two lotto tickets and a bucket of beer

by Jonah

So I walk into Plato and Aristotle (the class, not the two guys walking out of the Academy of Athens) this afternoon and notice a new guy sitting in the back. I take my seat, chit chat with the lady who sits in front of me, and wait for Dr. Wood to come in. He enters through the door at the front of the classroom, goes over to the board, and starts writing numbers on it. He’s always writing all over the board, drawing diagrams and pictures and writing Greek words in a mixture of Greek and Roman letters, which annoys the heck out of me. Usually we furiously copy down everything he puts up there, but I had a feeling I’d be better off waiting this time. So I sat and watched.


“What I have,” he said, “are two tickets to an opera thing…” he read what they had printed on them. “I’ll give them away using this lottery. Is there anyone who can’t make it?” He read off the dates. Several people raised their hands, and he erased numbers from the chalkboard accordingly. I thought about raising mine, since I’m not really into opera, but didn’t, figuring I’d just pick an unlikely number.

Paul was first on the way around the room. Numbers 1 through 17 were left up there. “Nine,” he said, picking the one in the middle. On we went around the room, each person selecting one number left on the board, as Dr. Wood crossed them out. The lady next to me picked “one,” which is what I wanted to choose. So I picked the next best, the last one. “Seventeen.” There were only a few left to pick from. Only two other people chose after me.

Dr. Wood looked at the paper he had written a number down. “Seventeen,” he read.

Class went well, at least the first part. Aristotle isn’t terribly hard to talk about, especially once I’m used to Dr. Wood’s vocabulary.

At the break, I went straight back to where the new guy was sitting. I’d heard him whisper to Dr. Wood right before class that he was a perspective student and asked to sit in. “So you’re a perspective IPS student?” I asked. Kathleen and Jay and Paul all came over to talk to him as well. His name is Jonathan, he said, and he was working on a teaching certificate at Montevallo near Birmingham, Alabama, though he’s originally from Seattle and went to college at Wheaten (however you spell it).

“I don’t think I could pass a test on this today,” he said, indicating the chalkboard with wide eyes.

“Oh, neither could we,” Kathleen assured him.

Then break was over, and class started back up. Dr. Wood started drawing furiously on the board, so I didn’t even bother to try to copy it all down, especially when I wasn’t sure what he was getting at. He handed out our journals at the end of class. I turned immediately to the back for his comments overall.

“Honest, intelligent, sustained. A”

Jay, Kathleen, Paul, and I went to CiCi’s Pizza with Jonathan and tried to talk over the big screen TV. That makes three meals in a row that have been pizza, since I made one last night for Paul and Berck. Jonathan asked if we were familiar with the writings of some neo-luddite, so I had to explain what a luddite was to Kathleen. I tried to get Jay to explain the last bit of class to me, but he just said, “You don’t know what Act and Potency are?” then sucked in his breath and shook his head. Jonathan ran off a curb in his VW Jetta, narrowly missing a sign in the CiCi’s parking lot, so we all had to get out and lift the car back over the curb. He took us home, and Paul and I showed him our apartment, so he could see what Tower Village is like. He’s gonna come to Father David’s class tomorrow, even though Jay and Kathleen tried to talk him out of it. They’re afraid the class will give a bad impression of the school because of how boring it is.

Father David may not even still be alive by the time Jonathan comes to UD, if ever. He said it probably won’t be before fall of 2000.

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