came from Haiti. He was a big guy with a big mouth, who often used it
to express his medieval opinions about women. I can't remember exactly
what he used to say, but "barefoot and pregnant" springs to mind.
Though he was not open to other points of view, he would generally shut
up when politely asked.
Sylvia was from Bangladesh. She was
very, very quick-witted. One day, after James announced he could do
anything better than any woman (which was odd, since a good number of them
were doing better than he was in English class), Sylvia asked, "Do you
think you could play chess better than me?"
"Of course." The fact that Sylvia was some sort of chess champion, who
had points in some professional league somewhere, did not faze him at
all. Sylvia said, "If you beat me, I'll tell the class that everything
you say about women is completely true. If I win, you will apologize
for everything you've said, and never talk about us like that again."
set one day of class time for the big match. Sylvia brought in a
rolled-up chess board, the game pieces, and one of those clocks they use
at matches. She checkmated James very quickly, and had to keep telling
him where he could and could not move his pieces.
as good as his word, apologized and stopped making remarks about women.
I asked him why he'd chosen to take on Sylvia, knowing that she was a
champion and having almost no idea how to play the game.
Views expressed herein are solely those of the author or authors, and do not reflect views of my employers, the United Federation of Teachers, the MORE Caucus or any other union caucus.
Stories herein containing unnamed or invented characters are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.