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First day 

Welcome to St. Hormone's Middle School. I am the drama teacher, Ms. Wentz, and I will be your flight attendant on this year's wonderful journey to stage and screen.

Now, despite the fact that "drama" comes naturally to so many of you, you need to know that this is not an easy course. There is a big distinction between acting--and acting up. One is encouraged and rewarded. The other is frowned upon. Think about it.

What's that, Carl? Yes, we do watch a couple of movies during the year, but ... No, no X-rated ones ... No R-rated either, or even PG-13, but I think you'll enjoy them ... No, they're not "really old ones," they were mostly made when I was young, back in the Paleozoic era, but with sound and everything.

Class rules: First, get here on time. Do not stop at your locker, do not go to the bathroom, do not get a drink of water. Do not stop to tell your boyfriend you're dumping him. This always tends to take a little longer than we allow.

Second, when you get here, sit down. Not on the floor, but in a chair. By that, I mean on the seat of the chair, as opposed to the back or the arm of the chair, and in an upright position as opposed to upside down. Katie and Kristen, why don't we try that right now?

Number three: If you chew gum in this room, you will be one sorry thespian (No, Janie, not lesbian--thespian! Look it up) and you will pay for it in push-ups. You will do push-ups until I tell you to stop. Sometimes, being an old woman, I get busy with other things and forget to tell you to stop, in which case you'll either become extremely muscular, or have one of those pre-pubescent heart attacks you read about so often in the newspaper.

Alyssa, put the brush away, and Laura, bring me the note, please.

Rule five: Watch your language in here, and I do mean carefully. In this room, you will behave as ladies and gentlemen, appearances notwithstanding. I need to hear "Yes, Ma'am," not "Yeah, man." Ladies, watch the short skirts and tank tops. Let's leave a little something to the imagination, shall we?

I am passing out a letter I'd like you to take home to your parents, for them to sign and return to me by Friday. I want it to go into your backpacks, not onto the floor. If I see any leftover letters after you leave here, I will ascertain who was sitting in the seat where it was left, and I will hunt that person down and staple the letter to their shirt.

Now, Jonathan, pull up your pants, Anthony, spit out the gum, Eileen, sit in the seat, Pamela, why were you late, and yes, Susan, this is a bottle of Pepto Bismol.

Any questions, concerns, problems, complaints, belly-aching, arguments, or whining? Please take them up with your next-period teacher, because the bell's about to ring. Welcome to the magical world of drama, and may heaven have mercy on us all.

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