • The end of the day. Geologic time creeps ad finitum. Somebody farted, let one rip so loudly that the room lifted in laughter all at once, a collective exhalation.
    • Breathing (or ventilation) is the process of moving air into and out of the lungs to facilitate gas exchange with the internal environment, mostly to bring in oxygen and flush out carbon dioxide.
    • Breathing has other important functions. It provides a mechanism for speech, laughter, and similar expressions of the emotions.
    • xoxo




  1. Chelsea Stickle

    This was fun! I love the science details in the last section. The focus on the substitute in the math section is realistic. Most kids will use any reason to not think about schoolwork. Plus they were bored.

  2. Dennis Holmes

    I laughed aloud at your piece, it’s so witty and you must have kids?!! It almost feels like notes ‘passed’ between students? I like how the source provided the backdrop for this exploration. Like found art. Might be fun to add a “Study Hall” or a subject that the protagonist simply skips out on? Band or Choir?!!! Variations!

  3. Freesia McKee

    Hi Jonathan,

    This is great! I love the idea of a student keeping bullet point notes not about the coursework (well, not usually) but about how the classes actually were. The humor, cynicism, and questions are wonderful.

    Like the other folks in the class, I simply wanted more! I think this series is ripe for expansion, and I wonder if there could even be a narrative through-line somewhere about a situation that unfolds for this character over hours or days.


  4. Meg Tuite

    Hi Jonathan! I laughed through this one! Especially “Thirdly, I don’t have a thirdly, actually” and “Substitute teacher, so worksheets. Long division? I’m not like four.” The voice in this is perfect. I would love to read more of these. It’s a beauty! LOVE!

  5. Martha Jackson Kaplan

    Hi Jonathan. Yes. I love the clear organization point by point. You have caught the feel of it perfectly. The crushing boredom that confronts most middle-high school students day after day. Nice touch. Feel for the substitute teacher too who has clearly been given nothing to work from by the absent teacher– she’s gone into it without a shield! Perfect Jonathan!

  6. Sara Comito

    Hi Jon, Ah, who can be better at both existential ennui and character dissection than a child? And the poor teacher who can’t take it! I love how the speaker both disdains condescension and appreciates how farts are always funny. The xoxo at the end serves as a halo, because children are precious angels. Enjoyed this!

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