Dear Teacher,

First off, sorry I can’t remember your name, even though you taught our class for a whole month. I do remember what you looked like, though. You had long, straight black hair, with bangs, and you wore a white lab coat. The lab coat was a nice touch. Our real science teacher, Mr. Klein, never wore a lab coat. He wore jeans with two slanted zippers at the hips, instead of a fly, and a shiny shirt with Hawaiian ladies printed on it.

Do you remember what you assigned our class? You were so excited the day you gave us the assignment. You wanted us to write screenplays for the television show Star Trek. You were going to submit those screenplays to the producer, Gene Roddenberry.

Your eyes got all funny while you gave us this assignment. I was a little embarrassed for you. You seemed a little too dreamy and hopeful, like this was your “in” to the Star Trek inner circle. Like Gene Roddenberry was going to read all these screenplays and think, “Hey, now this is a fantastic science teacher.”

You probably don’t remember my story. I was quite proud of the title, “The Creature Who Devoured … a Pizza?!” (You’re supposed to say the dot-dot-dot. You don’t have to say the question mark, but your voice should go up at the end, like a question. If we’re allowed to have sound effects, there’s a sproingy sound at the end, a boyoyoyoyoyoying.)

It’s about a teenage girl who finds out that she’s adopted. But there’s more! Not only is she adopted, but her parents are scientists, and it turns out that she’s really an alien, even though she looks just like a regular teenager!

OK, I know it’s more like a Twilight Zone or Outer Limits, or even an after-school special, but I never watched Star Trek. That was no reason for you to be so disgusted with me for not following the assignment. “I can’t use this!” you yelled at me. “There are no Star Trek characters in this! When you write a script, it has to have the characters in the show! I can’t send this in to Gene Roddenberry!”

I drew a really nice cover for my screenplay. It was a slice of pepperoni pizza, and the dot-dot-dots were pepperoni. There was a green alien claw reaching for the pizza. On the wrist of the claw was an ID bracelet with the teenage girl’s name on it. I did it in colored pencil. It turned out really good! You didn’t even mention it.

The fact that you didn’t realize this story was the expression of a lonely, alienated (get it?) teenage girl makes you a bad teacher. The fact that you made fun of my story in front of the whole class makes you a bad person.

Karen Schmidt
Baldi Middle School
Class of ’76