Day 1

Good morning, boys. My name is Mr. Keating. But if you’re more daring, you can call me “O Captain! My Captain!”

What poem is that from?


Why is nobody talking?

Oh, I’m on mute.

I said, who knows what poem that’s from? Who read the Walt Whitman for today?

Mr. Dalton?

But I posted the excerpt on Canvas.



Welton Academy doesn’t allow URLs?

Listen to me: You are not an indentured servant.

Open the URL.

Seize the day!

Suck the marrow out of life!

Yes, Mr. Anderson?


Oh, URLs carry viruses?


OK, I’ll attach it in PDF.

- - -

Day 2

Boys, click open the electronic textbook.

Now: Are you ready for this? Delete the table of contents. Delete page 1 of the introduction. Delete page 2.

Mr. Dalton?

I don’t know, actually. Let me try it on my computer.

Ugh, it’s not working for me either. Why can’t I delete single pages?

No, Mr. Perry, we can’t delete the whole textbook. My ass is riding on this.

- - -

Day 3

Close your eyes.

Imagine what our Canvas shell would look like without assignments, without reading quizzes, without grades, without Office 365.

Eyes closed, Mr. Dalton.

[Muted] OK, see you later. OK. Love you, too. Stay low on your way out. No, if I can see you on the screen, they can see you, too. I don’t know why they’re all white.

[Full voice] Eyes closed, Mr. Dalton!

[Muted] Tonight? Probably not. Yeah. Probably I’ll just Hulu and go to bed. OK.

[Full voice] Now open your eyes. Behold “Quizzes.” Click on “Transcendentalist Pop Quiz.” You have 10 minutes.

Good luck, boys.

Mr. Overstreet? You’re exercising your right not to take the quiz? Very good. Very transcendentalist.

Really, though — the quiz shuts down after 10 minutes.

- - -

Day 4



That’s today’s “assignment,” if you can call it that.

No, really: That’s the assignment. That’s the assignment.


Leave Welton behind.

Write your own verse!

Engage in the human race!

To quote Whitman — again, I guess — “O me! O life!”

Also: Stay six feet away from all human beings.

Six feet or ten feet? Six feels close to me.

Let’s make it eight, just to be safe.

And don’t touch any car doors, boys — or mailboxes or tree branches.

Oh… and as far as “engaging in the human race,” do, but, like, don’t talk to anyone. Know what I mean?



You know what?

Stay inside.

- - -

Day 5

Boys, we must be ready to defy authority in all forms. Any man who’s ever had an original thought and acted on it has done so out of rebellion. Don’t wait. Do it now! Thoreau said—

Mr. Anderson, where are you going?

Mr. Anderson?

I didn’t mean “now” now, did I?

Please step back into view so we can see you.

Mr. Anderson?

Nolan will have my ass.

Mr. Anderson!

Be seated.

Boys, there is a time to rebel, and there’s a time to take the Chapter 10 vocabulary quiz. And now is the time to take the quiz.

- - -

Day 6

Why do I stand on my desk?

Mr. Dalton? No, it’s not to feel taller. [dings a bell with his foot] Thank you for playing.

I stand upon my desk to remind myself that the internet in my apartment is patchy this time of day, and my roommate Steve is acting like a dick. He’s using the one good couch in the apartment to FaceTime his girlfriend, and he promised he’d be done a long time ago.

That, Mr. Dalton, is why I stand on my desk.

- - -

Day 7

Soccer! (Alone.)

- - -

Day 8

“O Captain! My Captain!” Come on, boys. Who said it?

Really? Nobody read the excerpt? I put it in PDF.

Mr. Meeks?

No, Mr. Meeks, you have to enter Canvas through Modules, not through Assignments. If you enter through Assignments, you won’t—

You can’t find “Modules”?

It’s right there.

My finger’s on it.

I’m touching it.

I don’t know then.

Maybe call I.T.?

- - -

Day 9

Boys, we don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because it’s in the Week 2 module.

You guys still aren’t going through “Modules,” are you?

Nolan’s going to have my ass.

- - -

Day 10

Boys, today Mr. Nolan informed me that my contract has been terminated. Tomorrow I officially leave Welton Academy.

I guess, technically, I don’t leave Welton. I’m still in my apartment. Yes, Mr. Cameron. The one with Steve.

Now, I don’t want a mutiny, boys!

Don’t stand on your chairs and quote Whitman or…

I mean, I’d hate for you to…

Ah, go ahead.

Give it to me.

“O Captain! My—”

You know the rest!

Go ahead!

Stand on your chairs!

Drink from the marrow of life!

Mr. Dalton?

I’m on mute again, aren’t I?



Let me see here.

How’s that?

Mr. Dalton?

Mr. Cameron?

Mr. Perry?

I see you’ve left our Zoom meeting out of protest.

Very good.

Just checking: Is anyone still there?



Thank you, boys.

Thank you.