French class. 9:00 AM Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

Teacher tells us there will be a quiz on Friday. She won’t be there, however. It will be the Student Assistant.

We drag in. About half the eleven students come in and drop their heads down on the table – just another thirty seconds of sleep, please!

Then the complaining begins. “What does this teacher want from us?” “This isn’t the only class I have!” “I can’t make any more words go in, and a bunch of the ones in there have fallen out.”

One woman says, “I bet he (student assistant) will forget and oversleep.”

We look at the clock. Two minutes after. “He’ll be here.”

Five after. “Oh, you are amazing! He will oversleep!”

Ten after. “The guidelines say we only have to wait ten minutes.” “But we like him. Just a couple more minutes.”

Twelve after. I rip a page out of my notebook and write, “We missed you. Sorry,” signed my name and passed it on.

Quarter after. “Who’s going to be the first one –” and one woman jumps up and is gone. With the rest of us close on her heels.

One small victory for the students. I have been given heart. I can now go on.