Setting: Classroom, late October. A student’s hand is waving in the air. Her other hand is covered in blue ink. The table in front of her is smudged blue.
Student: Can I go to the bathroom???!!! My pen exploded!!!
Ms. Frizzle: Listen, I’ve been alive for 29 years, which is a lot longer than any of you, and never once in 29 years has a pen exploded all over my hand.
Student: It was an accident!
Ms. Frizzle: Okay, go clean up your hands but be quick.
Ms. Frizzle (to other students): I just have to wonder, when at least one pen explodes every week in here, whether you’re honestly treating your pens the way they are meant to be treated.
Setting: Classroom, mid-January. Ms. Frizzle is giving instructions, when she notices two students in front of her engrossed in dismantling their pens.
Ms. Frizzle (interrupting her instructions for analyzing weather data): Please leave your pens alone. You know, I don’t think I’ve needed or wanted to take a pen apart for at least 10 years. So I’m surprised to find two students in a room of twenty-something both need to take apart their pens at this exact moment, when they should be listening to instructions. You all need to focus, we have important things to do and I’m giving the instructions.
Setting: Same classroom, a few minutes later. Two boys are having a spat, shoving and saying things about each other.
Roberto: Ricardo hit me!
Ms. Frizzle: Ricardo, keep your hands to yourself and focus!
Roberto: He’s chewing on my pen! That’s my pen and he’s chewing…
Ricardo: That’s not your pen, it’s my pen!!!
Ms. Frizzle: I think you both know who the pen belongs to, and you should give it back to that person or let that person keep it, and chewing on pens is kind of gross no matter what. Now both of you please focus!
Roberto: That’s my pen! He’s still chewing on it!
Ricardo (licking pen dramatically): It’s my pen, I can prove it!
Ms. Frizzle: I can’t believe how much time you’re wasting from class over a pen. You know whether that’s your pen or not. Please figure this out or step outside the door and wait for me to come talk to you after I give the directions.
Ms. F. naively believes one child will concede at this point rather than taking it to the hallway. Ha ha.
Later, in the hallway…
Ms. Frizzle: Okay, Ricardo first, then Roberto. Don’t interrupt, you’ll both get to talk.
Ricardo: I had that pen until advisory yesterday. It’s my pen. I think Jackson stole it and gave it to Roberto.
Ms. Frizzle: Jackson is in your advisory?
Ricardo: No, I think he stole it out of my bag when I wasn’t in the room.
Roberto: Jackson gave it to me but I didn’t steal it, it’s my pen now.
Ms. Frizzle: So, Roberto, do you know where Jackson got it?
Ms. Frizzle: So, it’s possible he did take it and it IS Ricardo’s pen?
Roberto: Yeah but that’s not about me.
Ms. Frizzle: If you were the one who saw someone else using a pen you lost, and they said, it’s not my problem, is that how you would want to be treated?
Roberto (tries to muster up a convincing “sure” but fails): No.
Ms. Frizzle: So, I’m leaving it up to you two boys to figure out what to do. We don’t know for sure whose pen it is, but you can figure out how to resolve this. Come back in the room when you’ve decided.
Several minutes later, the boys enter, Ricardo holding the pen. Peace. Curtain.