They are nine and seven, men and women, brothers and sisters all, most of them married, two or three wishing they were, and all burdened by the test their instructor has laid upon them without notice.
Anxiety, in such cases, is a quick companion, ready at an instant to stand at your shoulder, and to whisper every conceivable fear into your heart as a certainty from which there is scarcely a chance of escape. If anxiety is a house cat, then a pop quiz is a can opener.
A cough from one of the women… a pen rolls on a table. A page is turned. The class drags on…
A cool summer night;
the blades of the fan echo
a passing airplane.
In the summer of 2009 I was training to become a teacher. I sat in on this class for it's duration and taught some of it. Mostly, however, I observed. This *haibun* is a snapshot of one such evening.