Humor Science Fiction aliens School Students Teacher

Database Notes 3/25 - 6/27

By Tim McDaniel
Dec 18, 2018 · 3,357 words · 13 minutes

Photo by Roel Dierckens via Unsplash.

From the author: Exxon is looking forward to teaching a new class this quarter, but his database notes tell of some difficulties as the quarter progresses.


 

3/25

Exvoon

Faculty

 

Met my new class today.  I don’t anticipate making much use of the database system this quarter; the students all seem motivated, attentive, and excited about the class.  I’m also happy to note that I have a nice variety of students – segmented, non-segmented, bifurcated, translucent, xylophagous, and chronobound – all kinds!  This quarter should be good.  But maybe I am still adreno-hyped after my vacation on Hlortyflor VI. 

 

 

 

3/28

Exvoon

Faculty

 

N-48C didn’t hand in its homework; claims it was lost, or stolen by another kid on the bus (its story kept changing).  Told it that keeping track of its own homework was its responsibility. Not a great way for it to start the quarter.

Pichix has been absent since the start of the quarter.  I hope she realizes that if these absences continue they will affect her chances of passing.

 

 

 

3/29

Exvoon

Faculty

 

Ivix once again complained that he has been placed in a level that is too low for him, and asked me to talk to the Director.  I told him I thought his placement was fine – he's a bit above the average, yes, but he can get a lot out of our class.  He seemed unconvinced.

Cryutop panicked briefly when he couldn't find his homework, and inadvertently swallowed his handtutor.  The handtutor was recovered an hour later, but it was only possible to partially decontaminate it, so it will have to be replaced.

Storn made a lovely diorama of the Unearthing Ceremony of the Slixixt. Unfortunately, the diorama was eaten by a biorama constructed by Yab(Green), depicting the Mastication of the Founder.

 

 

 

3/30

Vilsufk

Director

 

After repeated requests, I have examined the placement of Ivix (811-9211-84002) and I concur with faculty that he has been placed in the correct level.  I have communicated my assessment to the student.

 

In the future, it is best if faculty work directly with the student involved to resolve these sorts of minor difficulties.

 

 

 

4/4

Exvoon

Faculty

 

            Distork handed in an essay which is an exact copy of one that I got last quarter.  He didn't even bother to change the gender of the first-person narrator!  I explained to him the consequences of plagiarism, and he claims that he misunderstood what plagiarism was.  I have my doubts, but we'll see.  Maybe he just needed to see that people do notice when he breaks a rule.

            I still haven’t seen Pichix, though she's been on my roster since Day 1. Will ask the Director to contact her family.  Missing class this early in the quarter doesn’t bode well for her commitment to the school.

            Skisaa did not hand in an essay.  I asked her about it, and she simply said she did not choose to use her time to do it.

 

 

 

4/7

Exvoon

Faculty

 

Cryutop ate two of his classmates yesterday, in an argument over (apparently) a group homework assignment.  He says he didn't mean to do it, that this was an involuntary reaction to stress.  I warned Cryotup that if it happened again I would consult with the Director about negative consequences. I made sure to leave the consequences nicely vague.

The classmates were vomited forth after twenty minutes or so.  They'd both lost their eyesight and epidermides, but they should be fine, eventually, once they've been rehabilitated and repurposed. 

In the afternoon the students were working on their independent projects, and I noticed that N-48C was just sitting there, shaking.  I didn’t think much of it, and helped some other students, and when I finally looked back I saw that it was still shaking.  That had to have been going on for at least a half hour.

Turns out it had rewired its pleasure receptors.  I've asked the counselors to talk to it about reprogramming options regarding personal pleasure management, and have suggested that if the problem continues we communicate with the factory directly.

 

 

 

4/8

Vilsufk

Director

 

After seeing the two students eaten by Cryutop (811-9231-746113) yesterday, and after consulting with the bloodpact precursor of one and the clone-mother of the other, we've agreed to refund their tuition fees, and to allow them to start over at the same level next quarter. They should be sufficiently healed by then, or at least presentable.

 

Faculty are reminded to keep their charges under control at all times, and to review the common regurgitation and resuscitation guidelines described in the Employee Handbook.  Assistance is available to faculty if the material in the Handbook is found to be too challenging.

 

 

 

4/9

Exvoon

Faculty

 

            R’Fhop, ever the class clown, set fire to one of Storn’s secondary tendrils, and the resulting discharge meant no one can sit in the first or second rows for a week or so.  I’ve called Maintenance.

            I still have yet to see Pichix in class, but the Director tells me her mothers insist she is not skipping.  I think they’re in denial.

            Ivix complained after class that the extra work that I have given him, at his request, was still too easy.  I pointed out that his grade on his last extra credit assignment was only 63%, but he maintains that he can handle tougher material.  I gave him some.  I doubt he will be up to it, but we'll see.

 

 

 

4/10

Exvoon

Faculty

 

            Yab(Green) told me today that he will miss three days of class next week, as he has to go back to Algol to attend his sister’s vaporization ceremony.  I thanked him for letting me know ahead of time, and loaded him down with homework.

            This of course means that Yab(Green)’s sister will be starting next quarter a bit late.  I have informed her advisors.

            After class yesterday I found a hat with “Pichix” written on a tag attached to it.  It makes sense that it would be hers – no one else in class has a head even remotely as large as those of her species.  I put it in the lost and found.  But how did it get in my class?  Pichix still hasn’t shown up in class!

 

 

 

4/15

Exvoon

Faculty

 

            Distork cheated on the grammar test today; he made it easy to catch him, since he wrote the name of the kid he cheated off of – it was Storn -- in the "name" box on the first page of the test.  I again talked to him, and he said he was very sorry, that it wouldn't happen again, and that it was because he is under pressure from his rootstock purveyors to succeed.

            Skisaa got a zero on the test, since she didn't bother to answer any of the questions.  Strange – she's not disruptive in class, and seems to be paying attention, but she rarely hands in any of her assignments.

 

 

 

4/17

Vilsufk

Director

 

Distork (811-9212-84997) didn't come to the appointment we had set up for him yesterday, but he did show up today.  I told him we were concerned about the cheating, and we needed to see a change in his behavior or there would be severe consequences.

 

Faculty are reminded that “rootstick purveyor” is no longer an acceptable term.  The proper term has not yet been released by the Usage Authority, but when it is, all staff and faculty of this institution are required to use the proper and respectful terminologies.  Remember that it costs nothing to be polite.

 

 

 

4/19

Exvoon

Faculty

 

            This morning R’Fhop inverted inertia in the boy’s restroom, and the ultraviolet flash severely burned the receptors of three of the kids using it at the time.  I reminded R’Fhop that jokes can go too far, and that his parents will be asked to pay for the reconstructive surgeries.  Then in the afternoon he splintered

consensus-reality in the hallway outside of the gym and left a classmate (identity yet to be determined) howling for a subjective eternity in the frigid darkness between planes.

            That kid!  I have to admit that he is creative, though!

            Meanwhile, Ivix (who didn't hand in the extra work he had asked for yesterday, and who got a score of 60% on the extra work from Tuesday) notified me that he is contacting the Board of Directors about his "misplacement," and that he is asking that I be fired.

            I told him, good luck with that.

 

 

 

4/23

Exvoon

Faculty

 

            I called Pichix’s mothers today myself, and explained their daughter’s absence.  They told me that their daughter, though shy, would never miss a class, and that they have monitored her homework.

            I checked, and I do have homework from her.  I don’t get it.  Maybe she is having a classmate turn it in.

 

 

 

4/24

Exvoon

Faculty

 

            Weekoz brought a plasma rifle to class today.  I informed it that, although not specifically against school policy, this kind of thing makes some of its classmates nervous.  Weekoz explained that it was simply intending to shoot a Flisswing which has been disemboweling students on the way home from class, and pledged to leave the weapon in its locker next time.

            That’s fine.  I do wonder if something can be done about this Flisswing, though.

            Pichix got the top score on the last writing test.  Somehow.  I still have not seen her.  Unfortunately, Skisaa did not hand in an essay at all.

 

 

 

4/25

Vilsufk

Director

 

The Flisswing referred to in your database entry is the aunt of a visiting scholar.  I spoke with the scholar, and she assured me that her aunt would be cautioned.

 

Pichix's (811-9300-98776) parents assure us that she is attending classes.

 

Skisaa (811-9192-69767) came to see me, at my request, and had nothing but praise for her teacher, and said she was learning a lot.  I told her that we needed to see more homework from her, and that she needs to complete the tests she is given.  She said she understood.  She smiled during the whole meeting, and is perhaps unable to understand that she is having problems.

 

I heard from Distork's (811-9212-84997) homestay family today.  It seems he has been a real pain in the glutods (quite literally, I am afraid) ever since he came to stay, demanding special foods, playing his painpluck at all hours, and generally being rude, nasty, unnecessarily flatulent, and intimidating.  I've asked a counselor to see him, as it seems that faculty has been unable or unwilling to effectively communicate to him the gravity of his transgressions.

 

 

 

4/30

Exvoon

Faculty

 

            R'Fhop hacked the spacetime coordinates of the school, and as a result three students (the only one from my class was Storn) were teleported into the polar wastes this morning.  Storn may temporarily lose a primary tendril to frostbite, and upon his reappearance in the classroom left a puddle of some kind of noxious blue fluid. I’ve called Maintenance.

            I’ve also talked with R'Fhop about his pranks. 

 

 

 

5/10

Exvoon

Faculty

 

            Yab(Green) slept through most of the reading class today.  A series of increasingly powerful electrical shocks to his brain stem finally woke him.  He was very embarrassed, and I hope this won't happen again. Generally he's a good kid.

 

            Ivix spent the day sulking.  It seems he is unsatisfied with the response he got back from the Board of Directors.

 

 

 

5/18

Exvoon

Faculty

 

            Storn kept turning yellow and orange all afternoon, and one primary and three tertiary tendrils drooped and oozed.  She told me it was because she stayed up most of the night cramming for the quiz.  I told her that this was not an efficient technique, and that the smell was affecting her classmates, and she agreed to see a Study Advisor to learn about different methods of reviewing the material covered in class.

 

 

 

5/19

Exvoon

Faculty

 

            Fragelonk was tardy today, slipping into class a full forty minutes late.  When I called her on her tardiness, she claimed that time was a subjective artificial cultural construct that held no meaning for her civilization.  (Later, I checked – that is bullshit.)  I told her that three tardies would be an absence, and that tardies disrupted class.  Eventually she seemed to understand the importance of coming on time.

            I understand that Distork threatened to eradicate a counselor's geneline after being told that his record of cheating would negatively affect his chances of transferring to a good school after his time here at the communal academy.  He was quiet and sullen all day.  What a shame that the kids you would like to transfer away from here are the ones who seem to hang around forever!

 

 

 

5/22

Exvoon

Faculty

 

            Storn vomited a corrosive acid all over her desk.  It seems she got a tuna sandwich from the cafeteria, and didn't realize until too late that she was allergic, and also that tuna, and bread, were toxic to her species.

            I've called Maintenance.

 

            Distork called a classmate a name, which, according to the universal translator, means something like "blossom-stuffing omnivore." The classmate was reduced to tears.

 

 

 

5/25

Exvoon

Faculty

 

 

            Fragelonk's grades have been slipping for a couple of weeks now.  She has been tardy a few more times since I warned her on the 19th, but usually by only a few minutes. Still, it's clear that her studies are not her top concern here at the school.

 

 

 

5/29

Exvoon

Faculty

 

            Storn's primary leg was severed at the first knee by a mishap with a laser pointer.  I sent her to the school nurse.  By the afternoon she was back.

            Ivix refused to work with the group assigned to him for a group project, claiming that their mental limitations (clearly referring to the absence, in many of his classmates, of multiple/distributed brain sacs) would not allow them to be of any help.  He wants to work alone.  I finally said fine.  Later, I talked with his groupmates, and they all seemed relieved that he would be out of their group.

 

 

 

6/7

Exvoon

Faculty

 

            After weeks of wondering what was going on with Pichix – the student who seems to have been absent all this time, but whose homework and test assignments kept showing up on time – I discovered today that she had camouflaged herself, rendering her body nearly invisible.  I consulted with Pichix's advisor, and was told that this is a common thing among members of Pichix's species, and is a response to stressful situations.  Like starting a new class on a new planet.

            No wonder I never saw her in class!  It would have been nice to have been told this earlier.

 

 

 

6/11

Exvoon

Faculty

 

            Today Distork was found in a restroom by another teacher.  He was tormenting Storn with a pencilbeam, and Storn's secondary neckfrill may never grow back.  Apparently the seeping wound is also extremely painful.

            By all accounts, Distork was angry at Storn when Storn refused to give him her homework.

            I can not keep this kid in my class!

 

 

 

6/14

Vilsufk

Director

 

I regret to inform the faculty that Distork (811-9212-84997) will not be expelled from the class.  Higher-ups at the college – and there is no need to mention names – have decided that the generosity of Distork's rootstock – that is, his genetic contributor -- (i.e., the funding of the new library wing) more than compensates for his child's indiscretions.

           

Faculty and staff are reminded to say nothing of this to students, other employees, family members, or therapists.  A professional demeanor must be maintained.

 

 

 

6/17

Exvoon

Faculty

 

            Ivix circulated a petition calling for my dismissal.  I guess there was only one signature – and I can guess whose – and when the petition got to Cryutop's desk he was so distraught that he swallowed it.  So that's that.

R'Fhop refracted time/space, and turned himself into an infant, and inside-out. I've called Maintenance.

            In happier news, final exams are tomorrow!  I won't look back on this quarter with much fondness.

 

 

 

6/23

Exvoon

Faculty

 

            Skisaa's final exams were nothing short of brilliant.  I now understand – should have checked up on this earlier in the quarter – that her species takes in information for months, quietly processing it and not producing anything, until all is fully digested and understood.  I will miss her in class, and I will inform her next teacher as to her learning style.

            On the other hand… whew.  Ivix was screaming about his final exam results.  Distork cheated – and complained to me later that his low score was because he'd cheated off the wrong classmate, and demanded permission to take the test again.

            Later I encouraged Ivix and Distork to take some quiet time to decide what they wanted to say to me, this time in a lower tone of voice and with fewer threats and cranial discharges, and they somehow ended up choosing to do so in a small closet.

            Well, apparently earlier that the stress of the exams had caused Cryutop to retreat into that same small closet to collect himself.

            If I had only realized this in time, perhaps I could have prevented the terrible accident that followed!

            The closet door must have somehow locked as it closed, and I didn’t think to unlock it for several hours.  When I finally did unlock the door, Cryutop had eaten Ivix and Distork long before, and the process of digestion was already well advanced.

            So it does seem that I won't be dealing with Ivix and Distork anymore, anytime soon!

            Unfortunately, after regurgitation I discovered the remains of Storn, as well. Apparently, at some point poor Storn had reached into the closet for her coat, and startled Cryutop into swallowing her, too.

            The coat is still hanging there, a little yellow plastic rainsheath.

            The thing is burned in several places.  It has weird stains and is torn.  And it just hangs there, empty.

 

 

 

6/25

Vilsufk

Director

 

Regarding the issue of the consumption of Distork (811-9212-84997), Ivix (811-9211-84002) and Storn (811-9212-84751) by Cryutop (811-9231-746113), our attorneys tell us that the actions or non-actions undertaken by the faculty in question cannot be proven to be malicious, and that, legally, we are in the clear.

 

Faculty are advised that if this kind of thing becomes too commonplace, the reputation of our institution may suffer, and at such point may form the basis of a formal reprimand.

 

 

 

 

6/27

Exvoon

Faculty

 

            After the Quarter-End Briefing today I went back to my office to clean up a little, so I can start next quarter fresh.

            I was surprised to find, on my desk, some little presents from my students – a thank-you card from Skisaa, a flower from  Pichix (pity it’s the type that eats cats), and even a tissue dispenser from N-48C.

            The most touching thing was from three of Storn’s parent-approximators.  It’s a glass tetradedron that sparks and changes colors (several of the colors are not even in the electromagnetic spectrum!).  I have no idea what it is supposed to be.  Maybe a paperweight or an art object, or a piece of fantastically developed technology. But the thought was nice.

            It was a rather tough quarter, but I’m reminded that I really do love this job.

            I wish Storn’s family had taken her little coat, though.  It remains in the closet.  It reeks of disinfectants and despair.

            I’ve called Maintenance.

 

 

 

 

This story originally appeared in Perihelion.