A Scrap of Paper

I found this note to myself on a scrap of paper, circa 2001:

  • “It’s Mr. Holland’s Opus meets Born on the Fourth of July!”
  • “It’s Stand and Deliver—without the standing!”
  • “It’s Lean on Me—literally!”

Oh, now I remember what this is. It is a fragment of what sort-of became The Sneeze, a short play I wrote for my Writer’s Workshop class.

This play would have been the inverse of Stand and Deliver, about a group of overachieving students demanding to learn from a cheerfully apathetic instructor. He doesn’t teach them, and they get mad. At the end of the first act, he would be shot and crippled. But his handicap does not change his demeanor, and his pleasantly empty attitude seems to the world to be inspirational. In The Sneeze, possibly a second act to this story, the main character is preparing to play a whitewashed version of this teacher in a movie.

So perhaps the above was written from the perspective of Reid Collins, the dashing actor, trying to view this story in movie terms. And the movies don’t sound too bad, either.

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