Monday, May 2, 2011

Catherine Griffith

Amentia: A-m-e-n-t-i-a. Catherine wrote out the final word on her spelling list which she would take home and study. It was an interesting looking word: she had no idea what it meant though.
Her teacher, Ms. Hoper’s, never taught them what the words meant; she just concentrated on getting her students to pass the test, nothing more. If they passed the test then forgot all the word the next week, it was okay with her. It didn’t reflect on her work at all.
Catherine finished writing the word, then slipping her hand into her desk and felt around for her thesaurus. Finding it she quietly pulled it out, she didn’t want to disturb the rest of the class, who had not finished their lists yet.
Thumbing through the worn book, she found amentia. It said the synonyms were mental defect, and mental retardation.
She couldn’t resist a smile. She could use the word amentia as an insult towards someone and they’d probably have no idea what it meant, and thereby prove her point.
An involuntary giggle escaped Catherine’s throat which did not go unnoticed by Ms. Hoper.
“Would you mind sharing with use what is so funny Miss Griffith?”
“Hmm,” the girl looked up.
Humpbacked Ms. Hoper limped towards the girl, her cane making a loud click on the tiled floor, followed by the soft shuffling sound of her tan leather shoes.
“What is it that is so amusing that you find it necessary to ignore your spelling in order to enjoy it?”
“But, I’m done with my spelling words, I was just-
“Then you should have sat still until the rest of the class was finished as well.”
“‘But’ nothing,” the teacher snatched away the Thesaurus without even looking to see what it was. “You will sit still, hands folded on your desk, facing straight ahead until the end of the lesson. Then you will remain in class for the next recess for your disrespectfulness.”
“Aren’t you behaving rather like someone with amentia?” Catherine ventured. “You don’t even know what I was doing.”
“For speaking in class, you will have lunch here as well.”
Catherine suppressed another giggle. That old troll clearly didn’t know what she had said: otherwise she would have been in a lot more trouble than staying in class for lunch.

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