Oct. 29th, 2011

Red Marks

Oct. 29th, 2011 05:13 pm
Trevor set his book-bag down on the pedestal of Washington's statue in the park. The great man sat astride his charger and shaded his eyes, possibly contemplating the Continental Army's impending assault on the duck pond. The carved lettering in the marble facing read A GREAT LEADER IN AMERICA'S TIME OF NEED. Trevor, who knew a bit about American history, felt the truth was a bit more nuanced than that, but not so much so that he would object to sitting in Washington's shadow.

Trevor made himself comfortable. It was a beautiful Saturday in the park, with plenty of sunshine, not too cool and not too windy. Some teenagers were playing Frisbee on the lawn. A long-haired camper was playing guitar under the big oak. A dog-walker was trying to disentangle herself from the leashes of half a dozen Corgis. It was a lovely weekend, Trevor thought wistfully. Too bad he had to spend it grading exams.

Trevor got out his packet of Remedial World History work. Quiz #2 had been on the Age of Discovery and Exploration, and Trevor had thirty-four papers to grade and enter into the system before Monday morning. He sighed and took the top paper off the stack. It was Dewey's. Trevor groaned. In a class of kids with little ability or interest, Dewey was a below-average scholar. Trevor smoothed the paper and began to read:

Question one: which Italian explorer lent his name to our country and continent?

Trevor read Dewey's scrawled answer and sighed. Above Trevor's head, the writing carved into Washington's statue writhed and rearranged itself. It now read A GREAT LEADER IN COLUMBIA'S TIME OF NEED.

"Oh, Dewey," moaned Trevor, getting out his red pen.

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