‘What does it mean to fail?’
Mr Franklin scans the class, not making eye contact with anyone, pretending he’s waiting for a response, but really just leaving enough of a gap so he looks like he’s waiting.
‘I don’t mean the dictionary definition,’ he says. ‘I can Google that.’
He chuckles as if to say hey, kids I use the net to look stuff up just like you do. I’m such a rebel. No one laughs. Another wait.
‘What I mean is,’ he perches on the edge of his desk, pushing a stack of papers aside with his butt, ‘what does it mean to you to fail.’ He picks a pen up, stabs the air with it. ‘To a world renowned pianist, failure might mean a missed note during a Chopin recital. To a Premiership goalie it might mean letting a ball in the net during a cup match.’ He takes a breath, taps his teeth with the pen. ‘To a parent, failure might mean a child in prison, or on heroin.’ There’s a triumphant glint in his eye for daring to mention drugs to a class of fifteen years olds. ‘I want you to write 500 words on what failure means to you.’
He jumps up from his desk, the kids surrounding me sigh, take out their books.
I pick up my pen, take off the lid. I open my exercise book at a fresh clean page and write in letters big enough to fill the space,
Today’s W4W is brought to you by the verb FAIL. NOT the noun.
Let me assure readers, there will be no use of FAIL as a noun on this blog – epic or other wise.
For those interested, see the link to follow fail‘s journey from verb to noun through interjection to adjective.