COMFORT AND JOY
Copyright © 1987 by Barbara Keiler
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ROBIN TORE HER EYES from the paper turkeys tacked to the bulletin board along the side wall and faced the front of the room again. She felt like a restless school child—which wasn’t surprising, given that she had spent nearly half an hour squeezed into an undersized chair attached to an undersized desk in room 128 of the Brushy Pine Elementary School, listening to Eileen Becker describe, in an offensively chipper voice, what she had been doing with her seven- and eight-year-old charges for the past three months, and what she was planning to do with them for the rest of the term. The classroom’s overhead fluorescent lights buzzed, the bright yellow walls cloyed and the green chalkboards gave off an aroma of dust. The flooring consisted of linoleum tiles in a drab pattern of gray and beige. Every time Robin tried to squirm into a more comfortable position at the tiny desk, the soft soles of her loafers squeaked against the tiles.