Sunday, November 5, 2017

[Part One: Friday 04/18] The End of Part One



As Roger prepared his light lunch, he realized that he had left his Cozyna travel mug in the cubicle! 

He arrived at the office building earlier than normal with the hope that he wouldn’t see any of his (former) colleagues. Despite the carpeting and Converse, he walked softly as he clandestinely procured his mug and headed back to the elevator. But he did not exit through the emergency door. He knew that the alarm wouldn’t sound, but somehow the “If You Open This Door The Alarm Will Sound” sign was a deterrent. To his relief, an empty elevator welcomed him with open doors. He exited the building through the non-emergency exit with his procured Cozyna – all within five minutes.

Roger was surprised to notice that (most of) the students didn’t appear to realize that he had been absent for over a month. However, (most of) the students who were in his classes were shocked and awed that he had returned. He precariously received two very firm hugs from two sultry seniors. And a honey blonde junior in grey spandex pressed her petite palm against her pink lips and blew him a welcome back kiss but she did not ask him to suck her dick.

Classes rolled along as usual. The neuroscience students presented their research project proposals, the U.S. government students studied the fine line between bribing and lobbying, and the chemistry students carefully balanced chemical equations.


After his first day back to school, Roger had a serving of Gelato Giusto. The parlor was aesthetically pleasing with its Italian marble counters, cushioned benches, and earth toned throw pillows, but Roger’s chocolate gelato was a bit weak in flavor and too light in consistency. And the cup wasn’t emblazoned with the Gelato Giusto logo! Grom and L'Arte del Gelato firmly maintained their positions in his top two.


Upon arriving home, he pulled Dostoyevsky out of his mailbox. He read Stavrogin's Confession until the start of the Red Bulls soccer game, which he watched while eating thin crust pizza that he digested with a calming cigar.

The End of Part One

Thursday, November 2, 2017

[Part One: Thursday 04/17] A Free Teacher



Adjured by a dream that he was back in school, Roger called the investigator a day earlier than he had planned. The investigator informed Roger that he should have a pleasing email in his DOE inbox. Roger thanked him and immediately checked his email, but there was only some new junk.

To pass the time, Roger completed a close relative’s financial aid information for his third year at William Penn’s Ivy, he cleaned his soon to be vacated desk, and he wrote a long exit email to the supervisor and head psychologist listing all the work that he had completed, the work that he couldn’t complete (The Psychologist had finally left along with her SESIS password.), and the work he didn't get a chance to complete.

His get-out-of-teacher-jail email arrived about an hour before his last lunch break. 

A free man, Roger purchased a cheap cigar that was made in Puerto Rico but filled with tobacco from the Dominican Republic and Honduras. He puffed it until he arrived at Bryant Park where there was a Lilly Pulitzer for Target Pop-Up. 

He sat upon a green wooden chair at a green metal table among the pink Lilly Pulitzer beach umbrellas. He ate two clementines as young women from around the globe received free manicures while sipping on complimentary orange, mango, and ginger juice blends.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

[Part One: Wednesday 04/16] The Illegal Instagram DM


A mysterious early morning knock on Roger's door activated his sympathetic nervous system. He was forced to choose between fighting or "flighting". He did not escape down the rear fire escape, but he followed the investigators to their car.

The investigator behind the steering wheel asked Roger for his DOE file number, if he played basketball, if he coached basketball, if he knew the star of the girls’ basketball team, and how he got into contact with the student-athlete.

Roger gave him his six-digit file number, he informed him that he graduated from a (minor) division 1 school, but that he had never played in a single game, because the menisci in his knees tore during the second practice of his first year. He shared that he co-coached the boys’ varsity basketball team. “I’m really the assistant coach, but the head coach is charming in that regard.” And he told the investigators that he had sent the coed the information about the landmark Nike girl's basketball camp via an Instagram direct message (DM).


The investigator behind the steering wheel miraculously showed Roger a printout of the DM. “How in the hell did he get that?” Roger thought. 

To Roger’s relief, he was assured that he would (probably) be exonerated. The investigator in the driver’s seat opined that “they”, meaning the Department of Education, wants teachers to be involved in their student’s lives, but that they, meaning the Department of Education, are fickle about what “involved” means.

The investigator behind the steering wheel said that another problem with student-teacher (platonic) relationships is that the rules about social media are very vague. He shared that the biggest culprits are new teachers who get too involved with their students and produce transcripts with over fifty, sent and received, text messages.

Roger wasn’t told what he had allegedly done to be sent to teacher jail. Ironically, the investigator shared that the star of the basketball team did not accuse Roger of any wrongdoing and that she had “no problems” with him; thus, Roger was forced to use his imagination.

Roger imagined that the star of the basketball team had enthusiastically shared with her teammates that he had sent her a DM, but failed to mention that the DM was about a basketball camp, which caused someone, a (jealous) student or (jealous) teacher, to report the DM to the principal, which caused the principal to call the student into her office and ask her about the DM call the DOE.

Roger was eager to share the good news. Instead of making a left to his cubicle, he made a right to the supervisor’s cubicle. He told her about the positive visit from the investigators. 

“They went to your house? I’ve never heard of that before.” She said. 
Roger shared, "Being a man of color in America awards one with special privileges. I've even had the privilege of being visited by two detectives over a simple summons."

Nevertheless, she was so happy that Roger had been somewhat vindicated that she shed fake tears.

Before Roger commenced copying and pasting, he had a quest to learn more about the DOE’s social media guidelines. The last time he attended a staff meeting on the topic, the principal advised the teachers to avoid befriending students on Facebook. 

“The DOE can’t tell me who I can be friends with!” a history teacher exclaimed. 

Thus, Roger was shocked to read in the updated guidelines that it was forbidden for teachers to contact students via social media. However, inexplicably, emails and text messages were permissible. 

“Gasp. If I would have sent her the information about the basketball camp via email I wouldn't be here!”

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

[Part One: Tuesday 04/15] Sick Day\Cheat Day


Roger took a sick day to go to the dentist, but he never made it. Rain was like potent Ambien when combined with Roger’s average of 4.5 hours of sleep. But somehow, he ended up at Schnippers, which is one of his choice burger joints after The Burger Joint. (The Le Parker Meridien location - not the Village location.) He ordered The Schnipp with its Creekstone Farm's beef layered with double cheese on a (toasted) brioche bun.

To continue his totally unplanned, four days earlier than normal, cheat day, he purchased a pecan-topped brownie from Mayson Kayser. As he exited the boulangerie, he grabbed a handful of individually wrapped La Perruche sugar cubes and clandestinely ate the brownie at Pret A Manger before he washed it down with an organic macchiato.

Monday, October 30, 2017

[Part One: Monday 04/14] Cigars and Art


Roger was not happy to be back in the office. During spring break, he re-started smoking. (Macanudo Ascots). He went to see MoMA’s Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955-1980 exhibit. And he walked to the deli to purchase a bag of DAD’s dry cat food. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

[Part One: Thursday 04/02] The False Alarm


While Roger was getting dressed, he noticed two men, who appeared to be detectives, enter his walkup’s foyer. He assumed that they had been sent by the DOE. When they entered building 649 instead of Roger’s 651, he assumed that they had mistakenly entered the wrong building. Roger’s heart rate and breathing didn’t return to (near) normal until after he saw the two men exit the foyer. 

He entered the office still shaken by the false alarm. Consequently, he stopped working at 11:00 and took an over twenty block constitutional to Grand Central. Along the way, he stopped at a demonstration in front of the McDonald's on 6th near 34th. He avoided the news cameras while an Indian guy with a beard and a white guy with a beard drummed to the rhythm of the protest chants. After he took out his cahier to make an entry, he was asked by one of the protest organizers, "Are you press?" “No.” She didn’t appear to believe him.

Still perturbed by the false alarm, Roger was in no mood to do any tutoring; however, with the thought that the next day was Good Friday and, more importantly, the first day of spring break, he helped a coed with her three-page paper on Finding Nemo. It was a bizarre extra-credit assignment for her oceanography class. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

[Part One: Wednesday 04/01] A Strand Book for Lunch


Roger had been short changing his lunch breaks for two weeks by ten minutes; so, he decided to cash in and take an extended lunch break. He went to Strand to buy Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, but he contemplated replacing his destroyed copy of Vladimir Nabokov: The Russian Years that was knocked out of his hand onto the uptown tracks by a teen’s swerving hockey bag; however, he walked back onto Broadway with Speak, Memory.

Before he returned to the office, Roger made a pit stop to do two observations. The Psychologist didn’t know that Roger wasn’t supposed to be around students or she didn’t care. Roger assumed the latter. One of the students was absent and the other one was on her lunch break. Roger waited in the library until the bell rang that signaled the end of the lunch period. He made a thorough observation, took copious notes, and returned to the office approximately two hours and thirty minutes after he had left.

He began reading Speak, Memory during the commute home and after dinner he helped a (private) high school student with his Algebra II homework and edit a lab report comparing the freezing points of freshwater and saltwater. He helped a (public) college junior with a “crucial” oceanography lab report. And instead of helping a (private) college freshman with her second semester Arabic language assignment, he emailed her the answers.