On this day in the year 1456, I hatched with a unique purpose in this silly universe.
I was meant to be a teacher.
The fireworks to celebrate my birth were launched from a flying carpet by my father’s friend, a trained pyromancer with a flame-finger spell.
Now, I am claiming that I was born 566 years ago. And I may indeed be exaggerating unconsciously by a few hundred years. But this is the way I always explained it to my seventh-grade English classes. They tended to believe me because… well, seventh graders.
I remember having young Willy Shakspar in my class. You know, the one who was so stupid he never learned to correctly spell his last name. He was a glove-maker’s son from Stratford on the river Avon. He was a terrible student but loved to be the classroom clown. I heard he later would become a successful theater owner. He also took credit for a series of very successful plays that he probably didn’t really write himself. I think his friend Eddie DeVere, a noble by birth, used Willy’s name as a pen name. I base this on the fact that I read Willy’s early attempt at writing a story. It was called Hamlet and Eggs on Toast. It had ghosts, witches, and kings in it. But the actors were given lines written mostly about ham.
Of course, by the early 1500s, teaching had already become a really hard job that didn’t pay very well. Especially when you taught in public schools taught mostly by monks who had taken a vow of poverty. This would become an unfortunate trend that stuck to education to this very day.
You could do better if you taught the children of a king. But they often expected you to sing the information. And if they didn’t like everything you taught their kids, they might cut your head off. Teaching is particularly hard without a head.
Over the centuries the career I chose as an English teacher only seemed to get worse. As public education became available to more and more of the public, teachers lost prestige, to the point that even the peasant’s children could cause your head to be cut off. Those of us who couldn’t grow the head back were really out of luck.
Soon I believe the world will be pitched back into the stone age. We will have to start all over again… unless we actually go extinct. In that case, the lizard people and the cockroaches will have to reinvent public schools. That will be fun. I think I will propose for matters of discipline that if a student misbehaves, or fails to laugh at the teacher’s jokes, you can cook them and eat them.
So, today is my birthday. I have reached the age of 566 years. (The margin of error is only 500.)
Think about it. A hundred years from today will be my 666th… the sign of the beast.
So much to look forward to in old age!