Life and Production: S3 E4: Variables
Saffron teaches at a private school of a different sort.
Demarcus Montgomery Elementary School lacked rolling green lawns. In their place, great slabs of grey concrete covered the grounds. There was no pool, or botanical garden, or lavish tennis and basketball courts. It featured a modest gymnasium, an art studio, a library and a quaint café. But it was, like every school in Delaware, private. What it lacked in resources for making the grounds and interior more attractive and engaging, most of the staff made up for in their instruction. Here, the interior of the young students’ heads was of chief importance. Saffron Lesane recognized this.
To further supplement her role as a teacher, Saffron tutored young mathematics students who studied Algebra I in the fourth grade. At Symphony’s school she studied the same course but tens of millions dollars in donations flooded Ashley Elementary Learning Center. On the other hand, Montgomery Elementary took in a mere $600 thousand dollars annually. Some of that money went into Saffron’s pocketbook. The students that she mentored received free lessons that were covered by the school. What brought Saffron the most joy was challenging a young scholar in the ways of mathematics. She valued her time and if a student was late, there would be no learning session that day.
Yet the majority were punctual and anticipated their time with Dr. Lesane. The stark contrast of schools like Montgomery existed. Despite the efforts of those wanting to reinstitute government schools, the private institutions stood. The children were no less brighter than their upper scale counterparts. Though most wages increased dramatically, some still experienced hardships. They looked to family and friends and then secured jobs which contributed to insurance programs. These programs protected against the hazards in life, and were in total, private. So when the time came to send their children to school, they chose the most affordable organization with the the best prospects to educate. For the few students who required an extra bit of assistance, Saffron’s presence was invaluable. When a face of a young boy Symphony’s age named Tyshawn Wells lit up with excitement of solving a problem, Saffron experienced profound joy. In an environment where reaping knowledge was the focal point, the economic backgrounds of the students vanished. Only brainpower and genuine enthusiasm exuded from these students. Their eagerness to learn qualified them as young engineers and scientists in training.
“What’s a variable?” Saffron asked Tyshawn.
“It is or is made up of values and expressions,” Tyshawn answered.
“Very good,” Saffron said.
The quickness with which students like Tyshawn showed inspired Saffron to continue to educated both the college level and the college bound. This fuel ignited in her mind the capacity to challenge her subjects and push them to ever higher planes of understanding.
This comprehension was not appreciated by everyone. Alexandria Fogherty, a teacher of science at Montgomery objected the very idea of Saffron’s visits. She voiced this opposition while Saffron was meeting with Tyshawn. She interrupted the session.
“Hi, Miss Lesane, I would like a word with you out in the hallway,” Alexandria said.
“Tyshawn, I want you to move on to the next problem, okay?”
Once out of the classroom, Alexandria’s face turned cold.
“Well, I guess you came down from your ivory tower to teach our poor little students,” Alexandria said.
Saffron smiled politely. “I wouldn’t and other professors wouldn’t have to be here if you actually cared about these students.
Alexandria bit her tongue and then spoke. “What kind of check are you getting? You know that that money cuts into the curriculum, don’t you?”
Even if that were true, which it isn’t, how would that affect you?”
Alexandria fumed. “I will have you reported. It’s all about you. I will you have you removed,” she yelped.
“Please. Report all you want. Have me excused. But remember on what grounds. Remember that these children need instruction and guidance. It is about me. I derive great pleasure from this. Is that a crime? There is a threshold of tolerance that I hold for people like you and you are about at the limit. At this time I wish to speak to you no further. Now if you would excuse me, Tyshawn was about to solve for X.” Saffron returned to the classroom and left a bewildered Alexandria in her wake.