I was out working in the back garden when I finished Window In The Sky, the last Podiobook I had on my player. Forgetting that I had a series of Louis L’Amour short stories grabbed from CD on there, I came in and had a look at the Podiobooks that I hadn’t listened to, yet. Not sure at that point how long the Reading Program would be going on for (ends Aug 7th), I looked for a story that didn’t have a great deal of parts to it.
Educide by S. Lawrence Parrish was only twelve episodes long, and short episodes, as it turned out.
Avery Carmichael arrives at a school as a student teacher, someone learning on the job about what it is to be a teacher. He has been assigned to work with Sam Petersen, a veteran teacher.
In a school where resources are stretched thin, and many students require extra attention, the environment doesn’t start off easy (well, Avery wanted a challenge), and as the story goes on, progressively gets more difficult.
It’s been a while since I was in school, but there are many parts I do remember. Substitute teachers who tried to make things fun, but weren’t really able to handle classes that really test the limits with new teachers. Teachers who start off the year all pleasant, and “you can come to me if you have any problems with your work”, but as the year went on would flip out really easily, and you wouldn’t want to approach them for anything. And of course, teachers who, through whatever miracle, actually made you want to work.
And then the students, the ones you really wanted to see, the ones who you’d go out of your way to avoid.
Sartre had a point when he said “hell is other people”, though I believe he missed the rest of the equation, “so is heaven”.
Mr Parrish wrote school very well. the environment seemed familiar, both students and teachers. And, having worked for other people, the off-campus administrators seemed believable as well.
I found the ending rather a surprise, though I suppose I shouldn’t have. It seemed a logical outgrowth of the way people were treated.
Looking on Podiobooks, I see that Mr Parrish has a few more stories uploaded there. Based on how well this one was constructed, I’m going to have a good look at the others to choose some more to pick out.