This isn’t how I’d want to hear it.
A pass out of class, summoned mysteriously to the media center.
Corralled toward tables with dozens of classmates, whispering, searching each others’ eyes for a clue.
In their upright clothes, adults — administrators, counselors, absolute strangers — stand around the perimeter, somber yet chummy: the public school system crisis team in full force, assembled and ready.
Waiting for “everyone” (whoever that is) to arrive, wondering at the common thread between us all.
Then the cleared throat, the single sheet of plain white photocopy stock, the authoritative recital: