Art stood before his pupils, ready for the lesson.
“Mr. Paulus,” one of them crowed from the back, not even raising his hand. Art shuddered as the whiny voice continued, “Mr. Paulus, can I go to the bathroom?”
“No,” Art said.
“Because class just started. Because you had fifteen minutes between classes to go. Because you didn’t make good use of your time, instead hanging out with your friends in the hallway, and yakking about some mindless, irrelevant little thing that makes no difference in your life and that you’ll probably forget about tomorrow. Because you don’t actually have to go to the bathroom, you just want to sneak off and laze about for another twenty minutes, like you did yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that.”
“Mr. Paulus, you’re a jerk.”
“And you’re a dumbass, Stevie, but you don’t see me complaining, do you? Now open your damn textbooks, class, and try not to let Stevie’s idiocy affect you.”
The class opened their books, and Art turned to write on the board.